Connecticut Regenerative Medicine Research Established Investigator Award

BME Core faculty Dr. Sangamesh Kumbar has received the Connecticut Regenerative Medicine Research Established Investigator Award for his research.


His research focuses on treatment of rotator cuff injuries.  Rotator cuff tears are a common and debilitating injury in the US and around the world.  Current surgical techniques often fall short of optimal healing and recovery.  Our research focuses on the development of a bioactive fiber based tendon augmentation device to mimic the natural tendon healing process.  The potential application of this technology promises to drastically improve tendon tear treatments and outcomes.

Dr. Syam Nukavarapu and Dr. Cato Laurencin Publish Book on Musculoskeletal Tissue Engineering

BME core faculty members Dr. Syam Nukavarapu and Cato Laurencin have recently published a book titled Regenerative Engineering of Musculoskeletal Tissues and Interfaces. 



Repair and regeneration of musculoskeletal tissues is generating substantial interest within the biomedical community. Consequently, these are the most researched tissues from the regeneration point of view. Regenerative Engineering of Musculoskeletal Tissues and Interfaces presents information on the fundamentals, progress and recent developments related to the repair and regeneration of musculoskeletal tissues and interfaces. This comprehensive review looks at individual tissues as well as tissue interfaces. Early chapters cover various fundamentals of biomaterials and scaffolds, types of cells, growth factors, and mechanical forces, moving on to discuss tissue-engineering strategies for bone, tendon, ligament, cartilage, meniscus, and muscle, as well as progress and advances in tissue vascularization and nerve innervation of the individual tissues. Final chapters present information on musculoskeletal tissue interfaces.

  • Comprehensive review of the repair and regeneration of musculoskeletal individual tissues and tissue interfaces
  • Presents recent developments, fundamentals and progress in the field of engineering tissues
  • Reviews progress and advances in tissue vascularization and innervation

About the Authors:

Dr. Nukavarapu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Connecticut Health Center (UConn Health), Connecticut. He has joint appointments with the departments of Biomedical Engineering (BME) and Materials Science & Engineering (MSE) at The University of Connecticut. His research interests include Biomaterials, Stem Cells, and Tissue Engineering. Dr. Nukavarapu’s laboratory has been focused on developing advanced matrix systems for Bone and Osteochondral Tissue Engineering. His group is at the forefront of developing Completely Intra-operative Tissue Engineering Strategies (CITES) for on-site therapy or bedside tissue engineering. Dr. Nukavarapu has published about 50 articles in peer-reviewed journals and has 10 book chapters and holds 2 patents. He is serving as editorial board member for many field journals. Dr. Nukavarapu teaches Advanced Biomaterials (BME 4701) course at the University of Connecticut.

Joseph W. Freeman is Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Rutgers University his research interests
include new biomaterial-based strategies for the regeneration of musculoskeletal tissues.

Dr. Laurencin is the Van Dusen Distinguished Endowed Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, and Professor of Chemical, Materials, and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Connecticut. In addition, Dr. Laurencin is a University Professor at the University of Connecticut (the 7th in the institution’s history). He is the Director of both the Institute for Regenerative Engineering, and the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Center at the University of Connecticut Health Center. Dr. Laurencin serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science at UCONN.

Dr. Laurencin earned his undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from Princeton, his medical degree, Magna Cum Laude, from Harvard Medical School, and his Ph.D. in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology from M.I.T.

A board certified orthopaedic surgeon and shoulder/ knee specialist, he won the Nicolas Andry Award from the Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons. His discoveries in research have been highlighted by Scientific American Magazine, and more recently by National Geographic Magazine in its “100 Scientific Discoveries that Changed the World” edition.

Dr. Laurencin is an outstanding mentor and he has received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring in ceremonies at the White House. Dr. Laurencin has received the Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award for mentoring, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Mentor Award.

Dr. Laurencin previously served as the UConn Health Center’s Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean of the School of Medicine. Prior to that, Dr. Laurencin was the Lillian T. Pratt Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Virginia, and Orthopaedic Surgeon-in-Chief for the University of Virginia Health System.

Dr. Laurencin is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering. He is also an elected member of the National Academy of Inventors.

