PhD Spotlight: Ada Vernet-Crua, PhD’22 – Chemical Engineering
Ada Vernet-Crua joined Northeastern in 2018 to complete her master’s thesis in nanoscience and nanotechnology in collaboration with Rovira and Virgili University in Spain, where she also completed her bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 2017. During those brief six months, she fell in love with the city and the research and decided to join the PhD program in chemical engineering in the fall of 2018.
Advised by Professor and Chair Rebecca Willits, Vernet-Crua’s primary research focused on the discovery of new nanoparticle formulations that could defeat cancer and antimicrobial resistance of antibiotics at the same time, specifically the use of the rare metalloid tellurium to create nanoparticles designed to treat melanoma and skin-derived infections simultaneously. She also dedicated herself to understanding alternative routes to synthesize nanomaterials in order to help reduce the environmental impact in engineering processes. For that reason, she contributed to more than 15 papers, reviews, and book chapters. Vernet-Crua also participated in several national and international conferences, winning the best poster in the American Association for the Advancement of Science, as well as both the innovation and graduate research awards at Northeastern’s Research, Innovation, Scholarship, and Entrepreneurship exposition.
During her time at Northeastern, she participated in the graduate co-op program, working at Takeda Pharmaceuticals in Lexington, Massachusetts, where she discovered her passion for bringing the science from the lab to truly help patients around the globe.
Upon graduation, Vernet-Crua joined Replimune in Framingham, Massachusetts, as a scientist in the process development group, helping to design new drugs and optimize processes to bring hope to cancer patients.