Melamed_JilianBME grad student Jilian Melamed was awarded a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship. Jilian’s PhD research involves developing a nanoparticle-based treatment to overcome the resistance of cancer cells to chemotherapy.

The general idea of her project is to sensitize tumors to chemotherapy using nanoparticles that can suppress the expression of genes that promote resistance. The nanoparticles will deliver small interfering RNA (siRNA) into cancer cells to suppress the expression of Gli1, a gene implicated in treatment resistance. This may improve drug retention in cancer cells, enabling the use of these nanoparticles as chemosensitizers that improve patient survival and that allow administration of lower drug doses and reduce treatment-related toxicity.

Jilian received a BS in Biomedical Engineering from Rutgers University in 2013 and then began her graduate career at UD. In addition to working in the Day Laboratory for Engineered Nanotherapeutics, she is an active member of the Women in Engineering Steering Committee and the Biomedical Engineering graduate student association.