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 a post-doctoral fellow at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in the labs of Jeffrey Karp and Yuhan Lee where she works on designing materials for drug delivery.