Fast Five: Meet Dr. Lauren Flynn
Fast 5 features quick, personal profiles of our research team members. This week, it’s Dr. Lauren Flynn, Associate Professor, Chemical & Biochemical Engineering, Western University.
1. What are you reading for pleasure right now?
Reading for pleasure takes on a new meaning when you’re taking care of a toddler and a newborn while running a lab during a pandemic! Our newest book, which has quickly become a favorite, is Horton Hears a Who. Its message of the importance of taking care of others is very fitting during these times.
2. What is the most worthwhile non-monetary investment you’ve made?
Definitely investing time in people by mentoring the trainees in my lab and providing them with opportunities to develop their skills and experience so that they can go on and be highly successful in their careers.
3. What advice would you give your younger self?
Stay positive – it will all work out, just not in the way that you had originally planned. Plans are meant to change as you create new opportunities!
4. What prompted you to get into regenerative medicine?
I’ve always been very interested in biology and medicine but was drawn to engineering because of its applied nature and focus on problem solving. In undergrad, I enrolled in the Engineering Science program in Toronto because it was the only program at the time that offered a biomedical engineering stream, which allowed me to combine these passions. Through the program, I learned about the emerging field of tissue engineering and had the unique opportunity to get involved in undergraduate research in Dr. Molly Shoichet’s lab, focused on biomaterials-based strategies for neural regeneration. After that I was hooked, I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in academic research in the regenerative medicine field.
5. If you could buy one new toy for the lab right now – if money was not an issue – what would you get and why?
Our lab has an emerging interest in the application of dynamic culture as a preconditioning strategy to enhance the pro-regenerative functionality of MSC populations, so it would be cool to put together some new custom bioreactor systems.