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Divisions Faculty Pharmacoengineering and Molecular Pharmaceutics Research,
Grayson Mendenhall
July 21, 2014

Kristy Ainslie
Kristy Ainslie comes to UNC after five years at the Ohio State University.
  • Kristy Ainslie, PhD, joins the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy as an associate professor after almost five years as an assistant professor at Ohio State.
  • Ainslie’s research focuses on immune therapies, including bioterrorism vaccines, autoimmune treatments, and host cell-directed therapeutics.
  • Members of her lab also moved to Chapel Hill, including Research Assistant Professor Eric Bachelder, PhD.

Kristy Ainslie, PhD, has joined the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy as an associate professor in the Division of Molecular Pharmaceutics.

Ainslie brings her interdisciplinary expertise to Chapel Hill after spending almost five years as an assistant professor at the Ohio State University’s Division of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry.

The research of the Ainslie Lab is centered on immune-targeted therapies for the development of vaccines and treatment of autoimmune and infectious diseases.

“UNC has great opportunities for infectious disease research and a strong immunology component,” Ainslie says. In addition, she says she is looking forward to teaching students and collaborating with companies in Research Triangle Park.

“There were a couple things that stood out with her,” says Michael Jay, PhD, chair of the Division of Molecular Pharmaceutics. “We’re trying to increase our activities in pharmacoengineering. Because she has a chemical engineering background, she was a good fit.”

Jay says he was also impressed with Ainslie’s teaching and research background.

“We’re excited to have her here,” he says.

Lab Members Move, Too

Eric Bachelder and Kristy Ainslie
Eric Bachelder, PhD, and Kristy Ainslie, PhD

The move to Chapel Hill has relocated part of Ainslie’s Lab, a team including Assistant Research Professor Eric Bachelder, PhD, as well as two graduate students and a postdoctoral student.

Bachelder joins the School’s Division of Molecular Pharmaceutics as a research assistant professor. He also has an extensive immunology and chemical engineering background and works alongside Ainslie on the team’s projects as well as projects he has independently developed.

“There’s better support here for the research we do, which made it really appealing to come to UNC,” Ainslie says.

The laboratory’s research focuses on a variety of areas. Ainslie is currently working on host cell-directed therapeutics for treatment of pathogenic infections as well as the formulation of safer vaccines to prevent infection. Also, she is working on antigen specific therapies to treat autoimmune diseases that suppress the immune response specifically, rather than universally suppressing the immune system, like many current therapies.

Ainslie says she is excited to build on their existing research and to find other projects in Chapel Hill. She does not rule out taking on other projects in the future, such as HIV/AIDS treatments and cancer.

“It comes from where we’ve found really good collaborators and money,” Ainslie says of the different diseases and conditions she has studied.

CRS Drug-Delivery Award Winner

Ainslie, who has authored more than thirty peer-reviewed publications, received the Controlled Release Society’s Outstanding Oral Drug Delivery Award in 2007 and 2009.

Originally from Michigan, she received her bachelor of science in chemical engineering from Michigan State University and then earned both her master’s and PhD in chemical engineering from Pennsylvania State University. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California at San Francisco.

Ainslie says she is looking forward to build on existing research and finding other projects in Chapel Hill.

“My goals are to continue having an active research program and mentor students and have them be successful,” she says.

By Amanda Albright

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