Dr. Guoan Zheng Receives NSF Research Grant

Dr. Guoan Zheng Receives NSF Research Grant

Dr. Guoan Zheng

Dr. Guoan Zheng, a BME core faculty member, has received a $310k research grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in support of his development of a new microscopy imaging technique. This 3-year project is entitled “Coded-illumination Fourier Ptychography for High-content Multimodal Imaging”.

Despite the rapid progress in biomedical optics in the past decade, there is still a pressing need for higher information content in images. Dr. Zheng’s NSF project aims to develop a new type of high-content microscopy technique that incorporates the innovations of Fourier data recovery, structured illumination for tissue sectioning, multi-layer modeling, and spectrum multiplexing. Iteration across data acquisitions is used to produce images with exceptionally high information content and increase image dimensionality, either spectral or spatial. The successful implementation of this project could benefit many biomedical applications, including deep tissue imaging, confocal reflectance microscopy, in vivo skin imaging, and multi-color fluorescence microscopy.  

BME Seminar with Michael C.K. Khoo PhD Apr 24 2015

Event: BME Seminar with Michael C.K. Khoo PhD
Location: JRB 204 at Storrs
Time: 12:00 pm
Details of Event:
BME Seminar with Michael C.K. Khoo PhD

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During the last two decades, the number of undergraduate programs in BME and bioengineering (BE) has grown exponentially in the United States. In 1992, only 20 programs were accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), the nonprofit organization that evaluates engineering programs (see “What the Biomedical Engineer Has to Offer: A Brief Explanation of Engineering Program Accreditation”). Ten years later, 33 programs were accredited, and by 2012, 87 programs were accredited [1]. With this increased program growth, more BE graduates are joining the workforce as well as attending graduate and medical schools.

What the Biomedical Engineer Has to Offer: A Brief Explanation of Engineering Program Accreditation

As recently as November 2013, Money Magazine picked BME as its number one career choice (out of 100 top occupations), with a predicted ten-year job growth of 61.7% [2] (see also Jennifer Berglund’s article in this issue, “The Great Divide”). However, the question remains: Are B.S. BME graduates truly able to find positions in the medical device industry, a natural employer of these graduates?


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 15,700 biomedical engineers were employed in 2010, and that number is predicted to increase by 61.7% in 2020 to 25,400 [3]. But this large projected increase is deceiving for several reasons. First, the BLS counts several types of engineers as biomedical engineers, including all types of engineers at a medical device company, most of whom are electrical and mechanical engineers [4]. More accurately, approximately 25% of biomedical engineers work in the medical device industry [5]. Second, this high growth rate is not equivalent to high numbers of employed biomedical engineers. The BLS counted 15,700 engineers, some of whom were biomedical engineers, in 2010. In the same year, the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) counted 3,670 BME B.S. graduates [6]. Even if 15,700 engineers in 2010 were all truly biomedical engineers, the probability that 23% would retire so that new BME graduates could replace them was low.

In January 2014, the BLS updated its employment statistics and projections for 2012–2022. In 2012, the BLS counted 19,400 biomedical engineers. It now only projects an increase of 27% in 2022 to 24,600 biomedical engineers [7]. In 2012, the ASEE recorded 4,374 B.S. BME graduates [8].


When B.S. BME graduates apply for positions, they hope that their skill sets match employer needs. In a recent survey, medical device managers were asked to rate the importance of various practical skills on a Likert scale of zero (not important) to four (very important) [9]. The 13 respondents were all involved in hiring engineers, with titles that ranged from vice president of product development and director of R&D to research fellow. They had worked an average of 23 ± 9 years in the medical device industry.

These managers’ ratings of nine practical skills are given in Table 1. The practical skills rated either somewhat very important or very important by at least 69% (nine out of 13) of the managers were (in descending order): oral and written communication, business practices, practical experience, project management, and vital signs devices.

Table 1. Medical device manager ratings (N = 13) of practical skills.

