Dr. Erin Lavik

University of Maryland, Baltimore County


Erin Lavik is a Professor of Chemical, Biochemical, and Environmental Engineering at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development in the College of Engineering and Information Technology. Dr. Lavik’s research focuses on engineering polymers to protect and repair the nervous system and treat trauma more broadly. The projects in the lab include developing intravenously administered nanoparticles to stop internal bleeding, drug delivery systems for diseases of the eye, and printing tissue models for high throughput screening applications. Dr. Lavik received her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from MIT in Materials Science and Engineering. She has won awards including the TR100 award in 2003 and the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award in 2010. She is a Fellow of AIMBE and BMES and an Associate Editor at Bioconjugate Chemistry. Beyond her research, Dr. Lavik has developed classes including Applied Tissue Engineering where the students make and test artificial arteries and learn about the issues involved in translating the technologies from the bench to patients as well as a version of thermo that incorporates improvisational techniques to foster discussions about the concepts. She has also developed a materials class that teaches materials science in the context of the stories of the scientists who did the work and concepts of social justice. She collaborates with the theater department on a program to train UMBC students to work with middle schoolers to dramatize their science modules.