Pitt | Swanson Engineering
Cassandra Weaver (now Cassandra Happe)

Cassandra Weaver (now Cassandra Happe)


Current Position
Post doctoral fellow at UC San Diego
Lab bio

Research Projects

• Characterization of a conducting polymer/graphene oxide nanocomposite; analysis of neuron and neural stem cell interactions with the nanocomposite

• Design and optimization of novel conducting polymer electrode coatings for precise electrochemical neurotransmitter detection; assessment of electrical properties and biocompatibility

• Development of an in vitro traumatic brain injury model utilizing a multielectrode device to simultaneously record neural activity and monitor excitotoxic glutamate release

• Optimization of highly precise, electrically controlled drug delivery from conducting polymer films


Doctor of Philosophy 
University of Pittsburgh 
Expected graduation: May 2013 

Bachelor of Arts 
Biology with a specialization in Neuroscience 
Boston University 
May 2005


University of Pittsburgh Provost’s Development Fund Award 2013

Second Place Winner, Scientific Retreat Poster Contest, McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine Annual Scientific Retreat 2013

National Science Foundation IGERT 2011-2013

U.S. Department of Energy and National Energy Technology Laboratory Professional Internship Program Award 2009-2011

Beckman Scholars Research Award 2003-2005


Weaver C.L. , LaRosa J.M., Luo X., Cui X.T. (2014). Electrically Controlled Drug Delivery from Graphene Oxide Nanocomposite Films. ACS Nano . 8(2): 1834-1843.

Luo X.*, Weaver C.L. *, Tan S., Cui X.T. (2013). Pure graphene oxide doped conducting polymer nanocomposite for bio-interfacing. J. Mater. Chem. B , 1:1340-1348.

authors contributed equally to this manuscript

Kozai T.D.Y., Vazsquez A.L., Weaver C.L. , Kim S., Cui X.T. (2012). In vivo two-photon microscopy reveals immediate microglial reaction to implantation of microelectrode through extension of processes. J. Neural Eng. 9(6):066001.

Luo X., Weaver C.L. , Zhou D.D., Greenberg R., Cui X.T. (2011). Highly stable carbon nanotube doped poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) for chronic neural stimulation.Biomaterials 32(24):5551-7.

Cruz D.A., Weaver C.L. , Lovallo E.M., Melchitzky D.S., Lewis D.A. (2009). Selective alterations in postsynaptic markers of chandelier cell inputs to cortical pyramidal neurons in subjects with schizophrenia. Neuropsychopharmacology . 34(9): 2112-24.

Conference Presentations 

Oral Presentations

Weaver C.L. , Snyder N.R., Cui X.T. Development of an in vitro focal neuronal injury platform with simultaneous neural recording and conducting polymer/graphene oxide nanocomposite-mediated electrochemical sensing. Presented at the Society for Biomaterials Annual Meeting, Boston, MA, April 13 th , 2013.

Poster Presentations

Weaver C.L.* , LaRosa J.M., Cui X.T. Electrically controlled release of anti-inflammatory dexamethasone from conducting polymer/graphene oxide nanocomposite films. Presented at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine Annual Scientific Retreat, Farmington, PA, March 7 th -10 th , 2013.

Second Place Winner in the Scientific Retreat Poster Contest

Weaver C.L . and Cui X.T. Neural stem cell interfacing with graphene oxide doped conducting polymer. Presented at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, October 14 th , 2012

Weaver C.L. and Cui X.T. Electrochemical detection of dopamine with graphene oxide doped conducting polymer modified electrodes. Presented at Translation Science 2012, Pittsburgh, PA, October 5 th , 2012.

Weaver C.L. , Luo X., Cui X.T. Biomolecule immobilization on graphene oxide doped conducting polymer for tissue engineering applications. Presented at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine Annual Scientific Retreat, Farminton, PA, March 4 th -6 th , 2012.

Weaver C.L. and Cui X.T. Directing neuronal differentiation via neurochemical release from carbon nanotube-doped conducting polymers. Presented at the Society for Biomaterials Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL, April 14 th -15 th , 2011.

Weaver C.L. , Stauffer W.R., Sleight T.W., Kass R.E., Cui X.T. Local release of CNQX as a method to study cultured neuronal network activity. Presented at the Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting, Pittsburgh, PA, October 9 th , 2009.

Weaver C.L. and Erskine M.S., Colocalization of NMDA receptor and estrogen receptor alpha in the mating-activated cells of the medial amygdala in the female rat. Presented at the Sixth Annual Beckman Scholars Symposium, Irvine, CA, July 31 st , 2004.