• Matt_s Swirls

Coralie Backlund

Coralie has lived in a lot of places but went to high school in Corvallis Oregon and Helena Montana.

For her first year of college, Coralie attended CU Boulder, after which she transferred to Oregon State in Corvallis, Oregon. She received her BS in bioengineering and studied abroad for 1 year at Denmark’s Technical University where she took all master level courses in both Chemical and Biological Engineering. Coralie gained extensive research experience during her undergrad including:

  • Dr. Skip Rochefort characterizing hydrogels and hyaluronic acid for cartilage replacement applications
  • Dr. Christine Kelly on the subsurface biosphere initiative where she worked with developing conditions for the production of lignin degrading enzyme,
  • Dr. Greg Tew (at UMass) with the ICE IGERT REU where she researched the affinity between cell penetrating peptide mimics and their cargos.
  • Dr. Yvette Spits, where she did image analysis for a physical model of the Arctic Ocean.

Coralie states that “the research I performed in Dr. Tew’s lab during my REU was pivotal to joining PSE. This experience is what got me interested in the design of drug delivery reagents. This summer influenced the classes I chose to take in my remaining two years of undergrad, as well as my decision to focus on the topic for my PhD. Looking forward, I knew that Dr. Tew’s lab would expose me to both polymer science and immunology in vet and animal science.”

Coralie is currently working on biologically characterizing the effects of structure on cell penetrating peptide mimics efficiency. “I like the idea of directly impacting medicine by using polymers as a tool to learn more about difficult to treat diseases.”

In addition to serving as a Peer Mentor for PSE and Graduate Student Senator, Coralie has received a number of awards. She was given the Academic Achievement Award University of Colorado Boulder (2007), the W. L. Cullison Scholarship from the TAPPI Foundation (2010), the Victor W. Laine Memorial Fund Award (2010) and most recently the NSF EAPSI Scholarship (2014).

This most recent award, the NSF EAPSI fellowship, has allowed her to study for 2.5 months in Japan collaborating with one of the labs in the top of her field of research: cell penetrating peptides. With the Futaki lab at the University of Kyoto, Coralie was able to probe the predominant mechanism of cellular entry. This experience has not only given her research more scientific breadth, but it has enabled an important collaboration between the fields of CPPs and CPPMs.

In the future, Coralie hopes to continue in the field of drug delivery research, possibly at a company trying to treat an orphan disease.