UF College of Pharmacy graduate student Kevon Jolly wins Best Oral Presentation Award at UF Biomaterials Day

By Tyler Francischine

Kevon Jolly, a second-year graduate student in the University of Florida College of Pharmacy’s department of pharmaceutics, won the Best Oral Presentation Award during UF Biomaterials Day, held on March 28.

Hosted by the Society for Biomaterials at UF, Biomaterials Day celebrates cutting-edge research conducted by students in the growing fields of biomaterial science, engineering and technology. Jolly’s research utilizes nanoplatforms to in situ engineer macrophages, a type of white blood cell critical to maintaining the body’s immune response. This approach offers a quicker, less costly method of engineering immune cells for cell-based therapies, and the work conducted by Jolly’s team has already produced nine nanoformulations ready to be patented.

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“Being honored with this award holds much personal significance. As a scientist, it marks a pivotal moment in my journey, with this being the first presentation-based recognition I’ve received since becoming a graduate student. It also demonstrates substantial growth and development, reflecting the progress I have made since joining the program,” Jolly said.

Jolly notes that this achievement is not solely his, as he had a lot of support in winning the award.

“It’s a collective win for our lab,” Jolly said. “My labmate and project partner, Zijing Xu, M.S., [a third-year graduate student in the department of pharmaceutics] played an integral role in this success. Working in an interdisciplinary lab means leaning on each other to bridge gaps our own technical skills can’t fill. Together, our collaborative efforts made attaining this award possible.”