Behrens, Manthe Join Future Faculty Program

The Fischell Department of Bioengineering (BioE) extends its congratulations to graduate students Adam Behrens (B.S. ’10, chemical engineering, advised by Professor Peter Kofinas) and Rachel Lee Manthe (advised by Associate Professor Silvia Muro), who were among only 24 students chosen to join this year's Future Faculty Program cohort.

The Future Faculty Program prepares doctoral students for career-long success in the academic world as teachers and researchers. Participants build skills in areas such as technical and grant writing, curriculum development, teaching, research, oral presentations, applying for academic positions, and interviewing. The program, which includes seminars, a teaching practicum, and a research mentoring practicum, takes three to five semesters to complete.

Behrens studies how functional polymer materials can be used by surgeons and first responders to halt bleeding, repair hernias, and perform intestinal anastomosis (the connection of two sections).

Behrens believes the Future Faculty Program will help him achieve his goal of becoming a lifelong researcher and a mentor. “In highly competitive hiring and funding environments, any tools, training, and advice gained through the program will be an asset to my future in academia," he says. “Increased exposure to teaching and proposal writing will help facilitate a successful transition from graduate student to post-doc, and ultimately to faculty member.”  

Manthe’s research focuses on overcoming the difficulty of transporting drugs across impermeable cell barriers and into diseased tissues. She is currently studying nanocarriers targeted to ICAM-1, a cell surface molecule known to transport substances across cell layers, and the role two particular enzymes play in the process. A thorough understanding of these mechanisms will enable researchers to design more effective drug delivery systems.

Manthe, who received a Distinguished Teaching Assistant Award in 2013, describes herself as enthusiastic about teaching and mentoring students. A career in academia will allow her to combine that enthusiasm with her passion for research. “Participating in the Future Faculty Program offers me the perfect opportunity to learn more about the intricate nuances of each aspect of being a professor: research, teaching, grantsmanship, and service,” she says.

Learn more about the Future Faculty Program

Published January 16, 2014