Kris Van de Voorde (University of Delaware) at AMI this summer
Kris was born and raised in Louisiana and obtained a bachelor’s degree in Polymer Science from the University of Southern Mississippi. He then moved to Cleveland, OH to continue polymer research, under the advisement of Prof. Jon Pokorski and Prof. LaShanda Korley at Case Western Reserve University. In the winter of 2017, the Korley Research Group moved to the University of Delaware, where Kris continues his investigative pursuit into fabrication of scalable and tunable materials for tissue engineering.
This summer, Kris participated in the PIRE exchange program and worked with Dr. Barbara Rothen and Dr. Alke Fink. He took this opportunity to learn cell culture techniques, utilizing confocal microscopy, and several quantitative cell assays. The research performed in Switzerland at AMI enabled Kris the opportunity to observe interactions between fibroblast cells and his mechanically tunable fiber-reinforced hydrogels. He gave a talk on the extruded fibers at the August 2019 ACS National Meeting in San Diego, CA.
During his summer in Switzerland, Kris took this unique opportunity to explore around the country as well as surrounding countries. From canyoning down the Swiss mountain side to hiking around waterfalls in Croatia and even fishing off the coast of Greece, Kris says he tried to do something special each weekend of his two-month visit.
Susan Kozawa (CWRU) visited the Adolphe Merkle Institute in February, 2019 . . .
“In Switzerland, I worked on the collapse of hydrogel using different ions on nanometer scale printed gel lines. These were printed using a Nanoscribe at ETH. Using their TIRF microscope, we were able to visualize these gels threads. Using the techniques in Switzerland and my experience in hydrogels, this visit really kickstarted the project to utilize both of our strengths.
“Culturally, I love the work life balance there. The students and their professors take breaks and make sure we’re working but also having fun!
“Here’s my favorite picture from Switzerland!”
Undergraduate Research – US REUs visit Switzerland
Edmund Farrell-Marcellino, Class 2020, works with Prof. Jon Pokorski at the University of California – San Diego on melt extrusion of engineered Q-Beta virus-like particles. Ed continued his PIRE research this summer working with Prof. Christoph Weder at AMI where his research involved working with novel bio-inspired materials. Ed also took time to experience cultural sites in Europe this summer.
Puja Desai, senior working in Prof. Jeff Capadona’s laboratory at Case Western Reserve University, worked with Prof. Christoph Weder and graduate student Baptiste Monney at the Adolphe Merkle Institute of the University of Fribourg on Mechanically-adaptive polymers for biomedical applications this summer. In addition to her summer research, Puja was excited to visit the Chocolate factory in Broc (la Maison de Cailler), and Gruyère Castle while she was in Switzerland. Her summer included a trip to Lake Como in Italy.
The efforts in the lab paid off – here is a photo of Ed, Puja, and Baptiste with Profs. Weder and Steiner and other summer students after their polymer chemistry lab group won the AMI Cup this summer.