Mary Machado

 

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

mcm389@cornell.edu

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Professional Background

I attained a PhD at Brown University in the lab of Dr. Thomas Webster where I investigated the effects of the dynamic flow processes of the airway on bacterial growth and biofilm formation.  I created nanomodified PVC endotracheal tubes and spearheaded the design of an in vitro model of the respiratory system in which to evaluate these surfaces.

During my thesis I discovered that for many disorders, the diagnostic criteria are often vague or worse disputed. This can lead to needless suffering. I decided to gain further skills in this area by completing a postdoctoral position in the lab of Dr. Anubhav Tripathi.  During this experience I learned molecular biology techniques as well as DNA extraction methods. I then applied these methods to create biosensors for environmental monitoring.

I feel my diverse background gives me great insight into the complex problems that occur at the interfaces of biology and engineering.  I would like to further apply my unique skillset to better characterize the molecular mechanisms of pathogens at the cell surface with the ultimate goal of creating better sensing and treatment of disease.

 

 

Research

The focus of my research is the characterization and analysis of viral membrane fusion.  Currently due to the complexity of this process, many fundamental questions remain about this essential process.  My main objective is to use new methods such as supported lipid bilayers, organic electronic chemical transistors (OECTs) and single particle tracking, to enable direct measurement of fusion mechanisms and kinetics.

 

Professional Development

The focus of my research is the characterization and analysis of viral membrane fusion.  Currently due to the complexity of this process, many fundamental questions remain about this essential process.  My main objective is to use new methods such as supported lipid bilayers, organic electronic chemical transistors (OECTs) and single particle tracking, to enable direct measurement of fusion mechanisms and kinetics.

 

Fun Facts

When I am not in the lab, I love to cook!  Each year I learn how to do something different such as shuck an oyster, decorate a tiered cake or even make an entremet!  I also enjoy swimming and yoga.