Danielle Benoit, an expert in therapeutic biomaterials, was recruited to the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact as the inaugural Lorry Lokey Chair of the Department of Bioengineering as the department embarks upon its next phase of growth.
“It’s pretty rare that you get to build a department – not starting from scratch by any stretch – but there’s an incredible number of resources at the Knight Campus and opportunity to really have an imprint on the department,” Benoit said. “The Knight Campus is invested in cutting-edge, highly impactful research. When you combine that with emphasis placed on the holistic training of graduate students, which is embedded in the fabric of the program, I feel like I’ve really found my people here.”
An NIH- and NSF-funded researcher, Benoit specializes in the design of materials to improve disease treatments and expedite recovery from injuries. Her work has provided insights into the translation of tissue engineering strategies for bone healing and development of tissue models to discover new drugs and drug delivery systems.
This work has led to ten patents and direct impact in several applications. In bone regeneration, Benoit has discovered new ways to control key interactions responsible for recreating bone and ensuring that critical processes happen at the correct times. In drug delivery, she has worked in tissue targeting approaches that zero in on target areas without affecting surrounding tissues, including for chemotherapy.