Recent UW Bioengineering Ph.D. graduate Anna Blakney and senior postdoctoral fellow Mary Wallingford were selected to participate in Rising Stars in Biomedical, held at MIT November 9-10, 2016. The event is a career development workshop that unites female and under-represented minority postdocs and senior graduate students whose research focuses on biomedical applications. The program includes technical talks, panels and discussions with MIT faculty, researchers from Boston area clinical labs and industry. The goal is to provide mentoring and support for junior researchers as they transition to the next phases of their careers, and connect with investigators in different areas in biomedical research.

Anna Blakney recently completed her Ph.D. in Associate Professor Kim Woodrow’s lab. Her research focuses on drug delivery systems for treatment and prevention of infectious disease. In the Woodrow lab, she contributed to development of an electrospun nanofiber platform for topical delivery of antiretroviral and controceptive drugs. In 2015, she received an NSF/USAID Grow Fellowship to study how the BCG vaccine affects infant susceptibility to HIV at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. This year, she received a Whitaker International Fellows and Scholars Program award for postdoctoral study, and in December, will begin work at the Shattock Laboratory at the Imperial College London.

Mary Wallingford is a senior postdoctoral fellow in W. Hunter and Dorothy Simpson Endowed Chair and Professor Cecilia Giachelli’s lab. Her research aims to increase biomedical knowledge of placental development, and the mechanisms of placental dysfunction and preeclampsia.  With this work, she hopes to inform the development of new diagnostic markers and therapeutic interventions. Her specific research focus is to determine maternal-fetal phosphate transport mechanisms, the anti-calcific role of phosphate transporters in the placenta and the pathophysiological changes induced by placental vascular calcification.