Alumnus: Randolph S. Ashton

Randolph S. Ashton, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Biomedical Engineering & Wisconsin Institute for Discovery,
University of Wisconsin Madison

Randolph S. Ashton received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The goal of Dr. Ashton’s research is to provide novel regenerative therapies to treat CNS diseases and injury. His lab is currently developing scalable protocols to generate region-specific central nervous system tissues from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs). They also meld state-of-the-art biomaterial approaches with hPSC-derived neural stem cells to engineer brain and spinal cord tissue models in vitro.

What sets the RPI experience apart from that of other institutions?

Dr. Ashton: Its intensity as a hands-on engineering educational experience.

Why did you choose RPI?

Dr. Ashton: I chose RPI for graduate school based on a personal recommendation from my undergraduate dean, and also because of Rensselaer’s strong history in engineering education.

What about the Training Program was especially meaningful while you attended?

Dr. Ashton: I helped move my PI’s lab into the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies just as the facility was opening. It was an excellent experience being able to conduct my doctoral studies in this world-class facility.

How did the Training Program enhance your subsequent career?

Dr. Ashton: The network of mentors and colleagues that I acquired at RPI has continued to serve me well as I’ve advanced in my career.

Do you have any fond extracurricular memories from your time in the Training Program?

Dr. Ashton: Playing cricket inside of Ricketts Hall.