Bio-X Graduate Student Fellow

Awarded in 2019
Home Department: Bioengineering
Faculty Advisors: Eric Appel (Materials Science & Engineering) and Bruce Buckingham (Pediatrics - Endocrinology)

Research Title: Supramolecular Designer Excipient for Improved Insulin Formulations

Research Description: In the United States, 1.5 million Americans have Type 1 Diabetes and rely on subcutaneous daily insulin injections or Photo of graduate student Caitlin Maikawa in a wet lab, wearing glasses and a lab coat and gloves, pipetting several things into a container.insulin infusion pumps as an insulin replacement therapy. However, insulin alone is not sufficient to restore native metabolic signalling pathways. Caitlin’s project will generate a new combination drug therapy for the treatment of diabetes that more closely mimics the endogenous beta-cell secretion. The interdisciplinary approach of this project will exploit a particular biomaterial to develop novel dual-hormone formulations with the ability to restore native signaling pathways and enable true replacement therapy, transforming diabetes treatment.


Caitlin is an assistant professor at the Institute of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto. Her group works on developing dynamic polymer materials for drug delivery and biosensing.