Anna Tropnikova was born in Novokuznetsk, Russia, in 1993. She received the international baccalaureate diploma upon graduating high school and is currently an undergraduate at University of Chicago interested in pursuing a career in medicine. She is on the board for the Pre-Medical Students Association and works with the publicity committee for MEDLIFE. In April 2013, she joined Professor M. Tirrell’s group as a research assistant under Dimitris Priftis. After becoming familiar with the rheological properties of polypeptides undergoing complex coacervation, she moved on to investigating the rheology of other novel polymer-based soft materials.
She's currently exploring the ability of hydrogels to respond to stress and strain under differing salt and polymer concentrations, and to what extent this effect changes over a range of temperatures. Hydrogels are a relatively new material with vast potential for medicinal application and drug delivery (i.e. direct injection into the bloodstream with optimal and natural recovery). Hydrogels are meant to be liquid upon injection, only self-assembling and aiding in drug delivery once inside the body, and dissolving harmlessly thereafter. Anna hopes her work with synthetic soft materials will have a substantial long-term application in the clinical setting.
D. Priftis, L. Leon, Z.Y. Song, S.L. Perry, K.O. Margossian, A. Tropnikova, J.J. Cheng and M. Tirrell. Self-Assembly of α-Helical Polypeptides Driven by Complex Coacervation. Angewandte Chemie Intl Edition. 2015. Vol. 54, Pg. 11128-11132.