Stacy (Prukop) Pesek

Stacy graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering in May 2010. While there she spent one year as an undergraduate researcher working on developing a novel shape-memory polymeric biomaterial.

At Rice, her research involves investigating  special, highly branched polymers known as “bottlebrush” or “molecular brush” polymers.  Highly branched polymers, like bottlebrushes, may be useful in many solution-state applications, including rheological modifiers and nano-carriers for drug molecules.  However, little is known about the physical characteristics of bottlebrush polymers in solution.

Thus far, she has studied a model polystyrene bottlebrush polymer system by small angle neutron scattering (SANS) and found a unique tunable transition from spheres to cylinders.  Now she plans to apply this knowledge to develop a biocompatible  amphiphillic bottlebrush polymer, capable of encapsulating drugs and dissolving in water.

Her research interests include biocompatible polymers, polymer synthesis, and nanoscale material properties.

Stacy’s hobbies include running, baking, singing, traveling, and outdoor sports.