Mary Gates Endowment For Students

Michael Chungyoun

Mary Gates Research Scholar, Autumn 2020

Research Project: Optimizing the Polymeric Nanoparticle Formulation Parameters and Characterizing Poly(ethylene glycol) Degradation for Neurological Drug Delivery

Project Description: Enzymes are promising therapeutic candidates for the treatment of neurological diseases. However, delivering enzymes to the brain has proven difficult due to several physiological barriers, including the blood brain barrier. A new and exciting field of research involves the use of nanoparticles for non-invasive drug delivery. The goals of my research project are to 1) modify the nanoparticle “recipe” to maximize enzyme loading and activity, and 2) characterize nanoparticle degradation to develop a more biocompatible therapeutic.

What have you learned throughout your research project?

What I have learned from my project is that although research can at many times be a slow and tedious process, the gratification of contributing my results to a greater body of work makes the entire process worthwhile.

What piece of advice do you have for future applicants?

One piece of advice I have for future applicants is to really consider why you want to conduct research and how contributing to your future project will bring you closer to your long-term goals. Displaying a strong connection to your research project will truly resonate with Mary Gates committee reviewers.