research

ADVANCED THERAPEUTICS LABORATORY

Vanderbilt University | Spring 2019–Present

Led by Craig Duvall, Ph.D. in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, the Advanced Therapeutics Laboratory applies “smart,” environmentally-responsive polymers to develop novel approaches for overcoming pharmacological barriers.

As a SyBBURE Searle Undergraduate Research Fellow, my research contributions have focused on intersecting molecular biology and engineering:

  • Generation of a Nanoluciferase cell reporter via CRISPR-Cas9 endogenous gene-tagging of RICTOR and MCL-1 in triple-negative breast cancer (Fall 2020, Present; Mentor: Rebecca S. Cook, Ph.D.)
  • Layer-by-layer porous silicon nanoparticles (LbL-pSiNPs): Non-viral vectors for DNA delivery (Fall 2019, Spring 2020; Mentor: Brock Fletcher, NSF Graduate Fellow)
  • Generation of a gene-editing reporter cell line using CRISPR/Cas9 (Summer 2019; Mentor: Brock Fletcher, NSF Graduate Fellow)

Nance Laboratory

University of Washington, SEATTLE | Summer 2016

The Nance Lab, led by Elizabeth Nance, Ph.D., develops tools that inform how the diseased brain can be treated more effectively, focusing on nanotechnology as both a probe and as a therapeutic delivery vehicle.

Under the mentorship of Chad Curtis, Ph.D., I examined the key nanoparticle property of colloidal stability and how to factor it into nanoparticle design, particularly within the brain microenvironment. Our findings are discussed in the research article, Colloidal stability as a determinant of nanoparticle behavior in the brain, in Colloids & Surfaces B: Biointerfaces.

lazarus laboratory

icahn school of medicine at mt. sinai | Summer 2017

A chemical biology group at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, the Lazarus Lab, led by Michael Lazarus, Ph.D., is utilizes chemical and structural tools to understand how cells respond to changes in nutrient levels, both in normal and disease states. 

As a summer research intern, I learned chemical biology lab techniques (i.e. bacterial and mammalian cell culture, protein isolation and purification) to support laboratory efforts in understanding the structure of ULK4, a protein kinase implicated in schizophrenia. The laboratory’s publication on ULK4 can be found here