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Congratulations to 2016 Whitaker Fellow Amanda Pentecost!

April 3, 2016

 Congratulations Drexel’s newest Whitaker International Fellow - Amanda Pentecost! 

AmandaPentecostAmanda Pentecost (BS Materials Science & Engineering '13) is a dual PhD candidate in Materials Science & Engineering and MS student in Biomedical Engineering. 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. Yury Gogotsi (MSE, Drexel Nanomaterials Group) and Dr. Kara Spiller (BMES, Biomaterials and Regenerative Medicine Lab), Amanda has been designing and characterizing this novel drug delivery system, as well as testing it on a cellular level.

As a Whitaker Fellow, Amanda will be conducting research with Dr. Kwangmeyung Kim at the Center for Theragnosis, housed in the Biomedical Research Institute at 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.

Through collaboration with KIST researchers, she will test the effectiveness of her nanoparticle-based drug delivery system in a mouse model with a collagen implant.  Using sophisticated equipment, she will perform live-imaging of nanoparticles in a mouse model to elucidate nanoparticle-immune system interactions and determine if this drug delivery system is truly effective in targeting specific immune cells, called macrophages, and preventing fibrosis. Amanda hopes that combining her novel diamond nanoparticle-based drug delivery system with Dr. Kim’s expertise in molecular imaging will result in an ongoing collaboration and lead to new and improved methods of treating inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

The Whitaker International Program sends U.S. biomedical engineering (or bioengineering) graduate students and PhDs overseas to undertake a self-designed project that will enhance their careers within the field. Along with supporting grant projects in an academic setting, the Whitaker International Program encourages grantees to engage in policy work and propose projects in an industry setting.

For more information please visit the Whitaker website or contact Dr. Meredith Wooten, Director of the Drexel Fellowships Office.