Nick Alden Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Nick Alden

Science Addition A329
Curriculum Vitae


Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 2019-2023
Ph.D. Bioengineering
University Fellow 2019-2020
Diefenderfer Fellow 2022-2023

Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, Virginia 2013-2018
M.S. Mechanical Engineering with Biomedical Engineering option, May 2018
B.S. Mechanical Engineering, minor in Biomedical Engineering, May 2017
Pi Tau Sigma National Mechanical Engineering Honor Society 2017; Sigma Alpha Lambda National Leadership and Honors Organization 2015-2017; Tau Sigma National Honor Society 2014-17;
National Society of Collegiate Scholars 2014-17

West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia, 2012-2013
Major: General Engineering
Phi Sigma Theta National Honor Society 2012-13

Selected Publications


Nick A. Alden, Tyus Yeingst, Hanna M. Pfeiffer, Nazmiye Celik, Julien H. Arrizabalaga, Angelica M. Helton, Yiming Liu, Douglas B. Stairs, Adam B. Glick, Neerav Goyal, & Daniel J. Hayes; Near-Infrared Induced MIR-34A Delivery From Nanoparticles In Esophageal Cancer Treatment; Advanced Healthcare Materials, 2023.

Nick Alden, Julien Arrizabalaga, Yiming Liu, Shantu Amin, Krishne Gowda, Shun Yao, Marco Archetti, Adam Glick, Daniel Hayes; Delivery of Therapeutic miR-148b Mimics via Poly(Beta Amino Ester) Polyplexes for the Treatment of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer; ACS Lanmuir, 2022

Nick A. Alden, A.Cameron Varano, William J. Dearnaley, Maria J. Solares, William Y. Luqiu, Yanping Liang, Zhi Sheng, Sarah M. McDonald, John Damiano, Jennifer McConnell, Madeline J. Dukes, and Deborah F. Kelly (2019). Cryo-EM-on-a-Chip: Custom-designed Substrates for the 3D Analysis of Macromolecules. Small. 15(21), 1900918.

William J. Dearnaley, Beatrice Schleupner, A.Cameron Varano, Nick A. Alden, Floricel Gonzalez, Michael Casasanta, Birgit E. Scharf, Madeline J. Dukes and Deborah F. Kelly (2019). Liquid-Cell Electron Tomography of Biological Systems. Nano Letters (in press) DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.9b01309.

A.Cameron Varano, Nick A. Alden, William J. Dearnaley, Michael Casasanta, John Damiano, Jennifer McConnell, Madeline J. Dukes, and Deborah F. Kelly (2019). Customizable Cryo-EM Chips Improve 3D Analysis of Macromolecules. Microscopy & Microanalysis. (25) S2, 1310-1311.

Yanping Liang, William J. Dearnaley, Nick A. Alden, Maria J. Solares, Kevin J. Pridham, A.Cameron Varano, Zhi Sheng, Elizabeth All, and Deborah F. Kelly (2019). Correcting Errors in the BRCA1 Warning System. DNA Repair. 73, 120 – 128.

Yanping Liang, William Dearnaley, A. Cameron Varano, Carly E. Winton, Brian L. Gilmore, Nick Alden, Zhi Sheng, and Deborah F. Kelly (2017). Structural Analysis of BRCA1 Reveals Modification Hot Spot. Science Advances. 3:e1701386.


Virginia Cancer Research Conference at the University of Virginia
– Oral Research Presentation: Tunable Microchips for Imaging Protein Structures Formed in Breast Cancer Cells

  • Recipient of the Trainee Award for the “Early Events in Tumorigenesis”

BMES San Antonio, 2022, Category: Drug Delivery (Immuno Modulation 1)
– Oral Research Presentation: Photocontrolled Core-Shell-Shell Nanoparticles Carrying Synthetic miRNA-34a Mimics Cause Apoptosis of TE10 Esophageal Cancer Cells In Vitro & Inflammation and Regression of Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinomas In Vivo 

Students Mentored

Hanna Pfeiffer, 2021-2023, The Pennsylvania State University, BME Undergraduate Student, Hayes Lab
Satyam Ghodasara, 2022-2023, The Pennsylvania State University, BME Undergraduate Student, Hayes Lab
Beatrice Schleupner, 2017-2018, Virginia Tech, Roanoke Area High School Senior, Kelly Lab


Penn State University Doctoral Research – Development of inorganic-based magnetic nanoparticles utilizing thermally labile Diels Alder linker chemistry for the controlled delivery of gene regulating siRNA/miRNA therapeutic payloads in vitro (2D and 3D models) and in vivo (mouse model). The thermally labile linkers undergo the retro-Diels Alder reaction, cleaving due to the heat generated within the magnetic nanoparticles when activated through near-Infrared (nIR) irradiation, allowing for therapeutic payloads to be released in tissue targets where nIR light-activated nanoparticle systems can efficiently access. This work was partially funded through NSF fellowships/grants (NSF iCorps) toward the inception of small business. The research conducted, and work following is under patent filing review with The Pennsylvania State University and Third Party Investors.

Penn State University Biology of RNA – Developed RNAsequencing data for a project aimed to determine the role of various micro-RNA (miRNA) interactions on gene regulation in Adenocarcinoma Lung Cancer mouse models for their potential therapeutic use in applications using nanoparticle-based controlled release mechanisms.

Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute Masters Research – Colorimetric Detection of BRCA1 protein complexes through ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay). I worked on developing a novel, specifically aimed protocol for the colorimetric concentration quantification of BRCA1 complexes through the development of a Capture “Sandwich” ELISA utilizing antibodies raised against BRCA1 complexes as well as functionalized Ni-NTA (Nickel-Nitrilotriacetic Acid).

Virginia Tech Senior Design – Implant Infection Prevention, utilizing STEP (Spinneret based Tunable Engineering Parameters) – STEP is a technique to develop polymeric nanofibers that can be deposited onto surfaces to create a precisely textured finish with anti-microbial protective properties. I worked in a team of five members to implement five subsystems (Pressure Control, Needle Cutting, Fiber Centering, Adjustable Substrate Holder, and an Enclosure) to enhance the nanofiber deposition process efficiency, and consistency. I lead the development of an environmental containment system using Autodesk Inventor and appropriate materials for laser cutting and fabrication while maintaining close communication and collaborative aid in the progression of the other major subsystems.