Lindblom Math & Science Academy
Lindsey Reiser is a biology, biotechnology and physics teacher at Lindblom Math & Science Academy. A south-suburban native, Lindsey attended Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School on Chicago’s south side, and studied biology and English at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She grew up among the largest collection of forest preserves in Cook County and received an informal education on local species from her grandmother, who is something of an amateur naturalist. Since then, Lindsey has loved biology and talking about science to anyone who will listen, which sometimes includes her students.
Lindsey is a career changer, moving from a master’s degree in journalism and six years working in media to a master’s of education from the University of Illinois, Chicago. She sought to return to science after a stint as a volunteer facilitator at the Museum of Science and Industry’s human body exhibit, and considers the move one of the best decisions she’s ever made. In her spare time, she likes to run in Chicago’s parks with her husband and dog, Bonzai.
As a proud and humbled fellow of UIC’s BEST program, Lindsey is working in Dr. Jae-Won Shin’s lab with Ph.D candidate Stephen Lenzini. Dr. Shin’s lab is exploring applications of alginate hydrogels, which can be used to design microscopic environments for cells and tissue cultures. These gels can mimic microenvironments inside the body and facilitate the exchange of water, gases, drugs and cell-to-cell signaling, which has far-reaching implications for stem cell and cancer research. Lindsey is building the genetic engineering curriculum for Lindblom’s biotechnology class, including a final project where students will design devices made of “living materials,” in which genetically modified E.coli bacteria will recognize and respond to the presence of a given chemical. The students’ devices will be designed for the treatment of a disease or disorder of their choice, with the goal of safer, faster, more effective diagnoses.