Brittany Coats


Brittany Coats, PhD
Assistant Professor
Developmental Head Injury Biomechanics Lab.

Description of Research: The biological structures of the head and eye are continually changing with age. Rapid growth and development in young children, and rapid degradation in the elderly, makes identification of age-dependent structural and mechanical properties crucial to understanding patient specific injury and disease. In the Developmental Head Injury Biomechanics Lab, we explore the microscopic and macroscopic structure of the head and eye at different stages of development. We use principals of engineering to characterize the biomechanical response of these structures to injury and disease. These data not only help us understand the initiation of injury and disease, but also allow us to design and implement accurate and complex computer models that can accelerate the development of age-appropriate injury prevention, diagnosis and treatment strategies for traumatic brain and ocular injury.

Honors/Awards: 2014 UofU nominee for the Blavatnik Young Scientist Awards; 2013 Dept of Mech Eng Teacher of the Year Award; 2012 U of U nominee for the Packard Fellowsihp in Science and Engineering; 2008 Recipient of the David and Lindsay Morgenthaler Endowed Fellowship; 2008 UPENN nominee for the Burroughts Wellcome Career Award at the Scientific Interface; 2007 Solomon R. Pollack Award for Excellence in graduate Bioengineering Research

For Google Scholar Citations click here.

Where did you get your degrees: PhD – Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania; BS – Mechanical Engineering at the University of Utah

How would you describe the atmosphere of your lab: Good-natured, relaxed, but HIGHLY efficient… right guys?

What characteristics do you value in your students: Resourceful, hard-working, and able to work well with the existing students in my lab.

Favorite thing(s) to do in SLC: Oktoberfest up at Snowbird; biking

Favorite place(s) to eat in SLC: Avenues Proper because it’s within walking distance from home and is next door to an ice cream shop.

Advice to incoming students: Hit the ground running. Don’t sit around and wait for someone to tell you what to do. Look around. See what needs to be done. And then do it (after running the idea by me first, of course).