Regarding the match between BE/BME curricula and medical device industry needs, medical device executives had differing viewpoints. Stuart Gallant, vice president of product and business development at Pro- Dex, an original equipment manufacturer supplier in Irvine, California, has spent 42 years in the medical device industry working on devices ranging from implantable and noninvasive cardiovascular devices and anesthesia/patient-monitoring devices to kidney dialysis, endocrinology, and orthopedic devices. Gallant began his career at Medtronic and has been hiring B.S. engineers for 35 years, including electrical, mechanical, chemical, and biomedical engineers. He specifically hires B.S. biomedical engineers for “lab work, data analysis, and mathematical modeling.”

When asked to comment on the B.S. BME curriculum, Gallant stated, “I’m not a big fan. The degree does not provide core disciplinary knowledge. Regardless of the school, graduates do not have depth in a specific engineering discipline. The curriculum provides a broad-based background but no specific discipline to solve engineering problems. New graduates can conduct lab analysis but can’t design circuits, software, or algorithms.” He added, “Unless this degree is a stepping stone for grad school, it doesn’t have a lot of value. If you have this degree, you will be limited in companies that can offer you a job.”

Conversely, Judson Laabs prefers to hire biomedical engineers for systems positions. He believes that the undergraduate BME curriculum “breeds the most flexible engineers … who take medical devices seriously.” Other types of engineers, like “electrical engineers, may not have a medical background … and may not realize that the stakes are higher (for patient safety), than in other fields.” His advice to new graduates is to find work in a geographic area known for health care activity. “Once you are integrated and established at a company, it becomes an advantage to have a BME background because you have a unique perspective on how to solve a lot of problems,” he added. Laabs is currently the director of program management at Baxter Healthcare. He has worked 16 years in the medical device industry on devices ranging from critical care monitors and noninvasive continuous cardiac output monitors to large-volume infusion pumps and automated peritoneal dialysis systems. He began his career at GE Medical Systems, worked at CardioDynamics, and has been at Baxter Healthcare for ten years. Two years ago, as senior manager of systems engineering, he managed 30 systems engineers, half of whom were BMEs.


Based on this small, sample-sized survey and set of interviews, the current undergraduate BE/BME curricula may not be meeting medical device industry needs. This is not the first time this mismatch has been identified. In a 2012 IEEE Institute article titled “What It Takes to Be a Bioengineer,” IEEE Life Fellow Kenneth Foster stated, “if you intend to work in industry, you should pick up traditional engineering skills such as signal and image processing and software design so you can compete for entry-level design jobs” [11]. Similarly, in ASEE Prism, James Tien, dean of engineering at the University of Miami in Florida, advised interested students to “major in electrical [engineering] for your undergraduate; it’s very easy at the master’s level then to pick up the [biology] and be as effective as anybody” [12].

In the ABET Criteria for Accrediting Engineering Programs, “an ability to communicate effectively” is one of the student outcomes of General Criterion 3. However, the BE/BME program criteria do not specifically call out any of the other practical skills that were highly rated in the survey. While capstone design projects were not specifically part of the survey, design projects give students a first experience in engineering design, and this experience is the foundation upon which graduates conduct design in industry positions. Historically, many BE/BME programs have had difficulty fulfilling this part of “General Criterion 5: Curriculum.” Often, this occurs because programs have students conduct research projects rather than complete design projects. To address this mismatch, in 2008, John Gassert and John Enderle, who were then both members of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) Accreditation Activities Committee (AAC), identified the differences between design and research projects in IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Magazine [13], which is now known as IEEE Pulse. BMES AAC oversees the annual evaluation of BE/BME programs for the ABET.

Ultimately, students reading this may wonder if they should major in BE/BME. It is important to reiterate that the undergraduate BE/BME curricula provide a strong foundation for graduate BE/BME programs. Undergraduate students are exposed to a breadth of BME topics, enabling them to effectively choose a specialty for their Ph.D. or M.S. degree work. For those students wishing to work in industry immediately after graduation, students are advised to consider attending a B.S. and/or M.S. BME degree program that emphasizes the elements of design control, which may be taught within a capstone design course.

