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Zain is a PhD student at Washington University in St. Louis. He is originally from Durham NC and obtained a bachelors’ degree in engineering from Purdue University where he conducted research on elution of growth factor mimic molecules from collagen blend scaffolds for cartilage regeneration. His current primary research is on the mechanics and chemistry of peptide-polymer materials used for regenerative medicine and their interaction with immune cells. This encompasses projects using self-assembling peptides as structural components of tissue engineering scaffolds for use in diabetic wounds and self-assembling lipopeptides as adjuvants for vaccines targeting opioid addiction. Zain’s secondary area of research is in the scholarship of teaching and learning, with a focus on translating mentored research experiences to currently incarcerated students. Outside of the laboratory he enjoys cooking and participating in his neighborhood’s community garden project. Zain enjoy hiking, cycling and community STEM education outreach through various organizations in St. Louis. His current personal project is developing a passable vegetarian substitute for real pulled pork barbecue.