Bailey Banach is a 2016-2020 Self Graduate Fellow pursuing a Ph.D. in bioengineering at the University of Kansas. She received a B.S. (2015) in biomedical engineering at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA. When Bailey was in high school, she found out her friend’s daughter was going to have her eye removed due to a retinoblastoma. This aggressive cancer not only claimed the little girl’s eye, but also her sense of confidence when it came to making friends in kindergarten that year. However, Bailey watched as everything changed when the little girl received an ocular implant that looked identical to a real eye.The smile on that child’s face when she talked about the new friends she made in kindergarten was a smile that Bailey would never forget. Since then, Bailey has been searching for ways to bring that smile to as many people as possible, launching her career into Bioengineering. Through studying materials on the small scale, Bailey aims to make a big impact on the world around her. Currently focused on Immunology Engineering, Bailey’s research involves analyzing and understanding antibody mechanisms in autoimmune diseases, and establishing antigen specific intervention strategies to induce immune tolerance. This line of work has the potential to accelerate the development of new human vaccines and therapeutics, and that is surely something to smile about.
Mentor: Brandon J. DeKosky, Assistant Professor, Bioengineering