CBE Graduate Student Spotlight - Adreann Peel

By: Jenna Anderson

CBE Graduate Student Spotlight - Adreann Peel

Adreann Peel is a PhD student here in the CBE Department and is a part of Dr. Guymon’s research lab. Read about her journey to Iowa and the advice she has for incoming graduate students!


Paradise, Utah

Undergraduate Degree

B.S. biological engineering at Utah State University

How did you choose the University of Iowa for your graduate studies?

Dr. Guymon (CBE department head and now my research advisor) came to my undergraduate department on a recruiting trip.  I attended his presentation and chatted with him after, and he convinced me to apply to the University of Iowa, particularly for the doctorate program.  After visiting campus and meeting various people in the chemical engineering department, I knew this was the place I wanted to complete my graduate studies.

What professor are you doing research with, and what is the focus of your research?

I am a member of Dr. Guymon's lab.  I am part of a collaborative project working with Dr. Marlan Hansen in the otolaryngology department in the medical school.  Our aim is to develop a durable, photografted hydrogel coating for cochlear implants that will prevent buildup of proteins and cells enabling the implants to remain effective for longer without causing additional problems.

What are your plans after graduation?

I want to find an R&D position working with materials for specific applications, such as medical devices.

What advice do you have for incoming graduate students?

Don't be afraid to ask questions and seek out help from others (and not just others in your lab or your advisor), realize that most graduate students feel inadequate at some point but just keep pushing, and find a good balance between school and other activities!

What has been your favorite memory from your time at the University of Iowa? 

I am a big fan of college football, and I really enjoyed attending an Iowa game my first year, particularly participating in The Wave.

Favorite class you have taken at the University of Iowa?

It's hard because I've had many great ones specific to my interests that I've enjoyed, but maybe my favorite was Dr. Rundlett's polymer class.  I really enjoyed learning about the actual applications and real-world usage of the polymers that I often encounter in lab and research papers.

What are some of your hobbies?

 I enjoy reading, running, cooking and eating, finding cool outdoor locations to explore, crocheting, and doing puzzles.

Favorite place to eat in Iowa City?

My favorite local place in Iowa City is definitely Chop House, but I also have gained a great appreciation for Culver's since moving to Iowa City!

Fun fact about you?

I lived in Croatia and Bosnia for 18 months on a mission trip for my church.