In addition, after graduation from an ABET-accredited undergraduate program, biomedical engineers are well suited to become quality engineers in the medical device industry. As defined by the FDA, quality systems are established by manufacturers “to help ensure that their products consistently meet applicable requirements and specifications” [14]. (Yes, applicable requirements and standards can be found in the engineering standards that are called out in ABET Criterion 5.) A quality engineer conducts testing and/or risk analysis before a medical device is cleared or approved by the FDA to ensure that manufacturer requirements are met. Because BME graduates are capable of “solving BE/BME problems, including those associated with the interaction between living and nonliving systems,” as described in the program criteria, they have experience in testing, which can range from bench testing to animal testing. Other types of engineering graduates do not possess the physiologic knowledge necessary for animal testing.

It can be argued that quality engineering is more important than product development (design) engineering, as quality engineers are the last line of safety between a newly market-released device and patients. In the widely reviled Guidant implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) design defect case that caused an FDA recall, quality engineers first discovered the short circuit that caused ICDs to malfunction when their patients needed an electrical countershock to survive. Guidant ignored its quality engineers’ advice and continued selling defective inventory, which resulted in the largest U.S. Department of Justice medical device settlement to date of US$296 million [15], [16]. Vice president of quality is a common medical device industry position.

As noted by Laabs, biomedical engineers are also well suited to become systems engineers in the medical device industry because of their cross-disciplinary experience. System engineers focus “on defining customer needs and required functionality early in the development cycle, documenting requirements, and then proceeding with design synthesis and system validation while considering the complete problem: operations, cost and schedule, performance, training and support, test, manufacturing, and disposal” [17]. This type of engineering activity, while not specifically mandated by design control, is becoming increasingly emphasized by the FDA as it moves to minimize the annual number of medical device recalls [18], [19]. The International Council on Systems Engineering recently created a Biomedical and Healthcare Working Group to identify, develop, and tailor biomedical best practices [20].

However, if students want to design medical devices immediately after graduation, they may consider taking extra electrical engineering (EE) or mechanical engineering (ME) courses, or even double majoring in EE or ME as well as BME. These extra engineering courses may enable graduates to design, rather than just qualify, electrical or mechanical medical devices. There are substantially more FDA-approved and FDA-cleared EE and ME medical devices than tissue medical devices.

Exposure to the medical device industry through a summer internship or an industry-sponsored capstone design project may also differentiate a graduating senior during a job interview. Another option may be to graduate with a general engineering degree, which may provide engineering depth through system theory and engineering design courses and the opportunity for a few elective courses in specialties such as BME. The curricula for a general engineering degree, which is also known as engineering science or engineering physics, vary widely. General engineering degrees, with emphasis on system theory and engineering design, can be found at schools such as Harvey Mudd College and Olin College.

BME seniors should also be open to working in other industries. Other industries that may hire graduates include regulatory companies (such as UL), pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, and consulting companies (such as Accenture). BME’s broad-based curriculum, which includes “the application of engineering principles to human physiology,” is attractive to these employers. Since these industries may not interview on campus, BME seniors may need to contact these employers directly about open positions.


As BME professors, we can assist our students in career planning. Our students are very talented and frequently enter as freshmen with the highest mean SAT scores compared to students from other engineering departments. We can discuss the variety of interesting medical device positions for which they can apply, which include quality engineering and systems engineering as well as product development.

We can also assist our students by reevaluating our curricula. Curriculum reevaluation activities would be consistent with ABET “General Criterion 2: Program Educational Objectives.” From 2009 to 2010, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) conducted surveys of ME department heads (n = 79), industry supervisors (n = 381), and early career mechanical engineers (n = 635) to better understand what topics should be taught to their undergraduate students in preparation for industry positions. This multipart study was called ASME Vision 2030 [21]. Undergraduate curricula study recommendations included “offering more authentic practice-based engineering experiences, developing students’ professional skills to a higher standard, and increased faculty expertise in professional practice” [22]. A similar survey of medical device supervisors and early career medical device engineers could provide useful inputs for enhancements to the BE/BME curricula, which could enable our graduates to design medical devices.

A decade ago, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) conducted BE/BME program surveys to determine where B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. graduates were employed. In 2002, 30 institutions, with 445 B.S. graduates, reported that 30% had industry positions, 54% went on to graduate school, and 16% were still seeking employment [23]. In 2007, 35 institutions, with 1,389 B.S. graduates, reported that 33% obtained a job, 41% continued their education, 7% were still seeking employment, 3% were not looking, and 16% were unknown [24]. It may be time to survey institutions again to determine the percentages of B.S. graduates seeking further education or employment. In January 2015, the BMES Accreditation Activities Committee recommended to the Academic Council of AIMBE that the Academic Council survey where their graduates go.

