Will Collins


Will Collins
BS, Biology & Neuroscience
Brandeis University
Waltham, MA
PhD Student in Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics
David Kaplan, PhD, Adviser



Silk biomaterials, derived from the Bombyx mori cocoon, are ideal substrates for tissue engineering being capable of numerous chemical modifications in addition to being bio-compatible. My project focuses on the development of an ex vivo platform for pharmacology/toxicology drug assessment using primary cortical neurons. This ex vivo platform mimics the micro-environment of cortical tissue using a combination of (1) electrical stimulation (2) extra-cellular matrix impregnation and (3) tuneable elastomeric properties, to make a functional model of the brain. Long-term research implications could involve use of this ex vivo platform as a supplementary resource for FDA clinical trials and as a platform for drug longitudinal studies.

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The priority application deadlines are as follows:

December 1: Basic Science Division PhD Programs

February 15: Building Diversity in Biomedical Sciences

March 31: Post-Baccalaureate Research Program

May 1: Clinical & Translational Science, MS in Pharmacology & Drug Development

June 15: Online Certificate in Fundamentals of Clinical Care Research