Emerging Investigator Series – Ester J. Kwon

Profile picture of Ester J. Kwon. Ester J. Kwon is an assistant professor of Bioengineering at the University of California San Diego. She earned her B.S. in Bioengineering and B.A. in Molecular & Cell Biology at UC Berkeley. She went on to earn her Ph.D. in Bioengineering at the University of Washington with Suzie H. Pun and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with Sangeeta N. Bhatia. Her group in the Bioengineering Department at UCSD engineers nanoscale tools, diagnostics, and treatments for diseases of the brain. Dr. Kwon is a recipient of the pre- and post-doctoral NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards, the NIH Director’s New Innovator award, and the NSF CAREER Award. In addition to her research activities, Dr. Kwon is motivated to create an inclusive research environment through the individualized mentorship of trainees and outreach to young scientists.

Read Dr Kwon’s Emerging Investigator article, Analysis of PEG-lipid anchor length on lipid nanoparticle pharmacokinetics and activity in a mouse model of traumatic brain injury, DOI: D2BM01846B.


Check out our interview with Dr Kwon below:


How do you feel about Biomaterials Science as a place to publish research on this topic?

I’m very pleased that Biomaterials Science is a venue for publishing work at the intersection of engineering and biology.

What aspect of your work are you most excited about at the moment and what do you find most challenging about your research?

The work that I find the most challenging and exciting is how to design nanomaterials that can navigate the body to the right organ and cell type.

In your opinion, what are the most important questions to be asked/answered in this field of research?

While the field has concentrated on how to engineer nanomaterials to interact with biological systems, as technology advances I think important questions are emerging about how biological systems change in response to nanomaterials. I believe this will have many implications for nanomedicines in the future.

Can you share one piece of career-related advice or wisdom with other early career scientists?

I’m not sure if I have any wisdom to share, but I personally found it important to focus my time and energy on a few projects.


Keep up with Dr Kwon’s research on the Kwon Lab website or follow her on twitter @esterjkwon.

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