Scholar wins Chemistry prize at British Parliament

  • March 13, 2018
Scholar wins Chemistry prize at British Parliament

Michelle Teplensky has won the Silver Award at STEM for BRITAIN.

Gates Cambridge Scholar Michelle Teplensky won a Silver Award at the STEM for BRITAIN event at the UK Parliament on Monday.

STEM for BRITAIN aims to encourage, support and promote Britain's early-stage and early-career research scientists, engineers, technologists and mathematicians.  It gives scientists the chance to go to Parliament and be in the company of MPs, policymakers and key figures from the world of science policy, as well as other young researchers from around the country. 

Michelle [2014] won the £1,250 award in the  Physical Sciences (Chemistry) section for her poster  Metal-Organic Frameworks as a Tool for Therapeutic Delivery. She is doing a PhD in Chemical Engineering, working in the Adsorption and Advanced Materials Group, supervised by Dr David Fairen-Jimenez.

Michelle presented her research to dozens of politicians and a panel of expert judges. Her poster showed the benefits of using Metal-Organic Frameworks as a tool for therapeutic delivery because of their ability to extend therapeutic release time and avoid the "burst release effect"; protect the therapeutic from degradation; and be a biocompatible system because of their natural biodegradation.

She said: The initiative caught my eye because I was intrigued by the idea that I could interact with someone in government and show that the application of our research is really connected to everyone it's not something you need to be an expert to understand.”​

 
Michelle Teplensky

Michelle Teplensky

  • Alumni
  • United States
  • 2014 PhD Chemical Engineering
  • Downing College

My passion for chemical engineering has led me to the interdisciplinary field of drug delivery and nano-based medicines. While completing a B.S. in Chemical-Biological Engineering at MIT, I had the incredible opportunity to research a variety of chemical engineering applications, including enzyme engineering, biomaterials, and nanotherapeutics. These experiences, and my internships in industry, have given me a holistic view of the field and sparked my curiosity to address it further. At Cambridge, for my PhD Chemical Engineering, I pursued a project that combined novel technologies in engineering, biotech, materials science, and biopharmaceuticals, to address the existent global problem of treating debilitating diseases with a more effective drug delivery using Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs). The relationships, knowledge, and technical skillset I gained at Cambridge, through the opportunity from the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, have been influential in building my future career as a nanomedical researcher and driver of the commercialisation of new therapies.

I worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University, synthesizing 3D nanoscale architectures called spherical nucleic acids (SNAs) to provide kinetic control and delivery of vaccine components (stimulant and target molecules) as a potent immunotherapy. I apply this system to various diseases (including cancer and infectious disease) to analyze efficacy in helping develop immunity.

Previous Education

Massachusetts Institute of Technology B.S. Chemical-Biological Engineering 2014

Latest News

Scholar recognised for research into misinformation

A Gates Cambridge Scholar has been shortlisted for a Women of the Future Award for her research into countering misinformation. Melisa Basol [2018] was shortlisted for the science category of the UK Awards which recognises “truly remarkable female scientists, forging new ground in research and scientific achievement”. There are 11 other categories and three special […]

Scholars join forces on anti-cancer drug

Two Gates Cambridge Scholars have joined forces to work on a drug candidate that has the potential to replace one of the most widely used cancer drugs around the world. Dr Anand Jeyasekharan [2004], who did his PhD in Oncology, and Dr Chandler Robinson [2009] who did an MBA at Cambridge, will collaborate on a […]

Making the experiences of imprisoned women activists visible

Growing up in a small town in Bengal, Jigisha Bhattacharya [2022] developed a particular sensitivity to marginalised groups and conflicts between different communities and identities from an early age.  It is this interest and her experience of political protests at university, combined with a longstanding curiosity about the links between politics and the arts, that […]

The study of images in the computer age

Scholar-Elect Tristan Dot [2022] grew up with an interest in computer science and a passion for art history. As time evolved he began to see the similarities between computer vision and art history and has created his own works of art, using computer-generated images.  He says: “Art history is the study of images and so […]