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Ashley Brown Appointed Co-Director of CMI

The Comparative Medicine Institute is pleased to announce that Dr. Ashley Brown, Associate Professor and University Faculty Scholar in the NC State/UNC Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering, has been appointed as co-director, alongside Dr. Jorge Piedrahita. 

Dr. Brown’s research focuses on developing novel soft materials for a variety of biomedical applications including wound healing, hemostasis, and drug delivery. Her research has been supported by a variety of sources, including NIH, NSF, AHA, and DOD. Dr. Brown has held leadership positions in several national societies including the American Society for Matrix Biology (ASMB), Society for Biomaterials (SFB), and Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES). Dr. Brown has received numerous awards for her research including an NSF CAREER Award, the Mid-Career Award from the Society for Biomaterials, and she is an AIMBE and AHA Fellow. Dr. Brown is also Co-Founder of Selsym Biotech, Inc, which is a start-up company focused on development of hemostatic and pro-healing therapeutics.

Dr. Brown received a B.S. from Clemson University in Biosystems Engineering in 2006 and a Ph.D. from Georgia Tech in Bioengineering in 2011. Dr. Brown performed postdoctoral studies in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech, and she was an American Heart Association (AHA) Postdoctoral Fellow. Dr. Brown joined the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering in 2015. Dr. Paul Dayton, Head of the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering, wholeheartedly supports her new role.

“BME is excited to support Professor Ashley Brown in her new role as co-director of CMI,” says Dayton. “Ashley is an outstanding scientist, leading the way in scientific discovery, extramural funding, service to the University and community, and translation of new technologies to the commercial space. She will be a thoughtful and exemplary leader for CMI.”

This change in leadership, effective immediately, comes on the heels of CMI’s former co-director, Dr. Joshua Pierce, Professor of Chemistry, stepping down in September 2023. Dr. Pierce, who now heads NC State’s Integrative Sciences Initiative, is very pleased with the CMI’s decision. He anticipates a long term collaboration between CMI and ISI, and looks forward to seeing what Dr. Brown will bring to the CMI, and by extension the ISI.

“Ashley is a phenomenal choice as the next co-director of CMI,” says Dr. Pierce. “She is a strong leader and an internationally recognized scholar that will further strengthen CMI’s connection to the College of Engineering. I can’t wait to see the new ideas she brings to the institute and I look forward to working with her and Jorge to continue to build and strengthen our health related research and training efforts across NC State.” 

Dr. Piedrahita emphasized Pierce’s remarks. “I could not be more excited about Ashley joining me as Co-Director of the CMI. She is not only an outstanding and successful scientist and entrepreneur, but also a great mentor to both graduate and undergraduate students. Thus, she brings a unique combination of skills and ideas that will be key to the continued growth of the CMI. As a member of the CMI Executive Committee over the last several years, she has already made a significant impact in the CMI programs and I look forward to working with Ashley in her new role.”

Dr. Brown has been a part of CMI since she arrived at NC State, and is looking forward to playing a key role in its future.

“The CMI has been tremendously important for supporting my career,” she says, “by helping me build new collaborations, supporting the development and training of students in my lab, and providing insight and support in translational science. The very first seed grant I received as a new faculty member was a Functional Tissue Engineering (FTE) Seed Grant with Dr. Ke Cheng from the College of Veterinary Medicine to develop clot targeting nanogels for myocardial infarction. This initial seed grant led to my first R01 and multiple joint publications between the Brown and Cheng labs. Over the years, the CMI has provided seed funding that has initiated many new collaborations and projects. I also had the opportunity to lead the CMI Educational programing from 2022.”

“The CMI is a powerhouse for interdisciplinary training opportunities and overseeing the summer programming has been a tremendous honor. I look forward to working with Jorge, the CMI executive committee, and the entire CMI community to identify new opportunities to build upon our strengths and push forward exciting new research areas.”