“I chose the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (PME) because of its interdisciplinary approach to engineering,” said Gray. “On a daily basis, I get to interact with colleagues working in very different research areas. This has exposed me to new fields and has helped me look at my own research in new ways.
“This approach is reflected in the curriculum, also. Pritzker Molecular Engineering students are able to tailor the curriculum to our interests and background by taking engineering courses together with offerings from other departments at UChicago."
Gray’s work focuses on developing a new cancer vaccine. Specifically, creating a molecule that targets cancer and that activates a patient's own immune system to attack cancer.
“This will provide individualized cancer treatment without having to adapt the actual treatment to different patients,” said Gray.
In addition to her research activities, Gray volunteers regularly with a MRSEC-sponsored science club at a local Chicago elementary and middle school and participates in public science outreach events, such as Physics with a Bang and STEM nights at various Chicago public schools.
“Outside of the classroom, PME is committed to providing learning experiences that are designed to help us become more effective communicators and teachers and to encourage us to become involved with our community,” said Gray.
Gray received a BA and BE in biomedical engineering from Dartmouth College. After graduating and before coming to PME, she spent two years as a predoctoral researcher at the biotechnology company Adimab.