Kelly D. Moynihan

Hertz Fellow: Kelly D. Moynihan

University of Texas at Austin

Area of Study

Biomedical Engineering

Fellowship Years

2012 - present

Kelly Moynihan is pursuing a PhD in biological engineering at MIT in Darrell Irvine’s Immunobioengineering laboratory. She was motivated to pursue biomedical engineering when her father was diagnosed with advanced renal cell carcinoma when she was in high school. Thus, she decided to devote her research efforts to advancing the way that cancer is treated by exploring cancer immunotherapy. In the Irvine Lab, Kelly is interested in engineering the immune system to generate effective anti-tumor responses through novel vaccination strategies and combination immunotherapy. She also is interested in HIV vaccines with rationally designed target epitopes. Her primary research focus is developing and applying novel lymph node-targeting TLR agonists as adjuvants in peptide vaccines.

Kelly graduated in May 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin (UT). As an undergraduate research assistant in Dr. George Georgious lab, Kelly worked to characterize a novel method for high affinity antibody identification. She studied abroad at the University of Cambridge during the summer of 2010, and interned with Merck & Co., Inc. during the summer of 2011.

Currently, Kelly is involved with a Newton-based educational start-up called The Innovation Institute, which aims to foster creativity in K-12 students through challenging, inquiry based classes focusing on science and engineering. In addition, she co-developed and implemented a 3D printing summer camp for middle school students, which debuted in summer 2014. She taught an elementary school level neuroscience class entitled “Science of the Senses,” and developed and implemented a high school class entitled “At the Frontiers,” which focused on one cutting edge technology or research area for each class with outside scientists from each topic visiting to enhance the class. Hertz Fellows: Max Mankin, Vyas Ramanan, Jim Valcourt, and Jon Russell each came in to teach for this class.

Fellowship Recipient:

Wilson Talley Fellowship