- Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, University of Washington, 2020
- MSME, Mechanical Engineering, University of Washington, 2018
- B.S., Engineering Physics, Cornell University, 2012
- Research Scientist, UW, 2020-2021
- Instructor, Mechanical Engineering, UW, Winter 2016
- Graduate Student Researcher, UW, 2012-2020
- Mamidala, Ramulu-Vinati Endowed Fellowship, 2016
- Department of Education GAANN Fellowship, 2013-2016
- NEMB 1st Place Poster Presentation, 2014
Dr. Nikita Taparia specializes at finding mechanical engineering solutions for biological-based and multi-physics problems. Specifically, she has spent nearly a decade focused on understanding platelet mechanobiology, axon regeneration, and other cellular behavior using microtechnology.
Dr. Taparia has expertise in microscopy (brightfield, fluorescence, metallurgical, SEM, Keyence), quantitative image analysis (FIJI/ImageJ/MATLAB), exploratory/statistical data analysis and data visualization (MATLAB, R, Tableau, IGOR, Excel). This experience has spanned across a diverse set of data (image analysis, clinical platelet function, magnetic sensors, satellite telemetry, soccer/tennis action). Dr. Taparia has worked with magnetic materials (nanoparticles/nanowires) and sensors (GMR, AMR, Hall effect). She is very comfortable with IRB protocols for human subject research as well as BSL-2 environments. Additionally, she is experienced with microfabrication techniques (photolithography, metal deposition, soft lithography) and rapid prototyping/3D printing (designs via SolidWorks and AutoCAD).
Prior to Exponent, Dr. Taparia earned her doctorate degree in mechanical engineering at University of Washington, where she developed two technologies: (1) a magnetic actuation microfluidic assay to assess platelet mechanoresponse during early hemostasis in vitro and (2) an optical system to assess anemia and bleeding risk within a microfluidic assay. The latter technology led to a startup venture, Stasys Medical, where Dr. Taparia was an R&D consultant. The company is currently developing a patient focused test method for analyzing blood clotting disorders and platelet dysfunction and has licensed Dr. Taparia's work. Additionally, she was nominated for the UW Excellence in Teaching Award in 2017 and is an avid participant in STEM outreach.
Before graduate school, Dr. Taparia earned an undergraduate degree in engineering physics at Cornell University. While there, she was Mission Operations and Fault Management lead for the Violet Satellite Project, an Air Force Research Lab sponsored mission to demonstrate CMG steering laws on a highly agile nanosatellite and use an ultraviolet spectrometer for scientific measurements. She followed up this experience with an internship at Space Systems/Loral where she built a universal data tool in MATLAB for all on-orbit satellites and she validated and verified contingency, health, and standard operating procedures for all subsystems of several satellites with a Python-based spacecraft simulator. She also assisted on a variety of research projects such as chip satellites and multiplexed microcolumn devices for RNA aptamer selection.