Olivia "Tess" Teodoro's lifelong interest in water research led her as an undergraduate to the University of Chicago's Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, which emphasizes water and energy as one of its core research themes. Since then, Tess has conducted research on novel coagulant development in the Zhao Group at Peking University's Department of Environmental Engineering and the functionalization of silica nanoparticles in the Gottlieb Group at Ben-Gurion University's Department of Chemical Engineering. Her current work with Whitney Fowler in the Tirrell Group involves the synthesis and characterization of highly selective peptide amphiphiles for phosphate recycling. Tess will receive her bachelor's degree in molecular engineering (chemical and soft materials) in June 2021.
The maintenance of clean, sustainable water has always been crucial and is only growing more pressing under current ecological and anthropological strains. As part of the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering's involvement in the Water Research Initiative, Tess is currently working with PhD candidate Whitney Fowler in the Tirrell Group on designing self-assembling peptide amphiphile micelles for the selective capture and release of phosphate during water treatment.