Oklahoma State University
Monday, December 9, 2019
The Systems Biomedicine and Pharmaceutics research lab at Oklahoma State University led by Dr. Ford Versypt focuses on developing and utilizing multiscale systems engineering approaches including mathematical and computational modeling to determine and understand the mechanisms governing physiological effects of various chemicals, e.g., pharmaceutical drugs, toxins, metabolites, and hormones, on human and animal tissues. We specialize in modeling the transport processes and chemical interactions related to both natural and engineered biomedical and pharmaceutical systems, particularly those that involve complex interactions between cellular populations and tissue microenvironments that lead to chronic tissue damage. We also develop and refine the computational software elements to support multiscale modeling of such systems. We draw from an interdisciplinary skillset in chemical engineering, pharmaceutics, physiology, applied mathematics, and computational science. In this seminar, vignettes of recently published work from the lab in four different lines of research will be highlighted including (1) the immune system interplay with tuberculosis granulomas, (2) metastatic cancer spread, (3) bumblebee behaviors in response to chronic exposure to pesticides, and (4) glucose-stimulated damage to kidney cells in diabetes and preventative pharmaceutical treatments. The latter area has recently been funded by an NSF CAREER award and exemplifies the integration of teaching, research, and outreach.
Dr. Ashlee N. Ford Versypt holds three degrees in chemical engineering: a B.S. from the University of Oklahoma and an M.S. and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. During graduate school, Dr. Ford Versypt was awarded the Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship (DOE CSGF) and the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. In 2013, Dr. Ford Versypt was recognized as the Frederick A. Howes Scholar in Computational Science, which is awarded annually to a recent alumnus of the DOE CSGF for outstanding leadership, character, and technical achievement. In 2012-2014, Dr. Ford Versypt was a postdoctoral research associate with Richard Braatz in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Currently, Dr. Ford Versypt is an assistant professor in the School of Chemical Engineering at Oklahoma State University (OSU). She is a member of the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center and the Stephenson Cancer Center at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, the Interdisciplinary Toxicology Program at OSU, and the Oklahoma Center for Respiratory Infectious Diseases. She is the Chair-Elect for the American Society for Engineering Education Chemical Engineering Division. Dr. Ford Versypt is active in engaging the public in science through leading more than 60 outreach events for K-12, collegiate, and lay audiences. She has received a number of awards for her research and teaching including the NSF CAREER Award, ASEE Midwest Section Outstanding Service Award, AIChE 35 Under 35 and the OSU College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology Excellent Teacher Award. She has mentored 7 graduate students and 34 undergraduate students at OSU since 2014. Her research is currently funded by the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology.