Hi! My name is Chrysanthi Williams. Chrysanthi means golden flowers in greek, or Golden Blumen as one of my german instructors told me a long time ago. But I go by Sandy.
Not because I decided to change my name when I moved to the States but because that’s the nickname my godmother gave me when I was born. It just so happens that Sandy is also much easier to pronounce than Chrysanthi. Bonus!
I am a biomedical engineering expert focused on regenerative medicine. I completed my B.S. in Metallurgical Engineering in 1998 from the National Technical University of Athens and my Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering in 2003 from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. I had not taken a single biology class before I went to grad school. But when I heard that I could apply my love for materials to the biomedical field, I was hooked.
Starting at GTech the year it became the NSF (National Science Foundation) ERC (Engineering Research Center) for the Engineering of Living Tissues was lucky timing and an awesome opportunity. Dr. Bob Nerem led the center and provided graduate students fantastic development opportunities. I am head over heels about tissue engineering. But I don’t live in the clouds. I know all about the challenges the field is facing.
My doctoral thesis was focused on the development of bioreactors for small diameter tissue-engineered vascular grafts. I continued my postdoctoral training at the University of Minnesota in Dr. Bob Tranquillo’s lab working on heart valve and vascular graft tissue engineering while consulting for ElectroForce Systems Group (ESG) of Bose Corporation on the development of the BioDynamic Test Instrument product line.
After much deliberation about whether or not to pursue an academic career, I joined Bose Corporation in 2005 and spent 10 years in various roles and positions. It was the right choice for me (let me know if you are trying to make a similar decision and want to talk about it). I worked as an applications engineer, market manager for tissue engineering and biomaterials, biologics business unit manager and director of market/product vision development and customer satisfaction.
I got to meet customers all over the world and help them pick the right tool for their research. And I got to see them succeed in writing papers and getting their grant applications funded, partly because they had chosen the right tool for their research, which was very rewarding. I learned a ton during those 10 years having worked with many talented people and realized that my calling is helping others achieve their goals, which is why I decided to get into the consulting field in 2015. I am no longer bound to one particular product or technology, but rather have the opportunity to help biomedical professionals in many different areas. I love that!
I’ve authored several papers in peer-reviewed journals, am co-inventor on tissue engineering bioreactor patents, and have presented at numerous international conferences. And because once a researcher and an academic, always a researcher and an academic, I am very actively engaged in volunteer professional activities in the biomedical field: I am the co-chair of two task groups for standard guides for characterization of tissue engineered vascular grafts and heart valves at ASTM, an invited reviewer of submitted manuscripts to the Annals of Biomedical Engineering, Tissue Engineering journals and Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering, a program evaluator for biomedical engineering programs for ABET, and a grant reviewer for NSF and Regenerative Medicine Minnesota.
Giving back is huge for me. I love mentoring young professionals and helping them on their success journey, however each one of them defines it.
I’d love to hear about you and your story! Connect with me on LinkedIn.
"Sandy is a make it happen kind of person. I highly recommend her!"
Kent Vilendrer, CEO, Medical Device Testing Services
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