The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

College of Engineering


Center for Materials Processing


Current CMP-Supported Students


Kokouvi Akato

Pelagie Favi

Pelagie Favi is a third year doctoral student in Material Science and Engineering at the University of Tennessee. Her research advisor is Dr. Roberto Benson. She received her BS in Chemical Engineering from Montana State University in 2003, and her MS in Biomedical Engineering from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2008. Her master's thesis is titled "Electrospun blends of polydioxanone and poly(lactic acid): Mechanical, morphological, and permeability studies." Between 2003 and 2005 Pelagie worked in the Product Assessment Division at Phillip Morris USA as a Chemist. Between 2005 and 2010 Pelagie worked at Altria Inc. as an Engineer where one of her research responsibilities included new technologies in Cast Leaf and Reconstituted Leaf Processing.

Favi's academic research experiences are in creating biomaterials for tissue engineering applications. Her research interests include using mesenchymal stem cells for regenerative medicine, creating functional polymers and hydrogels to allow for cell functioning and surface modification of biomaterials for cartilage, bone, and soft tissue regeneration. Her current research is in designing bacterial cellulose scaffolds for tissue engineering of stem cells. Her career goals are to teach and perform bioengineering research.

Favi also mentored Corey Ehinger, an undergraduate research assistant in Material Science and Engineering. Corey gained hands-on research experience by assisting with projects, including the creation of porous biomaterials. They worked with faculty and graduate students, including Dr. Madhu Dhar and Nancy Neilsen, from the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Tennessee.

Publications

  • Favi, P. M., Benson, R.S., Neilsen, N.R., Hammonds, R.L., Bates, C.C., Stephens, C.P., and Dhar, M.S. (2012). Cell proliferation, viability, and in vitro differentiation of equine-derived mesenchymal stem cells seeded on bacterial cellulose hydrogel scaffolds. Mater. Sci. Eng., C (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.msec.2012.12.100.
  • Favi, P. M., Yi, S., Lenaghan, S. C., Lijin, X. and Zhang, M. (2012). From the natural world: From bio-adhesives to bio-inspired adhesives. J. Adhes. Sci. Technol. (Accepted) DOI:10.1080/01694243.2012.691809.
  • Favi, P. M., and Tracht, S. (2011, October 7). The Nanotechnology of Sundew and English Ivy. Live Science.
    Reprinted by National Science Foundation in nsf.gov-discovery (2011, October 17). 
    Reprinted in Tennessee Today (2011, November 1).

Presentations

  • P. Favi, R. Benson, N. Neilsen, C. Ehinger and M. Dhar. "Novel biodegradable microporous bacterial cellulose scaffolds engineered for bone and cartilage regeneration."  Experimental Biology 2013.  Apr. 20-24, 2013.  Poster Presentation.
  • P. Favi, M. Dhar, N. Neilsen, C. Ehinger and R. Benson. "Designing Degradable Microporous Bacterial Cellulose Scaffolds and its Biomimetic Composites for Bone and Cartilage Tissue Engineering." Society For Biomaterials 2013 Annual Meeting and Exposition: Biomaterials Revolution. Boston MA, Apr. 10-13, 2013. Poster Presentation.
  • P. Favi, N. Neilsen, C. Ehinger, R. Benson and M. Dhar.  "Testing different forms of bacterial cellulose scaffolds for equine models of bone and cartilage."  North American Veterinary Regenerative Medicine Association. Savannah GA, Nov. 8-10, 2012. Poster Presentation.
  • P. Favi, N. Neilsen, C. Ehinger, R. Benson and M. Dhar.  "Stem cells and engineered bacterial cellulose scaffolds for bone and cartilage regeneration studies."  9th Stem Cell Research & Therapeutics. Philadelphia, PA, Oct. 24-26, 2012. Poster Presentation.
  • P. Favi, M. Dhar, N. Neilsen, C. Ehinger and R. Benson. "Engineering bacterial cellulose scaffolds for the proliferation, osteogenic and chrondrogenic differentiation of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells." The Oak Ridge National Lab Chapter of ASM-The Materials Information Society. Knoxville TN, Oct. 18, 2012. Poster Presentation. First Prize for Best Graduate Student Research Presentation.
  • P. Favi, C., N. Neilsen, R. Hammonds, R. Benson and M. Dhar. "Proliferation, osteogenic and chrondrogenic differentiation of equine-derived bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells on bacterial cellulose scaffolds." Experimental Biology 2012, San Diego CA, Apr. 21-25, 2012.
  • P. Favi, C., N. Neilsen, R. Benson R. Hammonds, C. Stephens and M. Dhar. "Bacterial cellulose and equine-derived bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells as a potential biomaterial construct for tissue engineering of cartilage and bone." Comparative & Experimental Medicine and Public Health Research Symposium 2012, Knoxville TN, May 21-22, 2012. Oral presentation. Phi Zeta Excellence in Animal Health Research Award.

Awards

  • National GEM Fellowship Award sponsored by Oak Ridge National Laboratories – The National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science, Inc. (GEM) Fellowship (2013-2014).
  • National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) Graduate Research Assistant Award – National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis Graduate Training Grant, University of Tennessee – Knoxville. (2013-2014)
  • Graduate Student Travel Award – Awarded by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology to attend the Experimental Biology 2013 conference, Boston, MA. (2013)
  • First Prize for Best Graduate Student Research Presentation – Awarded at The Oak Ridge National Lab Chapter of ASM-The Materials Information Society Poster Night for "Engineering bacterial cellulose scaffolds for the proliferation, osteogenic and chrondrogenic differentiation of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells." (2012)
  • National Science Foundation - Future Faculty Workshop Travel Award, San Barbara, CA (2012).
  • Phi Zeta Excellence in Animal Health Research Award, Comparative & Experimental Medicine and Public Health Research Symposium, University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine (2012).
  • Experimental Biology, American Association of Anatomists (AAA) Graduate Student Travel Award, San Diego, CA (2012).
  • Helen Jubin Fellowship, College of Engineering, University of Tennessee-Knoxville (2011).
  • Program for Excellence & Equity in Research (PEER) Fellowship Award, National Institute of Health (NIH) Training Grant, University of Tennessee–Knoxville (2010-2013).
 

Contribute to a big idea. Give to UT.

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Big Orange. Big Ideas.

Knoxville, Tennessee 37996 | 865-974-1000
The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System