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Rachael Sirianni, PhD


Vice Chair of Research (Neurosurgery)

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Dr. Sirianni earned her doctorate in Biomedical Engineering at Yale University in 2008, during which time she developed models of drug delivery from polymeric biomaterials. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Diagnostic Radiology at the Yale School of Medicine, developing novel imaging techniques to track the distribution of polymers in the central nervous system. Her doctoral and postdoctoral works were supported by interdisciplinary training grants from the National Institutes of Health and bridged topics including polymeric drug delivery, transport modeling, neurobiology, and imaging.

Dr. Sirianni accepted her first faculty position in 2011 in the Barrow Brain Tumor Research Center at the Barrow Neurological Institute, where her laboratory focused on drug delivery and tissue engineering for the treatment of central nervous system disorders. She joined the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston in 2018, and later moved her group to the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School (Worcester, MA) in 2022. Her research program here is focused on engineering drug loaded nanoparticles for the treatment of CNS disease, with a primary focus on intrathecal drug delivery in pediatric neuro-oncology and secondary interests in neuroprotection. 


1998 – 2003 Arizona State University, Tempe AZ B.S.E – Bioengineering, cum laude

2003 – 2004 Arizona State University, Tempe AZ Post-baccalaureate research – Bioengineering

2004 – 2006 Yale University, New Haven CT M.S., M.S.E. – Biomedical Engineering

2006 – 2008 Yale University, New Haven CT Ph.D. – Biomedical Engineering

2008 – 2011 Yale School of Medicine, New Haven CT Postdoctoral Fellow – Diagnostic Radiology

Honors and Awards

1997 Awardee, Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth

1998 – 2002 Awardee, Regents Merit Scholarship, Arizona State University

1998 – 2003 Awardee, E. Blois du Bois Foundation Scholarship

2002 – 2003 Merit Award in Bioengineering, Arizona State University

2006 – 2008 Predoctoral Fellowship (NIH F90), Yale University

2008 – 2011 Postdoctoral Fellowship (NIH T32), Yale School of Medicine

2010 Travel Award, NIGMS Career Workshop (NIH)

2010 Travel Award, Molecular Neuroimaging Symposium

2010 First Place Abstract, Society for Nuclear Medicine

2011 Travel Award, BrainPET 2011

2013 Innovation and Career Award, Biomedical Engineering Society

2017 WhatIFF Awardee, Ian’s Friends Foundation

2018 Science and Technology Acquisition and Retention recruitment award, UTH

2019 Women’s Faculty Forum Rising Star Excellence Award, UTH

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