BioPACIFIC MIP Research: SET 4 - Degradation-Optimized Materials
What is your research focus?
My current research focuses on the use of flow chemistry to synthesize a library of biodegradable caprolactone-based copolymers comprised of varying sugar and zwitterionic side chains for the stabilization of proteins, specifically the therapeutic enzyme hyaluronidase. Of the four SETs my research most aligns with the degradation-optimized materials SET 4. Previous research from our group has investigated multiple ring opening polymerization (ROP) based backbones with tunable rates of degradation. The polymers I currently synthesize are composed of a degradable caprolactone backbone. As my research evolves, I plan to move away from the caprolactone backbone and intend to develop an iterative high-throughput design cycle geared towards the synthesis of novel degradable polymer excipients that can stabilize individual therapeutic proteins. My research also overlaps with the broader BioPACIFIC MIP mission as it aims to improve the scalability of copolymer synthesis and techniques, as well plans to foster collaboration through the combination of data-driven computational work with high through-put polymer synthesis.
What excites you about NSF BioPACIFIC MIP?
As a member of the inaugural BioPACIFIC MIP Fellows cohort I was able to contribute to the building of the Fellows program. I am most interested in continuing in the Fellows and Affiliates program because of the relationships I forged with other graduate student researchers, professors, staff scientists, and industry scientists. I would like the chance to continue strengthening these relationships from my first year as a fellow as well as continue to connect with new scientists. The BioPACIFIC MIP Fellows program provided me with a myriad opportunities and experiences during my first year such as building an IDP, presenting on relevant literature, and attending the BioPACIFIC MIP Summer School. The combination of these opportunities and relationships have greatly assisted me in developing as person and scientist. I feel that the Fellows program has accelerated my growth in the areas of my interpersonal skills, my creativity, and my ability to thinking independently and critically. I want to continue to sharpen my skills as a person and scientist while continuing to contribute to a diverse scientific ecosystem.