Swindle-Reilly named Biomaterials Science Emerging Investigator

Posted: December 1, 2022


Katelyn Swindle-Reilly
Professor Katelyn Swindle-Reilly

Katelyn Swindle-Reilly, assistant professor in the departments of chemical engineering and biomedical engineering, was named Emerging Investigator by the journal Biomaterials Science.

Dr. Swindle-Reilly’s research focuses on the design of polymeric biomaterials for soft tissue repair and drug delivery with focused applications in ophthalmology. Her interdisciplinary work exploring new protein therapeutics and their delivery via polydopamine nanoparticles appeared in the November 28, 2022 issue of the Biomaterials Science journal. Megan Allyn, a doctoral student who is co-advised by Swindle-Reilly and Ohio Eminent Scholar and Professor Andre Palmer, did the work that appeared in the publication. Allyn was recently recognized in June 2022 for winning first place in the 42nd Annual Ophthalmology Research Symposium, sponsored by The Ohio State University Havener Eye Institute. In 2021 she won the Prevent Blindness Research Fellowship Award from the Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness. 

One potential outcome of Swindle-Reilly's work is improved and less painful treatments for patients with age-related macular degeneration, a condition that appears to have many root causes. "While there have been many recent significant advances and there are new and emerging treatments for vision-threatening conditions, there is still a lot that remains unknown about the eye," Swindle-Reilly said, "and more is being discovered by basic scientists and clinicians. In order to advance treatments for these patients, it is important to work with a diverse team that is investigating mechanisms behind a disease, clinicians treating the condition, and translational scientists/engineers."

Allyn, Megan cr
Doctoral student Megan Allyn

That's why she is excited about recent collaborations that have developed. The new collaborations will enable her team to explore new therapeutic approaches for treatments of several ocular diseases.

Professor Katelyn Swindle-Reilly has a passion for promoting entrepreneurialism and STEM careers, particularly to female students, and she is actively involved with programming that supports these interests. She stands out as a teacher and mentor because she incorporates entrepreneurial minded learning (EML) and has a rich background in industry and entrepreneurialism. Since 2020, she has also been serving as Chief Technology Officer of Vitranu, Inc., a startup that licensed ocular drug delivery technologies her lab developed at The Ohio State University.

When asked what career-related advice she would offer to other early career scientists, she said, "Believe in yourself and your abilities, know your worth, and persist through failure. It is not easy to establish your own program, and research is riddled with obstacles. I took a less traditional path to my academic career, which caused additional challenges, but ultimately my different perspective and persistence enabled my work."

About Professor Swindle-Reilly

Swindle-Reilly received a BS in Chemical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, and MS in Chemical Engineering and PhD in Energy, Environmental, and Chemical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis. She completed postdoctoral training in Biomedical Engineering (BME) at Saint Louis University. She then worked in industry as a Senior Scientist at Rochal Industries. She concurrently held an Adjunct appointment in BME at The University of Texas at San Antonio. She joined The Ohio State University as Assistant Professor in BME and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (CBE) in 2016. She has a courtesy appointment in Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. 

Professional recognitions have included the Controlled Release Society (CRS) Ocular Delivery Focus Group (OcD) Young Investigator Award, selection as an Emerging Vision Scientist by NAEVR, The Ohio State University Early Career Innovator of the Year, The Ohio State University College of Engineering Innovators Award, and the Ohio Lions Eye Research Foundation Lois Hagelberger-Huebner Young Investigator Award.

Follow Swindle-Reilly on Twitter @SwindleReilly and LinkedIn

Categories: FacultyGrad Student