Faculty Profile

Catherine A. Fromen

Assistant Professor 


  • Post-Doctorate – 2017 University of Michigan
  • Doctorate – 2014 North Carolina State University
  • Bachelors – 2009 University of Rochester

About Catherine A. Fromen

Respiratory diseases remain a challenging therapeutic problem, resulting in high morbidity and mortality. These conditions range from infectious diseases of influenza, tuberculosis and pneumonia, to known genetic and immunological disorders of cystic fibrosis (CF), allergy, and lung cancers, and finally to acquired conditions dominated by airway obstructions and lung remodeling in COPD, asthma, and pulmonary fibrosis. With each of these diseases, physiological/pathological changes occur on many length scales, with dysfunction on the molecular level causing changes in cellular interactions, dynamics of the microenvironment, and resulting whole organ function. We are interested in applying engineering fundamentals and innovative tools with the latest understanding in immunology to better predict how these changes manifest at each length scale. Importantly, we seek to understand how these changes impact the efficacy of inhaled therapeutics and to develop translational aerosol designs in new therapeutic areas.

Three main areas of interest include:
1. Leveraging 3D printing to advance in vitro tools for pulmonary drug delivery testing
2. Using engineered particles to probe lung biology and immune function
3. Engineering novel therapeutics for controlled immune stimulation in the lung

Select Publications 

For a complete listing of publications, please view the Full CV.

  1. Decker, G.,* Stillman, Z.S.,* Attia, L., Fromen, C.A.,# Bloch, E., # “Controlling Size, Defectiveness, and Fluorescence in Nanoparticle UiO-66 Through Water and ligand modulation,” Chem Mater, 31:13, 4831-4839, (2019).
  2. Noble, J., Zimmerman, A., Fromen, C.A., “Potent Immune Stimulation from Nanoparticle Carriers Relies on the Interplay of Adjuvant Surface Density and Adjuvant Mass Distribution,” ACS Biomater Sci Eng, 3:4, 560-571, (2017).
  3. Fromen, C.A., Kelley, W.J., Fish, M.B., Adili, R., Noble, J., Hoenerhoff, M.J., Holinstat, M., Eniola-Adefeso, O., “Neutrophil-Particle Interactions in Blood Circulation Drive Particle Clearance and Alter Neutrophil Responses in Acute Inflammation,” ACS Nano, 11:11, 10797-10807, (2017).
  4. Fish, M.B., Fromen, C.A., Lopez-Cazares, G., Golinski, A.W., Scott, T.F., Adili, R., Holinstat, M., Eniola-Adefeso, O., “Exploring Deformable Particles in Vascular-Targeted Drug Delivery: Softer is Only Sometimes Better,” Biomaterials, 124, 169-179, (2017).
  5. Fromen, C.A., Rahhal, T.B., Robbins, G.R., Kai, M.P., Shen, T.W., Luft, J.C., DeSimone, J.M., “Nanoparticle Surface Charge Impacts Distribution, Uptake and Lymph Node Trafficking by Pulmonary Antigen-Presenting Cells, Nanomed,” Nanotechnol, Biol, Med, 12:3, 677-687, (2016).
  6. Rahhal, T.B., Fromen, C.A., Wilson, E.M., Kai, M.P., Shen, T.W., Luft, J.C., DeSimone, J.M., “Pulmonary Delivery of Butyrylcholinesterase as a Model Protein to the Lung,” Mol Pharmaceutics, 13:5, 1626-1635, (2016).
  7. Fromen, C.A., Fish, M.B., Zimmerman, A., Adili, R. Holinstat, M., Eniola-Adefeso, O., “Evaluation of Receptor-Ligand Mechanisms of Dual-Targeted Particles to an Inflamed Endothelium,” Bioeng Transl Med, 1, 103–115, (2016).
  8. Kai, M.P., Brighton, H.E., Fromen, C.A., Shen, T.W., Luft, J.C., Luft, Y.E., Keeler, A.W., Robbins, G.R., Ting, J.P.Y., Zamboni, W.C., Bear, J.E., DeSimone, J.M., “Tumor Presence Induces Global Immune Changes and Enhances Nanoparticle Clearance,” ACS Nano, 10:1, 861-870, (2016).
  9. Shen, T.W.*, Fromen, C.A.*, Kai, M.P., Luft, J.C., Rahhal, T.R., Robbins, G.R., DeSimone, J.M., “Distribution and Cellular Uptake of PEGylated Polymeric Particles in the Lung Towards Cell-Specific Targeted Delivery,” Pharm Res, 32, 3248-3260, (2015).
  10. Fromen, C.A.*, Robbins, G.R.*, Shen, T.W., Kai, M.P., Ting, J.P.Y., DeSimone, J.M., “Controlled Analysis of Nanoparticle Charge on Mucosal and Systemic Antibody Responses Following Pulmonary Immunization,” Proc Natl Acad Sci., USA, 112, 488-493, *co-first authors, (2015).

Patents (h3)

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Awards (h3)

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Research Areas

Pulmonary drug delivery, biomedical and immune engineering, in vitro and in vivo models, aerosol nanoparticle therapeutics, 3D printing of relevant physiology 

Office: 209 CLB 
Phone: 302-831-3649

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