NEW TWO-SPEAKER FORMAT for 2019-2020!
Blair Brettmann, Ph.D.
School of Materials Science and Engineering
"Surface Modified Cellulose Nanocrystals for Drug Polymorph Screening"
Brettmann’s current research interests focus on developing technologies that enable multicomponent, rapidly customizable product design, with a specific focus on polymer systems. Mass customization of manufactured material goods presents significant technical challenges, but could yield significant rewards, similar to advances in “just in time” logistics and on-demand consumer services. Substantial challenges in engineering and design, extending from the complexity of multicomponent functional materials and the difficulty in applying scientific principles to these complex systems, slow material product development. Her research group designs and studies new processing and characterization technologies using both experiments and theory, focusing on linking molecular to micron scale phenomena in complex systems to product performance.
Blair Brettmann received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin in 2007. She received her Master's in Chemical Engineering Practice from MIT in 2009 following internships at GlaxoSmithKline (Upper Merion, PA) and Mawana Sugar Works (Mawana, India). Blair received her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at MIT in 2012 working with the Novartis-MIT Center for Continuous Manufacturing under Prof. Bernhardt Trout. Her research focused on solid-state characterization and application of pharmaceutical formulations prepared by electrospinning. Following her Ph.D., Blair worked as a research engineer for Saint-Gobain Ceramics and Plastics for two years. While at Saint-Gobain she worked on polymer-based wet coatings and dispersions for various applications, including window films, glass fiber mats and architectural fabrics. Later, Blair served as a postdoctoral researcher in the Institute for Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago with Prof. Matthew Tirrell.
Rebecca Levit, M.D.
Clinical Assistant Professor
Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering
Georgia Tech and Emory University
Division of Cardiology
"Modulating Innate Inflammation in the Heart with Biomaterials"
Cardiovascular diseases are the leading causes of death and disability worldwide. We are dedicated to developing new therapies to help cardiac patients by identifying, testing, and moving new therapies towards clinical use. We study stem cell therapies to prevent heart damage and promote repair. We use biomaterials to increase cell retention, increase efficacy, and target activity. Damage to heart muscle one hour after ischemia-reperfusion. Large amounts of neutrophils have already infiltrated the damaged heart muscle. Our lab is working on new therapies to minimize the damaging effects of these cells.