PhD candidate Amanda Pentecost (advisor: Yury Gogotsi) is a 2016 recipient of a Whitaker International Program Fellowship and a Boren Fellowship for International Study.
The Whitaker Fellowship provides funding to pursue research abroad in the field of biomedical engineering, while the Boren Fellowship, an initiative of the National Security Education Program, provides funding for graduate students to study less commonly known languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests. Amanda’s dissertation research focuses on using theragnostic diamond nanoparticles to increase the effectiveness of a common anti-inflammatory drug, dexamethasone, in preventing fibrous capsule formation and isolation of an implanted biomaterial. Under the guidance of Dr. Gogotsi and Dr. Kara Spiller (BMES, Biomaterials and Regenerative Medicine Lab), Amanda been designing and characterizing this novel drug delivery system, as well as testing it on a cellular level. As a Whitaker and Boren Fellow, Amanda will be conducting research with Dr. Kwangmeyung Kim at the Biomedical Research Institute housed within the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) in Seoul, South Korea. At KIST, Amanda will have access to high-level expertise and state-of-the-art microscopy and microscopic equipment needed to monitor the real-time distribution of nanoparticles within the body as well as their effectiveness in preventing fibrosis.
Amanda is the first Drexel Materials student to receive a Boren Fellowship and the third to receive a Whitaker Fellowship. Past Whitaker recipients include Jonathan Thomas (2003) and Emily Buck (2014). For more information about applying for the the Boren or Whitaker Fellowships at Drexel, please visit the Fellowships Office website or contact Dr. Meredith Wooten, Director, Drexel Fellowships Office.