Alex graduated from the University of Florida in the fall of 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Materials Science and Engineering, specializing in Biomaterials. As an undergraduate, Alex worked for a year and a half under Dr. Christopher Batich characterizing novel hydrogels used to stimulate muscle regeneration and limit scar formation after myocardial infarction. Alex was also mentored by Dr. David Puleo at the University of Kentucky as an NSF REU recipient in the summer of 2011, working on a project focused on optimizing poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) microparticles for use in delivery of antibiotics and anti-inflammatories to joints. Alex joined the McDevitt laboratory in the fall of 2012 as a Ph.D. student in Bioengineering. His background in Materials Science led him to pursue a project focused on investigating how the effects of various microenvironment properties can be used to direct stem cell differentiation.
Alex is currently working on encapsulating stem cells with various biomaterials to study the effects of both mechanical and biochemical signalling on differentiation. Insights gained will be used to develop methods to more efficiently differentiatee stem cells for tissue engineering applications.
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program- Honorable Mention