• What is your degree program and expected graduation date? PhD in Pharmaceutics, May 2021
• Please describe your research: My research focuses on reinforcing the bone which surrounds implanted materials, like screws, used to fix unstable fractures. Specifically, I am developing drug eluting coatings to reduce the rate of bone degradation at the bone-to-implant interface.
• In simple terms, why does this research matter? When surgically implanted materials are employed, there is a risk that the surrounding bone will degrade leading to implant instability and failure. My research focuses on developing therapeutic coatings that decrease the rate of bone degradation around the implant providing a more robust fixation.
• How soon after starting at the University of Iowa were you able to participate in research? I started at the University of Iowa in August 2016 and after two months began the required lab training for new members of the Salem lab where I learned various techniques such as polymeric nanoparticle preparation, cell culture protocols, bacterial expansion and plasmid DNA extraction.
• How has being involved in research made you more successful at the University of Iowa? Being involved in research at the University of Iowa is teaching me to become a more independent scientist. It is improving my presentation skills and giving me the opportunity to learn a multitude of research skills I would not have had access to otherwise.
• What are your career goals and/or plans after graduation? After graduation I hope to work in a research and development department at a pharmaceutical company where I can continue to do preclinical testing of novel drug delivery systems for drug compounds that will be potentially beneficial for many people.
• Faculty mentor/advisor: Dr. Aliasger K. Salem
• Hometown: Baltimore, MD
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