| National Engineers Week Presents the New Faces of Engineering.
CHRISTOPHER M. JEWELL, Ph.D.
MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
Nominated by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers
Dr. Jewell, 30, is a Ragon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His passion for engineering and biology has driven him to use biomaterials and nanotechnology to improve the delivery of vaccines and therapeutic drugs. During his PhD, Chris worked with Professor David Lynn to design polymer films containing DNA for gene therapy. Collaborating with the University of Wisconsin - Madison cardiology department, he used these films to coat intravascular stents that locally deliver functional DNA to arteries in animal models. These materials could help improve stents deployed in humans to treat heart disease. Chris also designed and presented science demonstrations to elementary schools children through the Adult Role Models in Science program in Madison. As a postdoctoral fellow in Professor Darrell Irvine's lab at MIT, Dr. Jewell develops vaccines based on biodegradable polymer depots. These materials can be deposited in lymph nodes - the immunological "command centers" that direct immune responses - to slowly release vaccines over time and locally activate immune cells to fight infection and disease. Depending on the combinations of drugs in the depots, the vaccines can be used to control the type of immune response that is generated. Ultimately this strategy could contribute to new therapeutic vaccines for treating cancer or autoimmunity. Dr. Jewell's work has led to more than 25 papers and patents, and he is the recipient of numerous awards for his contributions to engineering and outreach.