Emily Day, Ph.D.
University of Delaware
Dr. Emily Day obtained her B.S. in Physics with a Minor in Mathematics from the University of Oklahoma in 2006, graduating summa cum laude. In 2011, she earned her Ph.D. in Bioengineering from Rice University, where she worked under the guidance of Dr. Jennifer West developing nanoparticles for photothermal cancer therapy. While at Rice, Dr. Day received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, a Rice President’s Graduate Fellowship, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Med-Into-Grad Fellowship. Next, Dr. Day joined the laboratory of Dr. Chad Mirkin at Northwestern University, where she developed RNA-gold nanoparticle conjugates to treat brain tumors through gene regulation. Dr. Day received an International Institute for Nanotechnology postdoctoral fellowship and a National Institutes of Health F32 Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award during her time at Northwestern University.
Dr. Day joined the faculty in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Delaware in 2013, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2020. Her research involves engineering nanoparticles for high precision therapy of disease. She has received several notable honors for her work, including the 2018 Rita Schaffer Award from the Biomedical Engineering Society, an NSF CAREER Award, Young Innovator/Emerging Investigator awards from four journals (Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering Journal, Nano Research Journal, Journal of Materials Chemistry B, and Biomaterials Science), the 2018 Gerard J. Mangone Young Scholar Award from the Francis Alison Society, an NIH R35 Grant, an NIH R01 Grant, and a W.M. Keck Foundation Science and Engineering Grant. Additionally, she was an invited participant in the 2019 National Academy of Engineering Frontiers of Engineering Symposium and in 2022 was named a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.
The Day Lab engineers nanoparticles to enable high precision treatment of cancers, blood disorders, and maternal/fetal health conditions. Additionally, we elucidate how nanoparticle architecture impacts function by studying nano/bio interactions from the subcellular to whole organism level. Our nanoparticles enable high precision therapy by: (1) delivering antagonistic antibodies or nucleic acids to cells to inhibit genes that drive disease progression, (2) supplying heat or other agents to diseased cells upon activation with tissue-penetrating near-infrared light, or (3) using cell-derived membranes as coatings to avoid immune recognition and provide cell-specific payload delivery. In this presentation, I will discuss my group’s recent advances in these areas, with a particular emphasis on nano-bioconjugates for gene regulation and drug delivery. Collectively, our studies have shown that nanoscale architecture plays a critical role in how cells perceive and respond to therapeutic nanomaterials, informing the future development of improved treatment strategies.