Dr. Zierden is an Assistant Professor in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department at UMD. Dr. Zierden graduated from The Ohio State University with a B.S. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. While at OSU, she performed research under the guidance of Dr. David Wood, investigating efficient methods of protein purification. She then joined the ChBE program at Johns Hopkins University, where she earned her Ph.D. under the supervision of Drs. Laura Ensign and Justin Hanes in the Center for Nanomedicine. Her thesis focused on improving vaginal drug delivery during pregnancy, and the resulting work highlighted the need for effective drug delivery in order to understand drug action in the context of disease. In order to better understand biological mechanisms, and master the tools necessary to probe these questions, Dr. Zierden joined the laboratory of Dr. Tracy Bale as a postdoctoral researcher. In the Bale Lab, Dr. Zierden studied how extracellular vesicles from the placenta aid in maternal-fetal communication, and how these biological nanoparticles may play a role in pregnancy outcomes. The Zierden Lab combines these experiences by asking how extracellular vesicles from the maternal vaginal microbiome communicate with the host to dictate both maternal and fetal health outcomes, and how these particles may be used as therapeutics in a wide range of human disease.
The Zierden Lab focuses on rationally engineering next generation therapies aimed at preventing preterm birth, fostering healthy fetal programming, and improving maternal outcomes, with the ultimate goal of promoting human health throughout the lifespan.
We are currently looking to hire undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdocs. Please email Dr. Zierden if you'd like to learn more about our ongoing research projects.
CHBE 250: Computer Methods in Chemical Engineering