Kasie earned a BS in Biochemistry and a BA in Chemistry from Eastern Carolina University in 2012. She is currently being co-advised by Dr. Brent Hoffman and Dr. Jennifer West.
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Creation of a novel force-sensing biomaterial for improved traction force studies and high throughput mechanical screening
This research project is designing and creating a PEG-based biomaterial, with conjugated tension sensor pendant moieties, to enable improved study and analysis of cell contractility in vitro. Genetically-encoded extracellular FRET-based stain gauges with a terminal cell adhesion ligand, will be conjugated to a PEG polymer backbone through a Michael-type addition. Upon inclusion of PEG-diacrylate monomers and an appropriate photoinititator, hydrogels will be formed via a free radical photopolymerization mechanism. Cell generated forces will initially be visualized and quantified in plated 2D systems. However, upon optimization, the contractility of encapsulated cells will be evaluated in 3D systems.
CBTE Service Award, Kewaunee Lecture, April 2015
CBTE Fellowship 2015