Corine Jackman: Helping women worldwide

She hopes to make probiotics more effective by identifying the best mechanisms to fight against bacterial infections like bacterial vaginosis

Status: Doctoral candidate

Hometown: Long Island, NY

Department: Chemical Engineering

Doctoral student Corine Jackman hopes to make probiotics more effective by identifying the best mechanisms to fight against bacterial infections like bacterial vaginosis. Her research investigates the interaction and communication between bacteria in the human vaginal microbiome, and uses microfluidic co-cultivation technology to efficiently examine cells and perform experiments. Although research in the field of chemical engineering often focuses on energy, Corine saw this work as a unique opportunity to combine her love of biology and nature with her chemical engineering expertise. She is driven to make social impact through her work.

“I feel a strong connection with my research because it directly relates to human health. I knew I would eventually help women worldwide,” she says.

After earning her undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from Howard University, Corine chose to pursue her PhD at the University of Michigan. U-M offered flexible research options that incorporated biology, she bonded well with her potential advisor and she knew she would join a vast network of alumni upon graduating. She spent the summer of 2013 between undergraduate and graduate school as a Rackham Merit Fellow, and connected with fellow future graduate students, explored the city of Ann Arbor and spent months with her future advisor in a research lab.

On campus, she is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and on the executive board of Society for Minority Engineers and Scientists-Graduate Component. In August of 2016, she travelled to Liberia with fellow members of SWE in its annual trip to lead professional development and engineering case activities for female Liberian engineering students. During her stay, she led hands-on case activities with students, and they identified and solved community issues through an engineering and design process. She maintains a continued relationship with the students and even hosted some of them in her home in Ann Arbor.

Corine stays active by running and biking outdoors. She spends time volunteering for a Detroit pre-college program, where she introduces different engineering concepts and potential career paths to middle school students. After Michigan, she looks to obtain a postdoc, and can see herself teaching university classes in the future as well as providing professional development or consulting services.

“Whatever talent I can share with people — whether it’s through my public speaking skills or encouraging and supporting other young ladies — I want to be able to make a difference in my community,” she says.