Kelsey's dissertation was focused on developing and using a novel software program to understand the effects of cell-cell junction phenotype on barrier function of the brain endothelium, the mechanobiology of brain endothelial cells, and the response of brain endothelial cells to biochemical cues involved in breast cancer metastasis. Kelsey has published her dissertation work in 5 journal articles, with 4 more papers in preparation. She has presented her work at 8 national and international conferences, including the BMES and CMBE annual meetings, American Society for Matrix Biology, and 19th International Signal Transduction at the Blood-Brain Barriers Symposium in Copenhagen, Denmark. Kelsey is a recipient of the Fischell Fellowship in Biomedical Engineering, which generously provided a full 5 years of funding for her PhD work. She has won numerous awards throughout her career as a PhD student, including national awards (CMBE Shooting Star Award, BMES Career Development Award, NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Honorable Mention) as well as awards from the UMD Grad School (Mabel S. Spencer Award for Excellence in Graduate Achievement, Outstanding Graduate Student Award, Goldhaber Travel Award, International Conference Student Support Award). Kelsey also won second place in UMD’s Three-Minute Thesis Competition and is a Clark School of Engineering Future Faculty Fellow. Kelsey served as President of the Bioengineering Graduate Student Society (BGSS) for two years, and served as Vice President of Academic Affairs for BGSS for one year. Kelsey has also been a dedicated mentor to many students in the Stroka Lab and through other department and campus programs.
Fantastic job, and congratulations Dr. Gray!