Alumna’s Research Focuses on Developing New Biosensor

May 20, 2018

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Nicole Pollok ’15 understands the power and reach of science. The molecular biology and chemistry double major is a graduate research assistant at the University of Texas at Austin where she’s wrapping up her Ph.D. candidacy qualifier. Her current lab work focuses on developing a biosensor patients could use to monitor heart failure.

Previously, she worked for a biopharmaceutical startup company that was a spin-off of the Texas Biomedical Research Institute’s organic chemistry division. While there, Pollok was involved in research and development, grant writing, and the search for potential investors.

“We were looking at women's reproductive health care to launch an intra-vaginal birth control ring with a low-dose ingredient," she said. “They were also working on a slow-release, 6-month birth control injection. It was a great experience and I was able to also be part of their quality control area where we tested new compounds and their purity for efficient medicinal use.”

Aside from the in-depth research and technical skills, Pollok enjoys how her work could one day save someone’s life.

“The idea that the device I’m working on right now could potentially be on the shelves at CVS is really cool,” she said. “I like being able to see real-world applications to problems. Working toward an end product that will help people is definitely motivation.” 

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