Students

  Michael Akenhead received his B.E. in Biomedical Engineering at Vanderbilt University in 2012. He is now pursuing his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering under the guidance of Hainsworth Shin.
Theodora Asafo-Adje Theodora Asafo-Adjei graduated from East Literature Magnet School in Nashville, TN. In 2009, she received a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D in Biomedical Engineering with a focus on Biomaterials at the University of Kentucky. Her research with David Puleo and Tom Dziubla involves the development of an alternate degradable polymer as a scaffold for drug delivery and promoting tissue healing and formation.
Matt Brown Matt Brown received his B.S. in Biology at Western Kentucky University in 2009 and is now pursuing his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering. His current research is with David Puleo and Tom Dziubla focusing on creating an implantable, moldable bone filler loaded with bioactive molecules to enhance bone formation in infected irregular bony defects.
Amanda Clark Amanda Clark received her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology in 2008 and is now pursuing her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering. Her current research is with David Puleo and J. Zach Hilt focusing on growth plate regeneration using a biomimetic approach and degradable polymers.
 

Kaitlyn Clark received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering along with a minor in Mathematics from the University of Kentucky in 2012 and is now pursuing her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering. Her current research, under Barbara Knutson and Stephen Rankin, focuses on creating and applying thin film silica membranes for protein receptor immobilization.

David Cochran David Cochran received his B.S and M.S in Chemical Engineering from Drexel University in 2009. He is pursuing a Ph.D in Chemical Engineering under advisement of Dr. Thomas Dziubla, Dr. Richard Eitel, and Dr. Kimberly Anderson. Dave’s research is geared towards targeted delivery of small antioxidant molecules to suppress oxidative stress, metal nanoparticle injury, and enhance chemotherapeutic efficacy.
Leslie Doleman Leslie Doleman graduated from Knox Central High School in Barbourville, KY. She obtained a B.S. in Biology and a B.A. in Chemistry from the University of Kentucky in 2006 and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Bioanalytical Chemistry. As an undergraduate, she published a paper in the journal “Analytical Chemistry” for a DNA hybridization assay for the detection of Plasmodium falciparum, which was the result of a summer Research Experience for Undergraduates program. She is also co-author of a chapter in the book Photoproteins in Bioanalysis. Currently, she is working toward the design and development of an in vivo detection system for Crohn’s disease markers with Sylvia Daunert and J. Zach Hilt.
Jenn Fischer Jenn Fischer graduated as valedictorian of the Class of 2006 from Ross Senior High School in Ross, OH. She graduated cum laude with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in 2010. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering under the guidance of Kim Anderson, Rich Eitel and Tom Dziubla. Jenn’s current research focuses on understanding the mechanism of cancer cell metastasis.
Paul Fisher Paul Fisher received his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of California, Irvine, and was a member of the Campuswide Honors Program. He worked in San Diego for one year doing research and development on microfluidic in vitro diagnostic devices. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering, and is working under Dr. David Puleo and Dr. Zach Hilt to develop a locally injectable drug delivery device to treat avascular necrosis in diseased and damaged bone.
Kyle Fugit Kyle Fugit received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering in 2008 at the University of Alabama. He is working for his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Kentucky. Kyle works with Brad Anderson and J. Zach Hilt, and his research focuses on using magnetic liposomes for controlled drug release.
Megan Gillespie Megan Gillespie graduated from Dixie Heights High School in Erlanger, KY. She received her B.S. in Chemistry in 2007, graduating magna cum laude at the University of Kentucky, and continues her work there while pursuing her PhD in Bioanalytical Chemistry. Megan’s research with Leonidas Bachas and Dibakar Bhattacharyya focuses on creating a biofuel cell with thermophilic enzymes, to generate and measure the operating voltage.
Amber Jerke received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering with a Biochemical Engineering emphasis from South Dakota School of Mines & Technology in 2010. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences. Her research with Younsoo Bae will focus on the development of nanoparticle delivery systems of anticancer drugs.
  Anastasia Kruse received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Kentucky in 2012. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a certificate in BioPharmaceutical Engineering. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Kentucky under the guidance of Dr. Kimberly Anderson and Dr. J. Zach Hilt. Anastasia’s research aims to develop an iron oxide nanoparticle system to actively target and penetrate tumors to enhance radiation via hyperthermia.
William Mercke William Mercke graduated magna cum laude from Graham High School in Bluefield, VA. He graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown College with a B.S. in Chemistry in 2009. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering. His current research with Kimberly Anderson and Richard Eitel entails the real-time monitoring of endothelial cell permeability using trans-endothelial electrical resistance.
Brad Newsome Brad Newsome graduated from Zane Trace High School in Chillicothe, OH as valedictorian of his class. He finished his bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from Asbury College in May 2005, magna cum laude and is now pursuing his Ph.D. in Bioanalytical Chemistry. The current advances in nanomedicine, and nanotechnology in general, present much concern about how nanoparticles interact in vivo, as compared to their macroscopic equivalent. Brad’s current research with Leonidas Bachas and Tom Dziubla deals with determining the toxicological properties of nanoparticles, specifically the toxicity of alumina nanoparticles.
Cheryl Rabek Cheryl Rabek graduated from Eastern High School in Louisville, Ky. In 2009, she earned a B.S. in Materials Engineering along with minors in both Mathematics and Biology from the University of Kentucky. Currently, Cheryl is working towards her doctorate in Biomedical Engineering focusing on Biomaterials. With guidance from David Puleo and Tom Dziubla, her research project is the development of an anti-fibrosis degradable drug delivery system.
Dan Schlipf Dan Schlipf received his B.S. in Chemistry from Georgetown College in 2010. He graduated Summa Cum Laude and is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor’s Society. He is currently pursuing a Ph. D. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Kentucky. Working with Barbara L. Knutson and Stephen Rankin, Daniel looks to design molecularly imprinted silica materials for selective protein capture and separation in the bio-medical field.
Nathanael Stocke Nathanael Stocke received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Kentucky in 2010, graduating summa cum laude, and earned a certificate in Pharmaceutical Engineering by completing the Biopharmaceutical Engineering track. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Chemical engineering at the University of Kentucky under the guidance of J. Zach Hilt and Heidi Mansour. Nathanael’s research is aimed at developing multifunctional magnetic nanocomposites composed of intelligently designed polymer networks containing iron oxide nanoparticles and chemotherapeutic agents for the targeted treatment of non-small cell lung cancer via the pulmonary route.
Andrew Tomaino Andrew Tomaino graduated with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ in 2010. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering under the advisory of Dr. D. Bhattacharyya and Dr. T. Dziubla. Andrew’s current research involves the studying and modeling of the characteristics of domains within functionalized microporous membranes for the advancement of the layer-by-layer approach of functionalization. Applications of his research include such topics as protein capture within membranes, and biomimetic breakdown of environmental and in vitro contaminants under low pressure gradients.
Andrew Vasilakes Andrew Vasilakes graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2010 with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and is now pursuing a Ph.D in Chemical Engineering at the University of Kentucky under the advisement of Dr. Dziubla, Dr. Hilt, and Dr. Puleo. Andrew’s research involves the combination of traditional antibiotics with bacterial quorum sensing inhibitors to help reduce antibacterial resistance emergence in injuries.
Rob Wydra Rob Wydra received his B.S.Ch.E. degree from Rice University in 2009. Currently he is pursuing a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Kentucky. Working with J. Zach Hilt and Younsoo Bae, Rob looks to develop composite magnetic nanoparticle systems for medical applications, specifically cancer therapies.