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Brittany Jennings
April 23, 2021

Ph.D. student Isabella Young.

The National Science Foundation recently announced Ph.D. student Isabella Young was awarded a predoctoral fellowship to further her research in bettering women’s health care around the world.

Young is a student in Dr. Rahima Benhabbour’s lab, within the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy’s Division of Pharmacoengineering and Molecular Pharmaceutics. Young’s research is centered around developing translational and long-acting multipurpose technologies for HIV prevention and contraception for women around the world.

“This is a terrific reward for Isabella’s hard work and drive for success. I am extremely proud of her and I look forward to seeing her continue to grow and make significant impacts to global health and to the scientific community,” Benhabbour said. “​This NSF Award will accelerate Isabella’s research projects and springboard her career in academia and to develop as an independent researcher.”

Young is also engineering both an injectable formulation as well as a 3D-printed intravaginal ring to expand preventative options for women in long-acting and efficient delivery systems.

“I am so grateful and honored to have received this fellowship,” Young said. “This fellowship will provide me with three years of full funding, giving me the opportunity to pursue this research to the fullest and make a great impact on women’s health.”

Young, a South Florida native, attended the University of Florida where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. While at UNC, she has received an NC TraCS $2K pilot grant and is currently the Treasurer of the Graduate Student Organization for the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Along with receiving the NSF fellowship, she also received an Honorable Mention for the Ford Foundation fellowship.

After obtaining her Ph.D., Young said she plans to pursue a career in academia. She said, “I hope to utilize my experience with writing my NSF proposal to further enhance my writing skills to apply to more grants and continue pursuing the research that I love.”

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