TED Senior Fellow Andrew Pelling uses novel materials for next-generation medical innovations and speculative living technologies of the future.

Why you should listen

Andrew Pelling is a lifelong scientist, full professor at the University of Ottawa and founder of multiple start-up companies. His highly experimental Pelling Lab for Augmented Biology has trailblazed by developing speculative living technologies of the future with the potential to redefine the limits of biology and medicine. The Lab is well known for its discovery that plants can be harnessed to create medical-grade biomaterials for engineering and regenerating human tissues. Pelling's work in this area gained considerable international recognition after delivering his first TED Talk on growing human ears out of apples. To date, the Pelling Lab has spun out four companies in the technology, biotechnology and medical fields, translating their discoveries into real-world products and solutions.

Pelling also serves as cofounder and chief scientific officer of Spiderwort, a company translating the fundamental discoveries from his Lab in the area of plant-based biomaterials. As CSO, he leads Spiderwort's research program, which addresses a variety of tissue engineering applications and unmet medical needs. He also plays a key role in guiding the translation of Spiderwort'a products through the clinical and regulatory landscapes.

As an award-winning scientist, Pelling has published his research in some of the world's most prestigious journals and has been well recognized by his peers. He is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including being elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, Member of the College of the Royal Society of Canada and a Canada Research Chair. He has delivered hundreds of keynotes and served in a variety of advisory roles for community, industry and government organizations.

Andrew Pelling’s TED talks

More news and ideas from Andrew Pelling

Live from TED2020

WHAAAAAT?: Notes from Session 4 of TED2020

June 12, 2020

For Session 4 of TED2020, experts in biohacking, synthetic biology, psychology and beyond explored topics ranging from discovering the relationship between the spinal cord and asparagus to using tools of science to answer critical questions about racial bias. Below, a recap of the night’s talks and performances. Andrew Pelling, biomedical researcher Big idea: Could we […]

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Live from TED2018

Go behind the scenes at TED2018 on Facebook and Instagram

April 10, 2018

This year, TED is using Facebook and Instagram to give our online audience behind-the-scenes access to the ideas we’re discussing at TED2018: The Age of Amazement. New for 2018, our online community will be able to join the conference via the Facebook Watch show TED: Backstage Pass. Throughout the week, we’ll offer exclusive interviews, live TED Talks, behind-the-scenes photos, and more. This […]

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A promising way to grow body parts … using an apple

February 16, 2016

Biohacker Andrew Pelling has figured out a way to create living, functional biological objects that don’t exist in nature -- without deliberately modifying DNA in any way. In one experiment, he uses apples and human cells to make ears. But what? And how? And why? Read on.

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