Splash Biography

ASHLEY GARD, Yale PhD Student of Biomedical Engineering

Major: Biomedical Engineering

College/Employer: Yale

Year of Graduation: G

Picture of Ashley Gard

Brief Biographical Sketch:

Did you know that scientists are working to build organs to replace our own?! Well, it's true! In the lab of Dr. Laura Niklason at Yale University, I work to design and build (i.e. engineer) whole lungs for implantation.

After receiving B.S. degrees in Biochemistry and Biology from the University of Maine (Orono), I worked for four years in the biomedical sciences. Two years at The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine where I conducted research in neural development and stem cell biology, and two years at Yale University in the organ/tissue engineering lab of Dr. Laura Niklason.

Now, I am a PhD student in Dr. Laura Niklason's lab where I continue to develop methods to improve lung tissue engineering, in addition to exploring how the cells of our cardiovascular system experience mechanical stress (i.e. blood flow) and communicate with one another.

When I am not doing research, I love traveling around the world, cooking, snowboarding, studying languages and reading. I'm generally spontaneous and love socializing.

Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

E1199: Scandinavia: Welcome to Denmark! in Sprout Fall 2014 (Oct. 04 - 18, 2014)
Scandinavia encompasses Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands. In this course emphasis is placed on Denmark. You will learn about contemporary Danish culture and history (Vikings!). You will also have the opportunity to learn some of the fundamentals of the Danish language. Come explore a country that is a world-leader in fashion, architecture, environmental engineering/sciences, biotechnology, and more! The Danes are known for LEGO, artist such as AQUA, being from the happiest country in the world, providing students with free university education, designing notable structures around the world (i.e. Sydney Opera House), etc.

E1200: Intro. to Materials Science: What's Inside Your Walls? in Sprout Fall 2014 (Oct. 04 - 18, 2014)
What lives in the walls inside your house (besides the potential mouse)? There are numerous material components that make up the structural support, electrical wiring, plumbing, etc of your house and classroom. Ever wonder what those materials are and how much force they can withstand? Material Science is a fascinating field that is important to engineers and architects. Basic scientists seek to understand the fundamental chemistry and mechanics of each material and engineers seek to use them practically. In this course we will discuss types of structural materials and how they relate to the building that you inhabit. We will also briefly mention other types of materials, such as electronic materials which are used to make semiconductors.

E1090: The Promise of Tissue Engineering in Splash Spring 14 (Mar. 29, 2014)
Humans have some pretty impressive abilities to regenerate. Unfortunately, we aren't able to regrow or repair all parts of our bodies. Why is this? With limited means to regenerate vital organs and necessary tissues, humans have resorted to two possible solutions to get around our limitations: 1) Donor organs/tissue, or 2) Engineered organs/tissues. Since there is a limited supply of available donor tissue/organs and a number of complications associated with the use and transplantation of these donor tissues, engineering novel, patient-specific tissues and organs is the solution! How are scientists and engineers building and growing organs? Who has received one of these engineered tissues? What goes into the process? Come learn about human regeneration and the ground-breaking frontiers to engineer new organs. You'll also have to opportunity to handle interesting tissue-engineering materials and the chance to design something yourself!

X1093: Camping Skills in Splash Spring 14 (Mar. 29, 2014)
Ever wanted to go camping? Learn how! We'll go over some essential camping skills like setting up a tent and constructing a campfire, as well as show you some tricks you can use to make your own camping gear from common household items.