User:Nicole Casasnovas

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Nicole Casasnovas

Graduate Student
Grodzinsky Lab
Department of Biological Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Office: NE47-390


  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Ph.D. in Biological Engineering (Degree in pursuit)
Advisor: Alan J. Grodzinsky

  • University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus (UPRM)

B.S. in Chemical Engineering / Certification in Biotechnology

Work and Research Experience

  • Internship at 3M Corporate Research Materials Lab, St. Paul, MN (June – August, 2008)

I worked within the Biotechnology and Health Science Group of 3M’s Corporate Research Materials Lab (CRML). My main project involved the development of laboratory systems to measure critical scaling data for new separation materials. I focused on systems that measure the height equivalent to the theoretical plate (HETP) for chromatography columns.

  • Cooperative Education Experience (COOP) at Abbott Biotechnology Limited (ABL), Barceloneta, PR (August – December, 2007)

ABL is responsible for the manufacture of HUMIRA, a drug used primarily to treat rheumatoid arthritis. I worked on the capture and purification of the protein adalimumab, which is the active ingredient of this product. My projects involved yield optimization based on line losses, evaluation of mixing for downstream product hold tanks, and various engineering studies intended to optimize the adalimumab manufacturing process.

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Biological Engineering Research Experience for Undergraduates (MIT BE REU), Cambridge, MA (June – August, 2007)

I collaborated with Katherine Brown in Dr. Kimberly Hamad-Schifferli’s lab where I studied the synthesis of antisense DNA with gold nanoparticles. This technology could be used in the treatment of cancer, HIV/AIDS, and cardiovascular diseases. I was able to synthesize mRNA, produce antisense DNA conjugated with gold nanoparticles, and examine the effects of the antisense DNA on the production of enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP).

  • Undergraduate Research in Chemical Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus (January – May, 2007)

My research was on the rheology of pharmaceutically relevant systems under the tutelage of Dr. Aldo Acevedo. I verified the efficiency of a contact angle goniometer in measuring the surface tension of different fluids. The instrument will be used to study the properties of drugs such as naproxen, an anti-inflammatory drug, in different gels in hopes of producing thin-film strips for drug delivery and administration.

  • Internship at Abbott, North Chicago, IL (June – July, 2006)

I worked in Global Pharmaceutical Operations, specifically in Fermentation Process Support. My main project consisted of investigating and understanding the erythromycin fermentation and production process. I determined which meters were being used to measure the flow of erythromycin and then created a process flow diagram highlighting their measurement points.

  • Internship at IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY (May – August, 2005)

I worked in the CSS Microfabrication Laboratory on processes of photolithography and etching using a variety of semiconductors. My main job responsibilities included a study on the wet etching of silicon using an ethanolamine and gallic acid etchant and a team project where we created an introductory manual for our department.

  • Undergraduate Research in Chemistry at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus (January 2004 – May 2005)

I worked with Dr. Luis A. Rivera researching the chemical synthesis of various organic compounds. We concentrated on benzimidazoles, which can be used as herbicides, bactericides, and antifungal agents. Several laboratory techniques such as thin-layer chromatography (TLC) and Fourier-transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy were used.