Renee Hood
PhD Candidate
Fischell Department of Bioengineering
MEMS & Microfluidics Laboratory
University of Maryland
3105 Glenn L. Martin Hall
(301) 405-1023

Research Interests:
My research i
s centered on the microfluidic synthesis of nanoscale liposomes and implementing additional functionality to the existing technique with the intention of creating a "pharmacy-on-a-chip": a one-step, continuous-flow microfluidic assembly line for producing liposomes with high concentrations of stably-encapsulated drugs. Ongoing collaborative research projects include the National Institute of Standards and Technology (Gaithersburg, MD) for particle characterization, the School of Pharmacy at the University of Maryland (Baltimore, MD) for in vitro studies to investigate size-specific cellular uptake mechanisms of liposomes of various cancer cell lines, and the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children's National Medical Center (Washington, DC) for in vivo studies involving tumor-targeted liposomal drug delivery for neuroblastoma as well as passive transdermal drug delivery using liposomes. These exciting collaborations have enabled us to exploit the unique ability of the microfluidic technique for liposome production to produce nearly-monodisperse liposomes of tunable size for novel studies which explore the mechanisms of liposomal drug delivery with the overall vision of improving efficacy and lowering toxicity for various types of disease.

Links:
Maryland MEMS & Microfluidics Lab
Fischell Department of Bioengineering at the Univesity of Maryland

Education:
Ph.D. in Bioengineering, 2013 (expected)
University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland

B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, 2005-2009
University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
        GPA: 3.81

        Honors/Activities: Tau Beta Pi, Honors Program, Golden Key Honor Society
Awards:
NIST-ARRA Graduate Fellowship (2010-2013)

Coursework:
BIOE601: Biomolecular and Cellular Rate Processes
BIOE602:
 Cellular and Tissue Biomechanics
BIOE689C:
 Special Topics in Bioengineering: Biophotonic Imaging and Microscopy
BIOE604:
 Cellular and Physiological Transport Phenomena
BIOE612: Physiological Evaluation of Bioengineering Designs
BIOE631:
 Biosensor Techniques, Instrumentation, and Applications
ENME808E:
 Advanced Topics in Mechanical Engineering: Lab-on-a-Chip Microsystems
ENME808K: Advanced Topics in Mechanical Engineering: Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems


Experience:
Integrated Product and Process Design Student (December 2008-May 2009)
University of Florida; Gainesville, Florida
-Worked on an interdisciplinary team of engineering students, professors, and industrial mentors to develop a bipolar surgical probe (design work on ProEngineer)
-Sponsored by Medtronic Xomed, Inc. (Medtronic ENT)

Research & Development Intern (May 2008-August 2008)
Pegasus Biologics, Inc.; Alachua, Florida
-Potential product development (improved upon product quality, manufacturing techniques)
-Conducted various research on current product: attempted to bind proteins, growth factors, and antibiotics to cross-linked collagen; performed various experiments including ELISA, gel electrophoresis, cell cultures, other protein assays

Undergraduate Research Assistant (January 2008-May 2008)
Laboratory of Cellular Mechanics and Biorheology (University of Florida); Gainesville, Florida
-Performed micropipette experiments to assess rheology of human hematopoietic stem cells 
with the intention of establishing a correlation between cell stiffness and healing capacity