Emily Morin is a fifth year doctoral student in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering (MABE) at the University of Tennessee, working under the guidance of associate professor Dr. Wei He. She graduated from the University of Tennessee in 2012 with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering. Her dissertation research investigates versatile and responsive sub-micron sized hydrogel particles as nanostructured neural interfaces, for the goal of improving the functionality and longevity of neural devices. A publication of some of her research can be found in the American Chemical Society’s Applied Materials & Interfaces from February 2016. Ms. Morin has presented her research at conferences such as the Biomedical Engineering Society and the Society for Biomaterials.
Ms. Morin employs several techniques to characterize the hydrogel particle modified material surfaces and investigate subsequent cell-surface interactions.
She particularly enjoys exploring cell-substrate interaction with the scanning electron microscope (SEM) as it allows her to see the beauty of cell adaptability towards her synthetic hydrogel particle coated surfaces. Her colored SEM images of neuron and macrophage cells on such surfaces earned her first place in the UTK Biomedical Engineering Society’s biophoto contest (2014) and the cover image of MaterialsUT, the UTK Materials Science and Engineering annual departmental newsletter (2015).
Ms. Morin places a high importance on fostering scientific education and research interest in underrepresented minority students. She mentored and helped develop research projects for a female engineering Haslam Scholar’s final thesis project and for two female high school seniors as part of their high school’s unique independent research class. Along with the UTK Graduate Association of MABE Engineers, she develops and participates in science lectures and activity outreach programs for elementary and middle schools.