Hayden M. Pagendarm
NSF Graduate Research Fellow
Hayden is originally from Ijamsville, MD. He graduated from Clemson University in May 2020 with a BS in Bioengineering, concentrating in Biomaterials, and a minor in Economics. During his undergraduate studies, Hayden completed the Bioengineering Departmental Honors program through the Clemson University Honors College. Hayden’s thesis – under the mentorship of Dr. Jeoung Soo Lee and Dr. Ken Webb – focused on targeting a polymeric micelle nanotherapeutic to deliver cargo to neurons, and not to other glial cell types, in order to promote axonal regeneration following Spinal Cord Injury (SCI). Hayden spent the summer of 2018 working at a polymers lab at Kansai University in Osaka, Japan, under the mentorship of Dr. Akinori Kuzuya, where he focused on tracking the cytosolic delivery of a DNA-based nanoparticle following incubation with cultured HeLa cells. In the summer of 2019, Hayden interned in the Early-Stage Formulation Sciences division of AstraZeneca in Gaithersburg, MD, where he systematically examined the effects of different types of stresses – such as freeze-thaw, solid-liquid interface to volume ratio, air-liquid interface to volume ratio, presence of intrinsic particles, and container geometry – on the shelf-life and shipping conditions of several Drug Products.
Hayden’s desire to engineer intelligent cancer therapeutics led him to pursue a PhD in Biomedical Engineering at Vanderbilt University, where he is now a 4th year student under the direction of Dr. John Wilson. He aims to examine the role of exosomes and other extracellular vesicles (EVs) as cancer therapeutics with the NSF-GRFP. In his free time, Hayden enjoys working out, watching sports, cooking, and exploring Nashville.