Department News Highlights – Summer / Fall 2016

Featured Story: Stephanie Knowlton Recipient of 2016 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) Fellowship

SickleCell151013a029-630x420First year BME graduate student, Stephanie Knowlton, has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) Fellowship. The award amount is $138,000 ($34k/year as stipend, $12k/year to institution for tuition and fees), and the fellowship period is 5 years. The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based Master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions. 

For more on the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program see the website here

Stephanie Knowlton earned her BS from UConn in 2015 as and is now a graduate student in Biomedical Engineering. Her current research interests include using 3D printing and magnetic levitation to develop medical technologies which can ultimately be applied in clinical settings and enhance healthcare in developing countries. Stephanie is a member of Phi Sigma Rho, a sorority for women in engineering and the Biomedical Engineering Society.


New Grants

This past year has been a productive one for BME, as faculty have received seven research awards in the amount of $690K.

  • Profs. Guoan Zheng and Kazunori Hoshino received a $200K grant from the National Science Foundation.

  • Profs. Kevin Brown (Co-Investigator) and Melanie Fewings (PI) received a $200K grant from the NASA/JPL. Dr. Brown’s portion is $80K.

  • Prof. Sangamesh Kumbar received an $80K grant for development of an Indo-US Knowledge R&D Networked Joint Center on Orthopaedic Regeneration from the Indo-US Science and Technology Forum organization.

  • Prof. Ki Chon has received a two year grant from the Naval Submarine Medical Research Laboratory in the amount of $130K to examine the effect of wakefulness on auditory cued visual search.


Scholarly Activities

  • Prof. Guoan Zheng has published a new textbook on Fourier Ptychographic Imaging: a Matlab Tutorial, in April of 2016.

  • Dr. Lakshimi Lair is the editor of a new book on Injectable Hydrogels for Regenerative Engineering.


Graduate Educational Highlights

  • Stephanie Knowlton, a BME PhD student working with Dr. Savas, received a 2016 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) fellowship. This is a three-year award which provides full tuition and stipend.
  • Several BME PhD students received Third Bridge grants for their entrepreneurial work. The recipients are: Hamed Vavadi, Sreyankar Nandy and Stephanie Knowlton

Undergraduate Educational Highlights

  • Cameron Flower was chosen as the 2016 Goldwater Scholar and was accepted into the prestigious 2016 NIH BESIP summer program.
  • Lindsay Jimenez was selected as the 1st Place Winner for her Spring 2015 Cooperative Education experience with INDICASAT AIP, in Panama, for her lab work with tissue engineering of the brain.

Faculty Recruiting and Departmental Personnel

Drs. Kristen Morgan and Insoo Kim joined the BME faculty as tenure-track assistant professors in the summer of 2016. Dr. Kim’s primary appointment will be in the division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine of the School of Medicine. Dr. Kim will have a joint appointment with BME as his research background is in medical wearable devices. This appointment will provide more research and educational synergies between BME and UCHC. Dr. Morgan will work very closely with the Kinesiology department’s faculty in the area of biomechanics. She will have a lab in the basement of Gampel Pavilion to foster synergistic collaborations with some of the Kinesiology faculty who have their labs there.


Faculty Honors

  • Dr. Liisa Kuhn was elected as the President of the US Society for Biomaterials. She began her term in May of 2016. Dr. Kuhn’s priority for the Society for Biomaterials is to mobilize their participation in medical product standards writing within the American Society of Testing and Materials leading to direct, positive impact on new product regulations and healthcare.

Entrepreneurial Activities by BME Faculty – Intellectual Property

Prof. Chon created a new company named MobileSense Technologies. The company will license some of the intellectual property which was originally developed by Dr. Chon’s lab and subsequently filed for full patent application by UConn.