On November 9th, the National Science & Technology Medals Foundation hosted an evening with Professor DeSimone at Stanford University, where he discussed a range of topics including diversity and innovation in academia and industry. Prof. DeSimone was presented with the National Medal of Technology & Innovation by President Barack Obama in a 2016 White House ceremony.
Congratulations to Jason Coffman, who successfully defended his dissertation on September 25th! Coffman’s dissertation focused on developing a covalently attached particulate subunit vaccine platform targeting the dengue virus. Particulate subunit vaccines attach a piece (subunit) of a pathogen to a nanoparticle, giving it the shape and size of the original pathogen while maintaining a strong safety profile unlike traditional live vaccine platforms. Particulate formulations often enhance the immune response to subunit vaccines and provide the potential to manipulate antigen display. Multiple particle and conjugation parameters were optimized to create a particulate platform displaying Dengue E subunits on the surface, which induced a strong specific response and can be expanded upon.
In his career, Coffman plans to pursue opportunities in the areas of biotech process development and regulations.
Congratulations to Erin Wilson, who successfully defended her dissertation on September 28th! Wilson’s research focused on the development of precisely engineered inhalable protein formulations, which non-invasively deliver therapeutic proteins for both respiratory and systemic diseases. Her dissertation, “Developing PRINT Dry Powders for Pulmonary Protein Delivery,” focused on the impact of fabrication conditions on protein stability and the influence of particle geometry on dry powder fluidization, aerosolization, and deposition. PRINT protein dry powders exhibited high delivery efficiency and deposition precision, which could improve the efficacy and safety of inhaled therapeutics.
Wilson plans to continue her research in formulation development in the pharmaceutical industry.
Congratulations to Kevin Olson, who successfully defended his dissertation on September 27th! Olson’s dissertation, “Nonflammable Perfluoropolyether Electrolytes for Safer Lithium-Based Batteries,” focused on developing nonflammable electrolytes for lithium-ion batteries to replace the current, combustible electrolytes. His work probed how electrolyte structure affects thermal stability and electrochemical performance, opening the door for safer and more efficient batteries.
Olson’s work has been published in Polymer, Soft Matter, and Macromolecules.
In his career, Olson aims to pursue research and leadership positions in the development of polymer-based devices in the medical device industry.
Congratulations to Cassie Caudill, who successfully defended her dissertation on September 28th! Caudill’s research focused on the development of microneedles, arrays of micron-scale needles that pierce the skin and facilitate the delivery of therapeutics through the skin in a minimally-invasive manner. Her dissertation, “Engineering Microneedles for the Transdermal Delivery of Therapeutics,” focused on using two technologies, PRINT and CLIP, to manufacture polymeric microneedles for drug delivery applications. Her work addresses the need for scalable and controlled fabrication of microneedles devices, which can be used to transdermally deliver a range of potential therapeutics, including small molecules, proteins, and nanoparticles.