In summary, although BE/BME undergraduate programs may not realize the job forecasts that the media has predicted, graduates of ABET-accredited programs who do not plan to attend graduate school are well suited to become quality engineers and systems engineers in the medical device industry and may also find opportunities in regulatory companies, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, and consulting companies. Looking forward, ABET-accredited programs should continue to engage with medical device supervisors and early career medical device engineers to determine how best the BME curricula can be enhanced so graduates are better prepared for product design in the medical device industry.

We invite academic and industry readers to join our discussion by contributing comments.

Read full article here

UConn Engineering Student Spotlight: Delaney and Carolyn

UConn School of Engineering Student Spotlight Series Episode One

Delaney & Carolyn Discuss Engineering

Freshman engineering students Delaney Turner (Biomedical Engineering) and Carolyn Williams (Environmental Engineering) met when the two attended the School of Engineering’s intensive summer BRIDGE program in 2011. In this video, they describe their choice to pursue engineering degrees and how their training will help them build successful careers.

Interviews filmed on location at the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History. The museum is part of CLAS at UConn. Visit: for more information on exhibits and events.

Watch video here

BME Students Win Idea Grant

Kate Craddock ’16 (Biomedical Engineering, ENGR) and Ryan Rood ’15 (Biomedical Engineering, ENGR) were awarded a Spring 2014 UConn IDEA Grant for their project, “Technology-Based Alternate Note-Taking Methods.”

They will work with the UConn Center for Students with Disabilities to engage in a study on various note-taking methods and study habits that have the potential to improve students’ organization, retention of the material and their overall learning experience. The grant was one of 17 awarded this semester. 

The UConn IDEA Grant program is open to all majors at all of the university’s campuses, and awards funding to undergraduates as a means to support projects designed by the students themselves. These can include artistic endeavors, community service initiatives, traditional research projects, entrepreneurial ventures, and other innovative projects. Proposals for the UConn IDEA Grant represented a variety of disciplines, ranging from fine arts to marine sciences.

Engineering Startups Capture $10k Grant Funding

Secor Water, LLC and Dura Biotech, two student-led startup businesses based on technologies developed at UConn and nurtured through UConn Engineering’s Experiential Technology Entrepreneurship course, were awarded $10,000 grants from the inaugural CTNext Entrepreneur Innovation Awards(EIA) managed by Connecticut Innovations.
The EIA (formerly Innovation Voucher) program awards competitive grants each month to promising startup businesses across Connecticut. Twenty-five startups applied for EIA funding in February. The applications were carefully vetted by a committee of entrepreneurship professionals at Connecticut Innovations, which selected six finalists, including Secor and Dura Biotech, for the presentation portion of the competition, which was held on February 27th at the Bijou Theater in Bridgeport. Before a panel of five expert judges – comprising company CEOs, mentors, investment professionals and other entrepreneurship gurus – a representative from each of the six startups presented a five-minute oral marketing “pitch” followed by three minutes of challenging questions from the panel. All six startup finalists garnered EIA funding; Secor and Dura Biotech were the only student-led startup award recipients.

“This was the first Entrepreneur Innovation Awards event and we couldn’t have asked for a better group of companies and innovative project ideas,” says Claire Leonardi, CEO of Connecticut Innovations. “The event assembled an enthusiastic group of entrepreneurs and startups that will contribute to the positive growth of businesses in Connecticut.”

CTNext is a statewide network of entrepreneurs, mentors, service providers and others involved in helping Connecticut’s most promising startups succeed and grow. EIA grants enable startups to invest in activities such as prototyping, performance and compliance testing, IP assessment, market research, licensing and other activities that will help the young businesses succeed.

