• Matt_s Swirls

Laura Lanier

Postdoc - Yale University

I moved around a lot as a kid, but I consider myself to be from Mount Pleasant, SC, outside of Charleston. I received my B.S. in Polymer and Fiber Engineering at Georgia Tech. While at Tech, my research mostly focused on high performance fibers in the labs of Dr. Satish Kumar and Dr. Donggang Yao. I also completed a summer REU at Vanderbilt University in the Chemistry Department with Prof. Eva Harth focusing on polymer synthesis for drug delivery applications.

My graduate research in the Bermudez lab focused on supramolecular polymerization using DNA nanotechnology. As a graduate student, I was awarded an honorable mention twice each for both the NSF GRFP and the Ford Foundation Fellowship. I also received the Graduate Assistantship in Areas of National Need Fellowship, funded by the US Dept. of Education.

In addition to my research, I was involved in the high school outreach program ASPIRE, as a volunteer and as a coordinator. It was such a pleasure to see how the program makes such an impact on the high school students, and also on the graduate student volunteers. Sharing your research experience with high school students and seeing their faces when they get excited about something cool or learn something new is a very rewarding experience.

I am now a postdoctoral associate at Yale University in biomedical engineering, working with Dr. Michael Murrell studying biophysics of cytoskeletal systems and active matter. I feel that my polymer science education from PSE at UMass has given me a unique perspective and has prepared me well for the type of high quality interdisciplinary research that I now perform.