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I received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Chemistry from the University of Washington in 1999 and 2003 respectively. I worked at Rosetta Inpharmatics/Merck & Co. in the Methods Development group from 2000-2004 before travelling to Sydney, Australia to do my PhD with Justin Gooding at the University of New South Wales. My doctoral research involved the development of nanostructured porous-silicon based photonic crystals and their chemical modification for optical biosensors and biomaterials. In 2007, I joined the laboratory of Milan Mrksich at the University of Chicago as a NIH postdoctoral fellow to investigate new methods for directing the differentiation of stem cells. In 2011, I joined the faculty of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering. Some of my primary interests include: stem cell engineering, mechanotransduction, engineered extracellular matrices, surface chemistry, nano- and micro- patterning, and bioassay development.