Graduate Students

  • Kellisa Hansen

    Kelly received her B.S. in Chemistry with a concentration in Biochemistry and a minor in Mathematics from St. John Fisher College (Rochester, NY) in 2011, where her research focused on the effect the colorant bixin has on softgel capsule disintegration. She joined the Schwendeman Lab in 2012 and has been studying the use of cellulosic polymers as mucoadhesive excipients in nasal drug formulations to enhance performance of drugs characterized by poor bioavailability. Her hobbies include cooking, kayaking, and quilting.


  • Jia Zhou

    Jia received her M.S. in Pharmaceutics from Peking University (Beijing, China) in 2013, where her research focused on mitochondria-targeted drug delivery system and anticancer efficacy of liposomal drug carriers. She joined the Schwendeman Lab in 2014 and has been working on developing peptide loaded PLGA controlled release microparticles.


  • Kari Nieto

    Kari's therapeutic areas of focus include drug delivery to eye for treatment of glaucoma, chemopreventive treatment of oral cancer, and nasal delivery systems. She has designed drug delivery systems for parenteral dosing, including controlled release systems with biodegradable polymers, and also local delivery systems including mucoadhesive patches and nasal mucoadhesive gel systems. During her time at U of M, she also served as a Graduate Student Instructor where she assisted in courses for PharmD students.

    Her M.S. in Chemistry from Western Michigan University studies focused on developing novel mass spectrometry methods, including leaf spray and paper spray MS to determine levels of natural bittering compounds in hops. Other degrees obtained include B.S. in Environmental Chemistry with a Minor in Business Management from Grand Valley State University and an A.A.S. in Chemical Technology from Grand Rapids Community College. In addition, her work experience includes positions including analytical laboratory technician at environmental QC lab, extraction technician at water quality lab, and research Assistant in Pathology lab, and also worked as a Certified Pharmacy Technician.

    Her personal interests include marathon and half-marathon running, outdoor activities including biking, kayaking, water skiing, and soccer and volleyball. She also enjoys spending time with her family including husband Abel, 2 nieces and 1 nephew, sister, and grandparents.  Additionally, she will be taking on a coaching position for youth soccer this spring.   


  • Morgan Giles

    Morgan received her Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering from Boston University in 2012, where her research focused on using pegylated polyethylenimine  polyplexes to deliver siRNA to cells and altering surface charge of polyplexes to increase siRNA transfection to target atherosclerosis. She joined the Schwendeman lab in 2013 and has been working on remote loading of various PLGA microsphere formulations at high protein concentrations to increase loading and release period. 


  • Jennifer Marchi



  • Dr. Keiji Hirota

    Keiji received his PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Tokyo University of Science in 2008, where his research focused on the development of treatment strategies based on inhalation drug delivery systems for pulmonary diseases such as tuberculosis. He joined the Schwendeman Lab in 2014 and has been responsible for developing in vitro-in vivo correlations of injectable PLGA microparticles carrying peptide drugs. He also studies the release mechanism of the peptides in vitro as well as in vivo.

Lab Managers

Accordion Row 3

Listing Row

Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Wednesday, February 11, 2015