Alaina grew up in Truro, a small town in Atlantic Canada, and received a B.Sc. in chemistry from the University of New Brunswick in 2008. She completed her M.Sc. in 2010 at Queen’s University under the supervision of Prof. Derek Pratt where she investigated a sterically hindered sulfenic acid as a model for biologically relevant derivatives. This fundamental study was the first to experimentally determine the sulfenic acid’s potential to be a potent antioxidant and role as an intermediate in cell signaling pathways. Alaina then spent two years as a staff researcher in a medicinal chemistry group supervised by Prof. Donald Weaver at Dalhousie University where she contributed to the hit to lead optimization of potential therapeutics for Alzheimer’s disease. Alaina joined the group of Prof. Craig Hawker in February of 2013 as a staff researcher, working mainly on the synthesis of new functional polyethers. She progressed to the role of Assistant Director for Technology for the Dow Materials Institute in April of 2014. In addition to this role, she manages and works on NIH funded projects which focus on the development of polymeric nanoparticles for medical imaging applications.