Graduate Member Spotlight: Molly Baker

Graduate Member Spotlight

Molly Baker

PhD Candidate

Biomedical Engineering

Yale University

 

            Molly is an active graduate member in our Society, and currently holds the position of Treasurer and GradSWE Committee Co-Chair for Yale SWE. During her tenure in these leadership positions, the Yale section has been awarded the Outstanding Collegiate Section – Gold Award, Best Practices in Mentoring, and SWE Resource Promotion.

In addition to leading her SWE section to success, Molly is pushing boundaries in genital herpes research. Her PhD work focuses on a polymer nanoparticle drug delivery system for the treatment of genital herpes, which is an incredibly common sexually transmitted infection. Herpes affects 17% of U.S. adults and 417 million people worldwide—yet there is currently no effective vaccine or treatment. Genital herpes is incidentally the top reason why potential contenders are turned away from The Bachelor. Molly’s research project focuses on developing polymer nanoparticles that will provide improved delivery and extended retention of herpes prophylaxis drugs. Her favorite part about nanoparticle research is how cross-disciplinary the field is; she works with lab members from a variety of STEM backgrounds, including inorganic chemistry, polymer chemistry, physics, biology, pharmaceutical sciences, medicine, and more.

After completing her PhD, Molly would like to work in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry. Her dream is to work for an organization like the Population Council, which is a non-profit that conducts research in biomedicine and public health.

Outside of lab, Molly’s current obsession is growing plants and baking bread. She has been perfecting a Bavarian sourdough rye bread that her brother taught her (she brought his sourdough culture all the way from Portland, OR to New Haven, CT on the plane!). She is also working on whole wheat sandwich bread. You can usually find her reading, baking cookies, or cooking extravagant vegetarian meals.

Fun Fact from Molly: My favorite color is purple because my alma mater is Northwestern University. I will always believe that purple is the best school color—go ‘Cats!

molly baker.png

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