Student Spotlight: Maggie Fettis

Margaret (Maggie) Fettis is a doctoral candidate in the J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Florida. She grew up outside of Chicago, IL and earned her BS in biomedical engineering at the University of Rochester in New York. After college, she completed post-baccalaureate research in the Center for Vaccine Biology and Immunology at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Fettis currently conducts research in Dr. Greg Hudalla’s lab exploring protein and peptide engineering for applications in immunomodulation.

Fettis strives to articulate her research findings across STEM disciplines. She has garnered best oral research presentation awards from both the UF Institute for Cell and Tissue Science and Engineering Symposium and UF Soft Matter Applied Research and Technologies Symposium. In 2016, one of her publications, “Microgels with Tunable Affinity-controlled Protein Release via Desolvation of Self-assembled Peptide Nanofibers” was featured in the “2016 Journal of Materials Chemistry B Hot Papers,” and the related publication artwork was featured on the journal’s inside cover.

Fettis is committed to making STEM topics more accessible through upper-level teaching, trainee mentoring, juvenile outreach and community engagement. Outside of research, she served as UF’s Society for Biomaterials (SFB) Secretary and President. As UF SFB President, she established a legacy of community engagement by creating an officer position devoted solely to STEM outreach efforts and programs. After her leadership at UF, she was elected to the SFB National Student Chapter President.

Fettis has mentored numerous students in research, including a high school student through the Center for Precollegiate Education and Training. She co-instructed a course in translational science with an interdisciplinary team of instructors to encourage the next generation of researchers to successfully introduce cutting-edge therapies to patient populations. Fettis has also been involved with Tau Beta Pi, UF Graduate Student Council and the Biomedical Engineering Graduate Student Council. For her outstanding research and contributions to creating a more inclusive and diverse community, Fettis was recently awarded the Emerging Scholar Dissertation Award presented by Association for Academic Women which is supported by University of Florida President’s Office.

Fettis continues to seek opportunities to engage in mentorship and teaching and is excited to continue her career by engineering creative solutions to biomedical problems.