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.

2016 NSF Fellowships

Three BME students won prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships in 2016. They include PhD students Chrono Nu from Cindy Chestek’s Cortical Neural Prosthetics Lab and Peter Washabaugh from Chandramouli Krishnan’s Neuromuscular and Rehabilitation Robotics Laboratory, as well as master’s student Makeda Stephenson from Scott Hollister’s Scaffold Tissue Engineering Group.


Nu, who has also been awarded a Department of Defense (DoD) National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship, is using data from cortical recording systems to conduct computational analyses of brain activity in primates, such as decoding motor-related neurological signals. Washabaugh is working to design robotic devices for use in physical therapy and to explore the neuromuscular changes associated with these therapies. Stephenson is developing functional architectures for tissue engineering scaffolds.