On March 5-6th, 2013, the inaugural Fraunhofer-Delaware Technology Summit, titled “Energy and Life Sciences – Solutions for Sustainability”, brought together scientists and engineers from Europe and the U.S. During the summit, Fraunhofer and UD announced and highlighted their newly launched graduate student exchange program. This program allows 3 German students to spend the summer working with UD faculty, and 3 UD students to spend it in Germany working with Fraunhofer researchers. One of the UD students selected to participate was Peter Worthington, a first year graduate student in the Biomedical Engineering program.

Peter is from Haddon Heights, NJ and received his BS in Biomedical Engineering from Rutgers University. He joined the graduate program in Biomedical Engineering at UD in Fall 2012 and works with Dr. Darrin Pochan at UD and Dr. Sigrid Langhans at the Nemours/AI duPont Hospital for Children. Peter’s research focuses on using hydrogels as a cell scaffold and delivery mechanism for various tissue applications, including localized drug delivery, 3D cell culture and tissue regrowth. When he heard of the opportunity to work in Germany for the summer, he applied and was selected. He will spend his time in Leipzig at the Fraunhofer institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology working on diagnostic tests with Dr. Dirk Kuhlmeier in the nanotechnology group.

Peter is very excited to work in a lab that focuses on the practical application of research. “I plan to absorb as many lab techniques as I can to bring back for my own research. It would also be cool to use this trip as a chance to have international collaborators,” he said, “On a more selfish note I haven’t ever been to Europe and plan to use the weekends to travel around.”