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Maura V

- Research Program Mentor

PhD candidate at North Carolina State University


Immunology, Cancer Immunology, Cancer Immunotherapy, Drug development, scientific writing, creative multi-media, creative writing


I am a PhD candidate in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at UNC Chapel Hill and NC State. My research focuses on cancer immunotherapy, specifically how we can improve cancer outcomes after freezing tumors to very cold temperatures (called cryoablation) with immunotherapy. My undergraduate research focused on developing an in vitro platform to test food allergies (Type I Hypersensitivity), specifically peanut allergy. I work on both in vitro and in vivo (mouse) studies, and have extensive experience in immunology. In my free time, I like to write and am the editor of a small intellectual journal that features philosophical and theological work with a paradoxical flavor. I love playing ultimate frisbee on the weekends and trying new recipes for dinner!

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Cancer Immunology Review Paper

This project will focus on learning how to do literature searches and to read scientific research articles. We will work together to narrow the topic of the paper to a manageable size (less than 50 references), and prepare for submission to a high school level journal (e.g. Columbia Junior Science Journal). Throughout the project, we will learn basic science, understand experimental design, and be able to critically think about scientific assumptions.

Creative Media in Biology or Chemistry

This project will focus on learning how to make media (video/audio) using a free video editing program, where the topic of the creative piece will be centered on a fundamental topic in biology or chemistry. We would work together to narrow the scope of the topic so that the final piece (video and/or audio) is 5 min or less.

Exploring Immune Memory - Creative Writing

Write a short story based on the immune system and how it remembers the past to better protect you in the future, and what happens to your body when your immune system malfunctions.

Teaching experience

I founded and currently run a mentorship program for my department that pairs graduate student mentors with undergraduates who are interested in applying to grad school. I have 2 mentees from the program and have mentored 3 different undergraduate students in laboratory research. I am passionate about demystifying the graduate application process, and graduate school in general, for students who have no one else to ask for advice.


Work experience

AVM Biotechnology (2016 - 2016)
Summer Research Intern


University of Notre Dame
BS Bachelor of Science (2018)
Chemical Engineering
North Carolina State University
PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Biomedical Engineering


"I loved working with Maura on my research project- she was an amazing mentor with a vast amount of knowledge on the subject I was researching. She helped explain advanced concepts and gave me tons of feedback on my project. Despite this being my first research paper, I felt comfortable writing it under Maura's guidance."

Sriya from Mountain View, CA

Sriya from Mountain View, CA profile

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