March 4, 2022

Purdue Systems Collaboratory announces 2022 Systems Fellows

The Purdue Systems Collaboratory (PSC) has selected two doctoral students for the third cohort of Systems Fellows. The assistantship supports outstanding graduate students who conduct research toward addressing a systems problem or advancing systems science.

PSC’s Systems Fellowship program exists because today’s most complex societal problems present challenges that require more than a range of expertise and advanced knowledge in different domains. It also requires integration of breakthrough technologies, cutting-edge analytics and progressive research with an understanding of human interaction, policy implications, and governance.

The 2022 fellows and their advisors represent different “systems” interests and bring together expertise from chemistry, chemical engineering, biomedical engineering, pharmacy and medicinal chemistry and molecular pharmacology. 

The 2022 fellows and their projects are:

Giulia Murbach de Oliveira Giulia Murbach de Oliveira

Giulia Murbach de Oliveira, PhD student, Department of Chemistry

  • Advisors: David H. Thompson, Department of Chemistry, and Zoltan Nagy, Davidson School of Chemical Engineering
  • Project title: Next-generation Drug Manufacturing and Distribution Systems  
  • Project description: The current pandemic not only has brought new drug discovery challenges, but also has highlighted many problems in the manufacturing and distribution of already approved drugs. Using a systems approach to integrate chemistry and engineering tools, next-generation drug manufacturing and distribution systems can be proposed to provide greater process efficiencies and improved environmental outcomes.
Xiao Liu Xiao Liu

Xiao Liu, PhD student, Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering

  • Advisors: Elsje Pienaar, Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, and Rob Stahelin, Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology
  • Project title: Computational Approaches to Systems Biology of Viral Infections
  • Project description: Viral outbreaks from COVID-19 to Ebola have highlighted human limitations in developing effective anti-viral treatments and vaccines. This limitation is due, in part, to a lack of multi-scale and systems-level understanding of the microbial mechanisms that drive pathogen proliferation and damage to host cells. Given the complexity of these viral infections across multiple spatial and temporal scales, such a systems approach requires quantitative engineering and computational tools.

Six other Systems Fellows have been selected for collaborative transdisciplinary research support as part of the Systems Collaboratory since 2018, all choosing research topics that focus on problem solving using a systems thinking or systems science approach.

The Purdue Systems Collaboratory (PSC) was formed in 2015 to facilitate broad, transdisciplinary investigations of systems, the interactions with other diverse and assumed unrelated systems, and the aftereffects of major system disruptions. PSC contributes foundational "systems-thinking" principles to education, research and practice through value-added collaborative models.

For more information, contact Kat Burkhart at or visit the Purdue Systems Collaboratory website.

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