Four BME students receive NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

U-M Biomedical Engineering had four National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship award winners in 2017.

Indie Rice is an undergraduate senior working in Dr. Tim Bruns’ Peripheral Neural Engineering and Urodynamics Lab researching peripheral neural modulation for female sexual dysfunction. In graduate school, Rice plans to research neural prosthetic control systems for cognitive disorders.

William Wang is a PhD student in Dr. Brendon Baker’s Engineered Microenvironments and Mechanobiology Lab. William’s aim is to expose how extracellular matrix mechanics and structures regulate the formation of blood vessels. He hopes to do this by combining synthetic biomaterials with microfabrication techniques to design a blood vessel-on-a-chip platform which can be used in disease modeling, drug screening, and regenerative medicine.

Brooke Huisman is a senior in the BS program currently conducting research in Dr. Sundeep Kalantry’s, U-M Medical School based, epigenetics lab. Brooke is specifically studying the phenomenon of X-chromosome inactivation.

Tyler Gerhardson is a PhD student working in Dr. Zhen Xu’s Image-Guided Ultrasound Therapy Lab. Gerhardson is working to develop applications of focused ultrasound (histotripsy) for minimally invasive therapies through the skull.

Whitaker Awards

Three BME students have received awards from the Whitaker International Program, which aims to support the development of BME leaders with an international outlook.

Doctoral student Brandan Walters spent the 2015-16 academic year on a fellowship at Tübingen University, Germany. In collaboration with Bernd Rolauffs, Walters worked to augment the differentiation of adult bone marrow stem cells into smooth muscle using biomechanical cues and specialized cell environments. During his fellowship, he had the opportunity to contribute to a multi-lab grant proposal, mentor students, and present at an international conference in Hungary.

Following the receipt of her master’s degree in 2017, Anastasia Ostrowski will undertake a fellowship at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland, where she plans to work with Silvestro Micera on a prosthetic hand.

Sabrina Lynch, a doctoral student in Alberto Figueroa’s lab, has received a summer grant to research deep vein thrombosis with Alberto Smith at King’s College London.