Winning the war on bugs
By designing biomaterials that fight antimicrobial resistance and keep bacteria off of implants
Research interests: Research in the Jennings Lab focuses on prevention and treatment of implant-associated infection. Areas of interest include biofilm inhibition and dispersal, injectable local delivery systems, nanofibrous membranes, and surface modification strategies for therapeutic materials and regenerative medicine.
Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering. University of Alabama at Birmingham. Birmingham, AL. 2007
M.S. in Biomedical Engineering. University of Alabama at Birmingham. Birmingham, AL. 2003
B.S. in Biomedical Science. Cum Laude. University of Alabama. New College. Tuscaloosa, AL. 1999
Brief Research Summary and Biosketch:
Dr. Jennings studied Biomedical Sciences at the University of Alabama, followed by graduate studies in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. During her graduate studies, she researched the effects of direct current electrical fields on cells involved in the wound healing response under the guidance of Dale Feldman, PhD. After graduate studies, she did postdoctoral work under the mentorship of Warren Haggard, PhD investigating local drug delivery systems for preventing infection. She was awarded the UMRF Ventures Professorship of Biomedical Engineering in 2020 and has received funding from the National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, and National Science Foundation. The Jennings lab has also established several industry-academia partnerships to evaluate antimicrobial materials and their biocompatibility. Her research foci are biomaterials, infection prevention, drug delivery, and tissue engineering. She is active in national organizations including Society for Biomaterials, Orthopaedic Research Society, and the Musculoskeletal Infection Society.
Dr. Jennings has co-edited a two-volume series of book on Chitosan-Based Biomaterials and has co-authored 6 book chapters. She has co-authored 50+ peer reviewed journal articles, 5 commentaries, and over 150 conference presentations. Dr. Jennings has guest edited several special issues of journals and serves on the editorial review boards of the Journal of Orthopaedic Research and the American Journal of Undergraduate Research. She has applied for 5 patents, with one being awarded and three still being examined. She has mentored 11 graduate students, several of whom have won prestigious awards including the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, Society for Biomaterials Outstanding Student Research Award, and the Slack Fellowship. She has mentored over 30 undergraduate students, with several winning honors and advancing to professional schools, graduate school, or industry positions.
Outstanding Faculty Research Award, Herff College of Engineering, 2021
UMRF Ventures Professorship, 2020
University of Memphis PI Millionaire, 2019