Dr. Wilson received his B.S. in Bioengineering from the Oregon State University Honors College, where he also trained in a number of academic and industrial research labs, including the Oregon Medical Laser Center and Bayer Pharmaceuticals. He went on to pursue his doctoral studies at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the Department of Surgery at Emory University and the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech. He is now running his own lab as an Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Vanderbilt University.
When you were 5, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Baseball player. Starting pitcher for the Oakland A's. But the lack of talent was already pretty obvious and so engineering came in as a close second.
How/When did you decide to become a scientist?
Grade school. I had some very dedicated teachers who went the extra mile to have after school science clubs where we'd do science projects and then participate in local science fairs. And I continued with this through high school which sparked my interest in getting an engineering degree. This was undoubtedly critical to my interest in science since the rural schools that I attended didn't have AP or similar courses. This also motivates the STEM outreach activities that we do in our lab as I feel it is very important to cultivate interest in STEM at a young age and to provide an avenue for students to pursue their interests if resources aren't otherwise available for them.
How long have you been with VU?
I've been here for 6.5 years!
What is one topic in your field that you are excited about right now?
I am excited about designing environmentally-responsive technologies that enable tumor-selective activation of antiviral innate immunity.
Wilson Lab circa 2019
Current lab members:
Kyle Becker, M.S.
Lihong Bishop, M.D., Ph.D.
Moe Wehbe, Ph.D.
Karan Arora, Ph.D.
What does your lab do/study?
We are immuno-engineers. We develop technologies, mostly based on polymeric biomaterials, to manipulate the immune system. We are mostly focused on designing drug delivery systems to improve the efficacy and/or safety of vaccines and cancer immunotherapies.
What's the most fun "socially distanced" activity you've done with the lab recently?
We recently had an outdoor, socially distanced going away party for a student who recently defended her thesis. That was a lot of fun and it was great to see everyone outside of Zoom for once!
Wilson Lab out and about!
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