Director, Molecular Engineering & Sciences Institute;
Distinguished Career Professor of Bioengineering
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Patrick Stayton received his B.S. in Biology from Illinois State University in 1984, his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Illinois in 1989, and was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Illinois’ Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. Dr. Stayton’s research group works at the interface of fundamental molecular science and applied molecular bioengineering, developing new drug delivery systems and diagnostic technologies. He co-founded PhaseRx Inc. based on his group’s RNA delivery technology which later became part of Arbutus Biopharma/Genevant Sciences. Dr. Stayton has received numerous honors and awards: American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering Fellow, Washington State Academy of Sciences Member, Society for Biomaterials Clemson Award, Controlled Release Society Cygnus Recognition Award, UW College of Engineering Faculty Research Innovation Award, and UW Department of Bioengineering Distinguished Teacher and Mentor Award.
Dr. Stayton is a passionate educator committed to increasing the participation of Under-Represented Minorities (URM) and women in bioengineering, biomedical sciences, and in biopharma careers. He was the PI and Director of two Department of Education Graduate Assistantship in Areas of National Need (GAANN) diversity training grants and led the NIH Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity Program at the UW for over a decade. Together with dedicated professional staff in the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity, these programs successfully helped URM students move into academic and biopharma careers.
Director of Education, Molecular Engineering & Sciences Institute;
Associate Professor of Chemistry
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Alshakim (Al) Nelson received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2004, where he worked with Sir J. Fraser Stoddart on carbohydrate-containing polymers and macrocycles. He was then an NIH postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology working for Professor Robert Grubbs on olefin metathesis catalysts for the formation of supramolecular ensembles. Dr. Nelson joined IBM Almaden Research Center in 2005 as a Research Staff Member where he focused on the synthesis of nanomaterial building blocks that enabled large area nanomanufacturing via self-assembly. In 2015, Dr. Nelson joined the faculty at the UW, where his research group focuses on the synthesis, characterization, and processing of stimuli-responsive materials for 3D printing. Dr. Nelson has over 60 publications and 12 issued patents. His honors and awards include: IBM Master Inventor, ACS PMSE Young Investigator, Kavli Foundation Fellow, NSF CAREER award, and 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award.
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