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Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

Tanja Greene Receives Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award

December 6, 2016

Tanja Greene (left)

Tanja Greene (left)

The IUPUI Graduate Office has selected Tanja Greene’s master’s thesis for the Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award. The thesis, “Modular Crosslinking of Gelatin Based Thiol-Norbornene Hydrogels for In Vitro 3D Culture of Hepatic Cells,” was recognized for being both well written and providing new information relevant to Greene’s field of study.

Letters of support from the School of Engineering and Technology’s faculty members also were very positive and highlighted Greene’s contributions during her master’s research. She will receive an award of $1,500 in recognition of her research and thesis studies. Also, the Graduate Office has nominated Greene’s work for the 2017 Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award.

“I am so very honored to receive this award, and to be given the opportunity to represent IUPUI for the MAGS Distinguished Master's Thesis Award,” said Greene. “Thank you to all who played a role in my nomination and selection, and I'd like to give a special thanks to my mentor, Dr. Lin, for pushing me towards excellence."

In Greene’s thesis, gelatin was chemically modified to create crosslinked 3D hydrogels. She chose gelatin because it allows cells to interact and attach. Greene demonstrated that the 3D gelatin hydrogels had independently tunable mechanical and biological properties, proving that independent study of these properties on liver, or hepatic, cell fate processes could be conducted in 3D.

Her work provides researchers the ability to study how independent local matrix properties affect cancer cell fate processes and drug responsiveness. The chemically modified gelatin based hydrogels should provide a highly favorable 3D cell culture platform for in vitro cancer cell research.