Buckhannon, W.Va.—Dr. Rebecca Pompano, assistant professor of chemistry and biomedical engineering at the University of Virginia, will present “Immunity on-a-Chip” on Friday, March 13 at 7 p.m. at West Virginia Wesleyan College.
Sponsored by the West Virginia Junior Science and Humanities Symposium and the West Virginia Wesleyan College Honors Program and Chemistry Department, the lecture will be held in the Christopher Hall of Science’s Hyma Auditorium and is free and open to the public.
Dr. Pompano specializes in research across disciplines including biology, chemistry, and engineering. In her talk, she will explain how she models human immune systems outside the body. Life is sustained through a delicate balance in our immune system that must protect us against pathogens and tumors without harming our daily cells.
Dr. Pompano develops new technology to study the dynamics of immunity in realistic systems outside of the body, where she can better control and analyze it. She builds devices with tiny channels—the width of human hair—to deliver proteins and drugs to living tissues from the immune system.
In collaboration with clinicians and immunologists, she is beginning to apply these technologies to help inform the fight against chronic diseases such as cancer, autoimmunity, and neurodegeneration.
In recognition of her work, Dr. Pompano received a prestigious Individual Biomedical Research Award from the Hartwell Foundation, the Rising Star Award for Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering, and an inaugural University of Virginia Research Excellence Award.
In addition to her research, she is active in advanced active learning formats in the analytical chemistry classroom, advocating for continued funding for education and biomedical research on Capitol Hill, and in building inclusive environments for STEM research.
Dr. Pompano received a B.S. from the University of Richmond and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Chicago. She completed a postdoc in Immuno-engineering at the University of Chicago, Department of Surgery.