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Kristy Ainslie

Vice Department Chair Adjunct Associate Professor Professor

Kristy Ainslie, Ph.D.

Fred Eshelman Distinguished Professor and Chair, Division Pharmacoengineering & Molecular Pharmaceutics

Professor, UNC Department of Biomedical Engineering, UNC Department of Microbiology and Immunology


(919) 962-4556
4012 Marsico Hall, 125 Mason Farm Lane, CB# 7362, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599-7362

Kristy Ainslie, Ph.D. applies her knowledge base in biomaterials, and immunology to develop new immune-modulatory therapies that treat and prevent infectious, and autoimmune diseases. Her lab aims to design practical and innovative formulations, taking into account the scalable production and applications in developing nations.

She has several research areas of interest including the development of new polymers for vaccines, formulation of antigen specific therapies to treat autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes, host directed therapies for treatment of multi-drug resistant infections, electrospun scaffolds for glioblastoma treatment, and electrospray for fabrication of immune targeting microparticles.

Originally from Michigan, she received her bachelor of science in chemical engineering from Michigan State University and then earned both her master’s and Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Pennsylvania State University. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California at San Francisco. Additionally, Dr. Ainslie has been awarded the Controlled Release Society’s Outstanding Oral Drug Delivery Award in 2007 and 2009. She joined the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy in 2014 as an associate professor in the Division of Pharmacoengineering and Molecular Pharmaceutics. Prior to that, she spent almost five years as an assistant professor at the Ohio State University’s Division of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry.

  • Biomaterials to study tolerance immune induction kinetics
  • Host Targeted Therapy for Drug Resistant Salmonella and Francisella infection
  • Optimizing a Universal Influenza Subunit Nano/Microparticulate Vaccine
  • Formulation to Generate Tolerance Towards Type 1 Diabetes
  • Tunable Temporal Drug Release for Optimized Synergistic Combination Therapy of Glioblastoma