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Claire (Martin) Witherel

Claire Witherel headshot

International Research and Education in Engineering (IREE) Program 2010
Whitaker International Fellow to the United Kingdom 2013-14
NSF Fellowship for the 16th International Summer School on Bio-X, 2017

Biomedical Engineering PhD Candidate

Claire is a PhD student and graduate of Drexel's BS/MS Biomedical Engineering program ('12). During Claire's pre-junior year at Drexel, she traveled to Shanghai, China to collaborate with Drs. Yilin Cao and Wei Liu at the Shanghai Key Tissue Engineering Laboratory at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. With the Whitaker Fellowship, Claire traveled to the University of Manchester, UK to work with Dr. Adeshir Bayat, a clinician/researcher and expert in the wound healing field. The overall purpose of this research was to establish a multi-institutional collaboration between Drexel University’s Biomaterial and Regenerative Medicine Laboratory (PI: Dr. Kara Spiller), University of Manchester and Integra LifeSciences, to design and evaluate a biomaterial scaffold that will facilitate enhanced tissue regeneration in severe wounds by targeting the macrophage.

Currently, her research studies gene expression, to characterize how the cells of interest, immune cells called macrophages, change their behavior in response to different stimuli. Recently, Claire received a NSF fellowship to attend the 16th International Summer School on Biocomplexity, Biodesign, and Bioinnovation in Greece. The Bio-X meeting was a tremendous opportunity to explore this challenging aspect of gene expression analysis and research and collaborate and learn from/with a diverse group trainees and faculty. Claire is excited to be approaching the finish line of her PhD and plans to pursue post-doctoral opportunities as a next step in her career.