Professor Andrew E. Pelling, PhD
Research Chair in Experimental Cell Mechanics at the University of Ottawa, CTO of Spiderwort Inc.
Scientist, professor, entrepreneur, and TED Senior Fellow, Andrew Pelling has built a career on unapologetic curiosity, creativity, and serendipity. He is a professor and the Canada Research Chair in Experimental Cell Mechanics at the University of Ottawa, where he founded and directs a curiosity-driven research lab that brings together artists, scientists, social scientists, and engineers. The lab uses low-cost, open-source materials and methods to explore speculative-living technologies. For instance, he has created human body parts from plants and grown living skin onto LEGO—innovations with the potential to replace prohibitively expensive commercial biomaterials.
Andrew is also the CTO of Spiderwort Inc., a mission-driven company developing open-source platforms to enable the widespread and global adoption of biological research in all environments and economic contexts. Most recently, he founded pHacktory, a street-level research lab in Ottawa that amplifies community ideas through a potent mixture of craft, serendipity, and curiosity.
Andrew’s work has been in the international spotlight for many years, with recognition in Wired, Huffington Post, NPR, Scientific American, Popular Science, BBC, Der Spiegel, Deutsche Welle, and others, as well as numerous highlights in the Canadian and scientific media.