Emerging Investigator Series – Elizabeth Brisbois

Dr. Brisbois is an Associate Professor in the School of Chemical, Materials, & Biomedical Engineering at the University of Georgia.  She completed a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Michigan Medical School in the Department of Surgery, where she worked in the Extracorporeal Life Support (ECLS) laboratory under the direction of Dr. Robert H. Bartlett (Emeritus Surgeon).  She earned her Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of Michigan in 2014 under the supervision of Dr. Mark E. Meyerhoff.  She obtained a B.S. degree in Chemistry and a B.S.Ed. in Secondary Education at Concordia University Nebraska in 2008.  Prior to her graduate studies, she also gained R&D experience by working as an analyst at Novartis Consumer Health to develop/improve QC testing methods for current and new products.

Currently, Dr. Brisbois’ research focus is in the field of polymeric biomaterials and the development of therapeutic biomolecules aimed at addressing challenges related to medical devices, diseases, and patient care.  Her translational research aims to design novel multifunctional polymers and small molecule therapeutics, characterize for their properties in vitro, and evaluate their potential biomedical applications in clinically relevant animal models.  Her research has been supported through competitive grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH R01s), Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), Center for Disease Control (CDC) SBIR, and the Georgia Clinical & Translational Science Alliance.  Her work has been well received by peer-reviewed journals, resulting in > 55 publications and > 15 patents and patent disclosures.  Throughout her academic career, she has been awarded several honours including the ACS Materials Au 2022 Rising Star Award, the American Chemical Society Young Investigator Award (PMSE division), the Society for Biomaterials Young Investigator Award (SC&M SIG), a VPR Advancement of Early Career Researchers Award, NIH F32 Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship, a career development award from the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research, 2016 Baxter Inc. Young Investigator Award, and the University of Michigan Department of Chemistry Research Excellence Fellowship.

Read Elizabeth’s Emerging Investigator article Antimicrobial efficacy of a nitric oxide-releasing ampicillin conjugate catheter lock solution on clinically-isolated antibiotic-resistant bacteria, DOI D3BM00775H.


Check out our interview with Dr Brisbois below:


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

The Biomaterials Science journal is a premiere venue to publish the latest research investigations in designing novel biomaterials and studying their wide-ranging applications.  It is an honor to publish here and keep the community updated with our latest work!

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

Advanced biomaterials are sorely needed to promote biocompatible interfaces and to address a wide range of challenges associated with medical device applications in order to resist infection, prevent thrombosis, mitigate host responses, provide functional mechanical support, and support cellular attachment and proliferation.  Achieving these attributes simultaneously requires materials that possess multiple functional mechanisms via precise control of the material design and therapeutic action.  While we make technical advances in the biomaterials we are developing, our ultimate goal is to translate those materials/technologies to healthcare and medical devices.  Developing new biomaterial technologies that solve these critical problems while also being commercially and clinically viable remains a challenge.  However, if we are successful, these new materials we are studying will be applied to a wide range of medical devices that are critical to patient care, everything from small catheters and cannulas to large extracorporeal life support devices (e.g., ECMO, hemodialysis).  Collaborating with a multidisciplinary team with expertise in basic science, engineering, clinical applications, and industry facilitates pushing these new material solutions from the benchtop to the bedside.

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

The best piece of advice that I can give young researchers as they begin their scientific careers is to always find strong mentors at each stage of their training and career.  As a student, mentors can be graduate students or postdocs who you look up to, as well as those who are more established in their career.  Mentors should be people that you can learn from and emulate, reach out to for advice, and are successful in their field.  Work to establish a network of mentors and always continue building your network of mentors throughout your career, both at your institution and externally.  Having this support network is critical in helping you continue to grow professionally and reach your career goals.  Meet with your mentors regularly.  Reach out to them for advice and guidance.  Keep them updated with your successes, no matter how big or small.


Keep up to date with all of Elizabeth’s work by checking out the Brisbois Lab website.

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