Julie is currently at Stanford University pursuing her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering where she works for Prof. James R. Swartz on developing a modular virus-like particle based vaccine platform. Her current focus is on developing novel vaccines for HIV and Zika. She is also pursuing work related to further development of a potentially broadly protective flu antigen, as well as work to design a scalable process for manufacturing this antigen. Julie has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and is excited by the biological applications of chemical engineering.

Julie spent two years working for Dr. Jennifer A. Maynard at the University of Texas at Austin in the Chemical Engineering Department. Her project focused on phage display using coat protein p8 variants as a means for engineering low affinity protein-protein interactions. This work could provide a platform for engineering T-cell receptors (a largely under-exploited immune molecule) to create better therapeutics for a number of different diseases.

She has past research experience working with miRNA at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in the Department of Experimental Therapeutics under the supervision of Dr. George A. Calin. She also has experience working with pH responsive hydrogels at the University of Texas at Austin in the Chemical Engineering Department under the supervision of Dr. Nicholas A. Peppas. Finally, Julie interned with Merck in their Manufacturing Division for two summers and was a Merck Engineering and Technology Fellow.

She is currently the President of the Stanford Chemical Engineering Graduate Action Committee and serves on the Bioengineering Student-Led Colloquium Planning Committee.

As an undergraduate, she served as the Vice President External for the UT Chapter of AIChE for two years and the Service Chair of the organization for one year. In addition, Julie served as President, Vice President, and Service Chair for the Epsilon Chapter of Omega Chi Epsilon.

Honors & Awards

  • Women in Engineering Program Rising Star Award, The University of Texas at Austin (January 2010)
  • K-12 STEM Outreach Certificate, Women in Engineering Program, The University of Texas at Austin (May 2011)
  • Women in Engineering Program Champion Award, The University of Texas at Austin (January 2012)
  • Engineering and Technology Fellow, Merck, Sharp, & Dohme (2011, 2012)
  • Commended Synthetic Biology Presentation Award, Rice University (October 2012)
  • Women in Engineering Excellence Award, The University of Texas at Austin (January 2013)
  • Cockrell School of Engineering Leadership Award, The University of Texas at Austin (February 2013)
  • Presidential Leadership Award, Texas Exes (April 2013)
  • NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, National Science Foundation (2013 (award date))
  • Chemical Engineering Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award, Stanford University (June 2016)

Professional Affiliations and Activities

  • President (2015-16 & 2016-17), Vice President (2014-15), Stanford Chemical Engineering Graduate Action Committee (2014 - Present)
  • Member, AAAS/Science Program for Excellence in Science (2014 - 2017)
  • Member, Tau Beta Pi - Interdisciplinary Engineering Honor Society (2013 - Present)
  • Epsilon Chapter President (Spring 2012), Vice President (Fall 2011), Service Chair (Spring 2011), Omega Chi Epsilon - Chemical Engineering Honor Society (2010 - Present)
  • Life Member (2013-present); Student Chapter Member (2009-2013), Texas Exes (2009 - Present)
  • UT VP External (2011, 2012); UT Outreach Chair (Fall 2009-Fall 2010), American Institute of Chemical Engineers (2009 - Present)

All Publications

  • miR-145 participates with TP53 in a death-promoting regulatory loop and targets estrogen receptor-alpha in human breast cancer cells CELL DEATH AND DIFFERENTIATION Spizzo, R., Nicoloso, M. S., LUPINI, L., Lu, Y., Fogarty, J., Rossi, S., Zagatti, B., Fabbri, M., Veronese, A., Liu, X., Davuluri, R., Croce, C. M., Mills, G., Negrini, M., Calin, G. A. 2010; 17 (2): 246-254


    Understanding the consequences of miR-145 reintroduction in human breast cancer (BC) could reveal its tumor-suppressive functions and may disclose new aspects of BC biology. Therefore, we characterized the effects of miR-145 re-expression in BC cell lines by using proliferation and apoptosis assays. As a result, we found that miR-145 exhibited a pro-apoptotic effect, which is dependent on TP53 activation, and that TP53 activation can, in turn, stimulate miR-145 expression, thus establishing a death-promoting loop between miR-145 and TP53. We also found that miR-145 can downregulate estrogen receptor-alpha (ER-alpha) protein expression through direct interaction with two complementary sites within its coding sequence. In conclusion, we described a tumor suppression function of miR-145 in BC cell lines, and we linked miR-145 to TP53 and ER-alpha. Moreover, our findings support a view that miR-145 re-expression therapy could be mainly envisioned in the specific group of patients with ER-alpha-positive and/or TP53 wild-type tumors.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/cdd.2009.117

    View details for Web of Science ID 000273518700010

    View details for PubMedID 19730444