Dura Biotech, headed by mechanical engineering Ph.D. candidate Eric Sirois (B.S. Biomedical Engineering ’09), is developing the LowPro Valve, a transcatheter aortic valve (TAV) featuring a crimped size that is 40 percent smaller than any valve currently on the market or in clinical trials. The thinner leaflet is made possible by Dura Valve Leaflet Technology, a patent-pending stress-reducing leaflet design that was developed at the University of Connecticut’s Tissue Mechanics Lab. After it passes all regulatory hurdles, the LowPro Valve will enable more patients to undergo the safer trans-femoral TAV procedure. Dura Biotech, which is a UConn Technology Incubation Program (TIP) participant, was founded by former UConn associate professor Wei Sun, a world expert in heart valve mechanics.

Sirois has been refining the company’s business approach and securing bridge funding since May 2012. In early 2013, he pitched the business before an audience of entrepreneurship experts associated with the Tolland-based XcellR8 group. Sirois notes that the company will continue proof of concept activities for the LowPro Valve technology before seeking formal FDA bench testing and animal trials. Dura Biotech will apply the grant money to transition the LowPro Valve from a prototype to a product ready for animal implantation. Commenting on the award, Sirois says, “This achievement is the result of years of hard work by our design, fabrication, and testing personnel. I am so proud of our team and what they have accomplished. I am also very grateful to the TIP mentors, Mary Anne Rooke and Paul Parker, and especially to Dr. Hadi Bozorgmanesh for their steady guidance along the way.”

Secor Water CEO Matthew Cremins (B.S. Mechanical Engineering ’13), who is pursuing an M.S. degree at UConn, and CTO Yanbing Guo, a post-doctoral researcher at UConn, co-founded the company in 2013. Their product is the Secor SmartWell+, which uses an advanced filtration system to purify tap water and then add minerals, flavors, and/or carbonation to create a custom-tailored beverage. The system incorporates a QR-code reader that stores subscriber profiles. In addition to their $10,000 award, Secor Water also won the judges’ award of an additional $2,000.

Cremins says the Secor team will use the grant monies to develop and manufacture a beta prototype that will be presented to the School of Engineering within several months. He notes, “This honor would not have been possible without the hard work of our entire Secor Water team. Special thanks to David Ritter, Dillon Jones, and Tomasz Walczak, whose industriousness and passion have elevated Secor to the next level. Yanbing and I are very grateful to be working alongside these talented individuals.”

“Eric and Matthew are two great examples of the talent coming from UConn,” says Leonardi. “We’re hoping this funding helps propel them to the next level and encourages other startups to apply for funding in the future.”

Both teams emerged from the Experiential Technology Entrepreneurship I and II course taught by Professor of Practice Dr. Hadi Bozorgmanesh. 

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Senior Design 2013 Youtube video

Each year, all senior engineering students engage in capstone design courses. These provide hands-on learning opportunities and expose them to the challenges and satisfactions of solving real-world dilemmas, from the problem definition stage to prototype development. In the case of sponsored projects, teams work closely with the sponsoring company, which provides financial support, advising and the design challenge. In exchange, students research the problem, conceive alternate solutions, design and refine one device or method, construct a working prototype, and provide the sponsoring company regular reports as well as a working prototype. Throughout the process, students apply the core concepts they learned in the classroom to an actual design project.

The culmination of this year’s senior design experience, Senior Design Demonstration Day, took place on May 3, 2013 at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs. On display were over 150 innovative engineering projects designed and developed by teams of engineering seniors. In this video, we cover not only the Demonstration Day festivities, but also segments of meetings across the spring semester as we shadowed three Senior Design teams to show viewers an inside glimpse into the design process. For more information about Senior Design, please visit our senior design webpage here on the BME department site.

Watch video here

Student Selected for 2014 UNCF-Merck Graduate Fellowship



Matthew Harmon (MSE/UCHC) (Advisor: Dr. Sangamesh Kumbar) was awarded the 2014 UNCF-Merck Graduate Science Research Dissertation Fellowship. The award is to assist African American students with preparation for their dissertation in the ‘biomedically relevant life or physical sciences and engineering.’ The award includes ‘a Fellowship Stipend of to $43,500 for the award recipient and a Research Grant of up to $10,000.’ The fellowship is a part of the UNCF-Merck Science Initiative to aid in the ‘training and development of world-class African American biomedical scientists.’




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