Dowling Wins Dean's Doctoral Research Award Competition

Graduate student and Fischell Fellow Matthew Dowling, advised by Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering associate professor Srinivasa Raghavan, took first place in the 2010 Dean's Doctoral Research Award Competition for his dissertation, "Blueprinting Self-Assembled Soft Matter: An 'Easy' Approach to Advanced Biomaterial Synthesis in Drug Delivery and Tissue Engineering."

To give top Clark School doctoral student researchers special recognition that will be valuable in launching their careers, and to show all students the importance of high quality engineering research, Clark School Dean and Farvardin Professor Darryll Pines created the Dean's Doctoral Research Award in 2009. Students submit their work through competitions at the department level, with winners from each advancing to the Dean's finals.

While Dowling is perhaps best known for his work on the haemostatic (blood clotting) products he and his colleagues are developing for their startup company, Remedium Technologies, his dissertation research focused on soft matter, materials that are deformable solids or highly viscoelastic liquids (Jello and Silly Putty are two simple examples). Dowling drew inspiration from biology by designing biomaterials that self assemble and are similar in structure to cells and their organelles.

Dowling's dissertation describes four soft matter systems: a triggered-release hydrogel created by embedding pH-sensitive vesicles in a gelatin matrix; hybrid biopolymer capsules containing drug-loaded vesicles (hollow spheres made out of lipids) by means of a one-step self-assembly process; therapeutically functionalized biopolymer films; and a biopolymer that transforms a suspension of whole blood or soft tissue cells into a gel. These materials have various biomedical engineering applications, including controlled drug release, targeted drug delivery, wound healing, blood clotting, and tissue engineering.

"Matt is richly deserving of this prestigious honor," says Raghavan. "He is a unique individual and the model for a new breed of engineers, with a combination of superb scientific skills as well as the business and entrepreneurial skills needed to be the CEO of a promising startup company. As one of the first Fischell Fellows, he was challenged to bring biomedical discoveries from the lab to the market, and he has done just that."

For More Information:

Visit the Remedium Technologies web site »
Visit the web site of the Complex Fluids and Nanomaterials Group, where Dowling conducts his research »

Published May 17, 2010