EMRLab alumna Manuela Ayee joins the ranks of the professoriate!

M AyeeCongratulations to Dr Manuela Ayee for starting her faculty career as Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry at Dordt College. After completing her PhD with us in Chemical Engineering, Manuela spent 3 years as a postdoc with Dr Irena Levitan at UIC’s College of Medicine. There she expanded on her computational interests in the structure and mechanics of lipid layers and acquired a skillset in complementary experimental methods in cell biology. Several publications later, she is now launching her independent, interdisciplinary research career at Dordt College just as it makes its transition to Dordt University. Congrats, Manuela!

EMRLab undergraduate researcher wins top award at NC State Spring Symposium

Congratulations to Animal Science Honors student Nicholas Biondo for delivering an outstanding presentation of his CALS Honors research project at the 2018 Undergraduate Research and Creativity Symposium!  Of 265 presentations, 24 were recognized by faculty and postdoc judges as outstanding.

Nick’s poster, entitled “What physicochemical properties are good predictors of drug sequestration? An investigation in support of lipid resuscitation“, detailed his use of molecular simulations to compare the partitioning behaviors of two tricyclic antidepressants across a lipid interface representative of a therapeutic emulsion.

Highlighting an HBCU student leader participating in AIChE-MAC’s Leadership Development Initiative

At the 2017 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Annual Meeting, Dr Akpa had a chance to sit down with one of the student leaders from the Minority Affairs Committee Student Leadership Development Initiative.  In this interview, Jakari Jackson, a senior undergraduate at Prairie View A&M, shared his thoughts on leadership in his student chapter and his passion for chemical engineering as a tool for navigating the world. Jakari was one of several students who received a Minority Serving Institutions’ Student Travel Grant to attend the annual meeting. Our thanks to the AICHE Annual Fund and Doing a World of Good campaign for supporting this initiative!

Dr Akpa was 2017 Chair of the Minority Affairs Committee (MAC) and remains engaged with mentoring and leadership development activities as 2018 Past Chair of MAC.

Welcoming the new year with a new publication in Biophysical Journal!

Ayee-biophysj2017Congrats to Manuela Ayee on her first author publication in Biophysical Journal! This collaborative effort with the Levitan group employs experimental biophysical and biochemical tools, along with molecular modeling, to explore the influence of oxidized lipid species on membrane structure and the apparent inverse relationship between the mechanics of the lipid bilayer and those of the endothelial cell.

Molecular-Scale Biophysical Modulation of an Endothelial Membrane by Oxidized Phospholipids

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