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Innovations in Imaging

Three students receive the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program


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.

Three students from the Department of Biomedical Engineering who study biomaterials at Case Western Reserve University have recently received the fellowship.

Rebecca Haley was a BS/MS student in the laboratory of Dr. Horst von Recum, where she worked in the area of chronic drug delivery for wound healing including anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anti-fungal drugs. Rebecca presented her research at many meetings including the Society for Biomaterials 2019, where she won the top Student Research Award (MS Category).  She is also the first author of three manuscripts as well as co-author of a fourth from the von Recum laboratory. Rebecca is currently pursuing her PhD at UPenn in the laboratory of Dr. Michael Mitchell. 

Kelsey Swingle has been working as an undergraduate researcher in Dr. Sen Gupta's laboratory for over 2 years, in the area of creating the next generation synthetic platelet designs involving procoagulant enzyme-responsive biomaterials. She has presented her research at the national BMES conference in Philadelphia in October 2019 and is a co-author on several research manuscripts from the Sen Gupta laboratory. Kelsey will be pursuing her doctoral research at UPenn in the areas of drug delivery and nanomedicine. 

Danny Lam is currently working on his PhD thesis research with Andrew Shoffstall, Jeffrey Capadona and Anirban Sen Gupta. His project is part of a VA-funded effort to improve the chronic performance of intracortical recording microelectrodes using a targeted drug-delivery approach. Implanted microelectrodes constitute a major advancement in medical research and rehabilitation therapy and have the potential to resolve many challenges in rehabilitation for Veterans with paralysis and/or amputation. While the promises of intracortical microelectrode interfaces are significant, the devices suffer from a key challenge: long term stability and functionality. Leveraging a platelet-inspired drug delivery platform currently undergoing commercialization by Haima Therapeutics, we have engineered a method for targeting drugs specifically to the microelectrode implantation site. If proven effective, the platform may be further developed and characterized to release other pharmaceutical payloads that have unique or complementary effects on the system.   

1)    (PI) VA Merit Review, $1.1M Total, 3.5 years (notice of award, contracting), 7/2020 – 1/2024, Optimizing Delivery of a Known Therapeutic Agent, Dexamethasone, to Improve Microelectrode Recording Performance