Michael Washington’s work with polymers as a doctoral candidate at the University of Pittsburgh could impact the ways people are treated for injuries and diseases. Michael graduated from Seton Hill in 2010 with a degree in chemistry, then moved into graduate study and a teaching assistantship in chemistry at Pitt.
Michael designs, synthesizes and implements polymer materials that can be used for bone generation, particularly to repair facial, jaw and head injuries. The materials replace metal screws and plates, which require repeat surgeries to remove. The polymer degrades and becomes porous, allowing new bone tissue to grow and fill in the space. It can be made into injectable micro particles, which control delivery of drugs and cut down on the amount of doses a person needs to take.
“It just makes things more convenient for you because you might not have to have as many injections, and you might not want to have a second surgery,” he said.
Michael plans postdoctoral work in the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine’s Department of Ophthalmology, researching controlled drug delivery for the eye.
Seton Hill’s young alumni are making their mark on the world through their work in science and healthcare, finance and business, industry, entertainment and service to those in need. The Spring/Winter 2017 edition of Seton Hill’s Forward magazine featured 30 of these alumni, all under the age of 30. You can find all of their stories here on Seton Hill’s site (just look for the “30 Under 30” icon).