About

Holly Lauridsen

PhD Student
5
55 Prospect St. Office 301C
MEC301C

Overview:

Holly is a fifth year graduate student working with Dr. Anjelica Gonzalez in the Dept. of Biomedical Engineering. In the lab, Holly aims to improve our understanding of vascular disease by creatively using biomaterials to improve research tools and therapeutic options. Outside of the lab, Holly is dedicated to improving the public's understanding of and appreciation for science as well as advising and preparing the next generation of scientists. She is highly interested in science policy, education, and EdTech, particularly for STEM fields.

At Yale, Holly is also a member of the School of Engineering and Applied Science's Advanced Graduate Leadership Program and completed a nine-month internship in Yale's Office of Public Affairs & Communications. She is actively involved in life on campus and in New Haven; Holly is a member of the Graduate Student Assembly, a Graduate Affiliate at Ezra Stiles College, a member of ManyMentors at Yale, and has previously worked extensively with the McDougal Office of Graduate Student Life. Prior to her arrival at Yale, Holly completed her B.S. in biomedical engineering at Brown University. Holly is originally from Portland, OR. Holly loves baking, traveling, French, and marine biology.

Below is an overview of Holly's research and some samples of her science writing. For more information about Holly's efforts in science outreach, student life, or any other topic, please feel reach to reach out via email.

 

Research:

Improving in vitro models of the human microvasculature: Doctoral Research, Yale University


Developing the next-generation of intracranial drug delivery: Summer Technical Associate, Medtronic, Inc.

  • Overview: Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's are challenging to treat pharmacologically because of the protected nature of the brain. Direct drug delivery enables patients to receive more directed, and potentially more effective, treatment. Working with an international team at Medtronic and Pfizer, I worked to analyze and visualize pharmacological data from cell culture and non-human primate trials.



Reducing vascular complications from vascular stents: Brown University Senior Thesis

  • Overview: Working with Dr. Thomas Webster, I investigated the impact of nanotopography on nitinol (shape memory alloy) vascular stents. To replicate the physical properties of the vascular wall, I anodized nitinol to impart nanoscale pores and improve endothelial cell response to vascular stents. This research culminated in my senior thesis and provided me with Honors during graduation.



Improving the integration and longevity of spinal fusion implants: Summer Technical Associate, Medtronic, Inc.

  • Overview: Spinal fusion devices need to both provide mechanical stability over the life of the patient and also integrate well with surrounding tissue. I investigated the impact of various strategies to impart improved mechanical properties on metallic implants while also balancing the impact of biomaterial surface features on the foreign body response.



Designing zebrafish models to investigate vascular development: Amgen Scholars Program at University of California, Los Angeles

  • Overview: During development, the vasculature divides into arteries and veins to ensure appropriate circulation. In many diseases, this process in interrupted or perturbed. To gain insight into how vascular differentiation occurs, I searched for genes that were uniquely expressed in either zebrafish veins or arteries and used that information to generate a new transgenic zebrafish model. The final model expressed green fluorescent protein in all vessels and red fluorescent protein in arteries so that differentiation could be visualized in real-time.


Determining the impact of pesticides on neurological development: Oregon Health & Science University

 

Science Communication:

Public Affairs Intern: U.S. Mission to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Indonesia


Science Writer: Yale University Office of Public Affairs and Communications


Science Cafes

  • Overview: To help spread scientific understanding, I have coordinated and spoke at science cafes in New Haven. Working with Yale's Science Diplomats, I presented an overview of the science behind genetically modified organisms (GMOs). I also created and spoke at a science cafe on immunology and immune engineering.