Elaine Skowronski is a Ph.D. student in NanoEngineering at UC San Diego. Under the guidance of Dr. Michael Heller, she designs assays with the potential for translation as point-of-care diagnostics. Elaine couples charge-changing fluorescent peptide substrates with gel electrophoresis to rapidly measure disease-related enzyme activity in whole blood. She also utilizes electrokinetic techniques to capture protein and nucleic acid biomarkers for disease diagnostics. She validates the clinical utility of her assays by collaborating with researchers at multiple institutions. In the laboratory, Elaine trains and mentors undergraduate and graduate students, two of whom have completed their M.S. in Bioengineering. Outside of the laboratory, Elaine has competed in the NSF Innovation Corps as the entrepreneurial lead of a team exploring the commercialization of assays developed in Dr. Heller’s laboratory. Elaine is a recipient of the Cancer Researchers in Nanotechnology Fellowship and the San Diego Fellowship.