Melissa Olekson

Melissa Olekson received her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering with Highest Honors from Rutgers in 2009. She will obtain her PhD in Biomedical Engineering From Rutgers in 2014. Melissa’s dissertation research, which was performed under the guidance of Dr. Francois Berthiaume, aims to improve growth factor treatment strategies for diabetic skin wounds. The project focuses on delivery strategies for growth factors that are placed in skin substitutes for use on diabetic wounds. This is accomplished through adding blocking molecules to the growth factor that suppress the harsh diabetic environment and pursuing liposomal delivery strategies that protect the growth factor from degradation. To support her work, Melissa has received travel grants from the Graduate School-New Brunswick and the Rutgers SciWomen Office. She was also awarded a Wound Healing Research Scholarship from the Wound Healing Society in 2014. She was recently awarded a Postdoctoral Research Associateship from the National Research Council to pursue a project on biofilm-impaired wound healing at the Army Institute of Surgical Research in Fort Sam Houston, TX.