Stephen Mather High School
Mechelle Washington is a National Board Certified Biology teacher at Stephan T. Mather High School, where she has taught Biology for over twenty years. Mechelle is a life long Chicagoan, who attended both CPS elementary and high schools. She has a Bachelors of Communication from Northwestern University and Bachelors of Biological Science and Masters of Education from Loyola University Chicago.
Mechelle is BEST fellow in Dr. Salman Khetani’s Microfabricated Tissue Models (MTM) laboratory, where she engaged in the process of screening for drug induced toxicity using micropatterned liver tissue co-culture.
In the Khetani MTM lab, Mechelle had the opportunity to learn in a environment of true positive team collaboration. Mechelle was honored to work with every member of the Khetani Lab; including masters, PhD candidates, post-doctorates, and Dr. Khetani. Each member of the MTM lab helped to fully immersed Mechelle in the lab culture by sharing their research and training her in the useful laboratory techniques they use regularly. These techniques included: cell culture growth, maintenance, and storage, ELISA assay and analysis, creating and drug dosing micropatterned co-cultures, and conducting qPCR analysis. Mechelle was also invited to observe the harvesting and isolation of live liver cells from mice. Using her training in many facets of cell tissue culturing, Mechelle created a micropatterned co-culture, with which she used to test for tissue viability, functionality, and to perform drug toxicity screening.
Mechelle is designing a unit that incorporates the skill learned at her time in the Khetani MTM lab to be included in a biotechnology course she is designing. In her BEST inspired unit, Mechelle is using a storyline that focuses on how engineering is used to provide ethical solutions for medical health challenges.