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Bioengineering Undergraduates Win Scholarships

Sam Smucker
9/12/2007 8:00:00 AM

What the Undergraduates did last summer:

Angela Bizzarri
Angela Bizzarri
Angela Bizzarri
Angela Bizzarri, sophomore in Bioengineering, has been named the 2007 University of Illinois Female Newcomer of the Year. She was also named All-America, All-Midwest Region and first-team All-Big Ten in cross country. She clocked the second fastest 1500 meter time in school history at the NCAA Mideast Regional Championships. She earned a spot at the NCAA Championship in Sacramento, California and placed 21st nationally. She was one of only two freshmen who earned a place in the 1500 meter event.

Luke Edelman
Luke Edelman
Luke Edelman
Luke Edelman is the recipient of a Goldwater Scholarship, a national scholarship competition. The scholarship will cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to $7,500. Over the summer, Luke worked with Dr. Guy Weinberg at the University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Medicine. He submitted a paper for publication to Chemico-Biological Interactions. The paper investigates the mechanism whereby a certain local anesthetic drug (bupivacaine) can stop the heart from beating. Research included designing an experimental protocol involving radiolabelling a number of biochemicals to track how they move in and out of cardiac mitochondria with the presence of different pharmaceutical compounds.

Ryan Steinberg
Ryan Steinberg
Ryan Steinberg
Ryan Steinberg worked as a Transporter at Northwest Community Hospital, Arlington Heights, IL.

Vanessa Weisman worked for the Advanced Testing Laboratory at Ethicon Endo-Surgery in Blue Ash, Ohio. She worked with devices for minimally invasive surgical procedures testing trocars, hollow cylinders inserted into the body so that other surgical instruments can be inserted.

Kim Vlcek received a fellowship for the Data Sciences Summer Institute (DSSI), part of the Multimodal Information Access and Synthesis Center established at the University of Illinois under a grant from the Department of Homeland Security. Her work focused on the Image Annotation project. Her group’s goal was to improve current image search tools and computer vision by using various machine learning algorithms in an attempt to “teach computers to see.” The group collected vast amounts of image data, extracted key features such as colors, textures, and edges from the images using various signal processing filters, and programmed algorithms to analyze the data.

Several Bioengineering students won positions in the National Science Foundation (NSF) sponsored Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) program. REU places students in research labs at nationally recognized research universities for the summer.

Erum Ahmed had an REU at University of Illinois at Chicago where she did research in convection-enhanced, targeted drug delivery to the brain, for treating diseases of the central nervous system such as Parkinson’s or brain tumors. She submitted an article based on her research to the Journal of Young Investigators.

Pratik Randeria
Pratik Randeria
Pratik Randeria
Pratik Randeria had an REU at Boston University and worked in the Neuronal Dynamics Laboratory (NDL). The goal of the lab is to understand the rhythmic firing patterns in the hippocampus of a rat’s brain slice seen during neuron interactions. Pratik created an interface between the cell and the model in the computer using C++ programming and then tested the interface by running experiments. The interface was a success and is now being used in the lab by graduate students to collect data.

Mike Lee had an REU at Rice University; U.T./MD Anderson Cancer Center. He assisted on a research project using a Multispectral Digital Microscope for detecting oral cancer. He produced a poster presentation based on a pathology correlation done with the images from the MDM.

Charles Feng worked for the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST), an interdisciplinary biomedical engineering program jointly operated by Harvard Medical School and MIT. Working in the Massachusetts General Hospital under Dr. Johannes de Boer and Dr. Hyle Park, he investigated the reduction of coherent speckle in optical coherence tomography, an imaging modality that is the optical counterpart to ultrasound. He is submitting a manuscript of his work for publication in the journal Optics Express.

David Luedtke, Nick Zielinksi and Margie Mathewson studied in Darmstadt, Germany at the Technische Universitat Darmstadt where they had five weeks of instruction in German language and culture and two weeks interning at the plant physiology lab. They explored the KcV potassium channel and the effects of mutating a single amino acid on the channel’s performance.

Margie Mathewson
Margie Mathewson
Margie Mathewson
Margie Mathewson is also the recipient of the Intel Scholars Undergraduate Research Program. The award includes $1,000, a class on becoming an effective researcher, seminars by faculty or Intel representatives, two semesters of research with a grad student and faculty member, and a poster session with Intel representatives.

Stephen Barman interned at Archer Daniels Midland in Valdosta, GA. He worked as an engineer in a facility that prepares, extracts, and refines soybean and cottonseed oil. The facility also produces hydrogen gas for oil hydrogenation.

Michelle Hattan worked for Abbott Laboratories in Waukegan, IL as a manufacturing intern in the Global Pharmaceutical Operations. Her internship focused on making the overall manufacturing process more efficient by identifying wastes and removing them.

Lauren Merry
Lauren Merry
Lauren Merry
Lauren Merry had an REU at the University of Illinois where she worked in the lab of Dr. Hsiao-Wecksler helping design a fluid powered assistive orthoses by developing a fluid or pneumatic powered ankle-foot orthosis which will decrease instances of toe-drop, foot-slap and eventually aid with active torque at the ankle. Lauren also assisted Dr. Bruce Wheeler, Interim Head of Bioengineering, with the administrative duties for the IEEE journal Annals of Biomedical Engineering. Dr. Wheeler is the Editor-in-Chief.

Ansari Tunaidi
Ansari Tunaidi
Ansari Tunaidi
Ansari Tunaidi worked as a researcher at NASA’s Illinois Space Grant Consortium at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he conducted novel research on the control of micro-scale agents via gross inputs.

Jonathan Sun was a researcher in the Planarian Lab under Dr. Phil Newmark at UIUC.

Will Leinweber worked as a software developer at Collaborative Drug Discovery in San Francisco.

Eric Salm was a research assistant at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. He did research on a new drug alluding stent to be produced by an Indian start-up company.

David Tupek worked at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, CA.

Perry Lin was an intern at Cook, Inc. in Bloomington, IN.

Jeffrey Pompe studied abroad in Australia during spring semester.

Joseph Edelstein worked at Anderson Hospital in Maryville, IL as an equipment technician intern fixing medical equipment, providing in-service education about the equipment, and doing preventive maintenance.

Jeff Pearl worked (and continues to work) in the lab of Dr. Christopher Rao at the University of Illinois. The focus of the research is the molecular genetics of salmonella.

John Saunders was a Research Assistant in the Chemical Imaging and Structures Lab at the University of Illinois. His work focused on refining image probes and building new imaging techniques.

Megan O’Connor worked at Ethicon Endo-Surgery, a Johnson & Johnson company, in Cincinnati, OH as a development engineer in the manufacturing development center. Megan did a co-op at Ethicon Endo-Surgery in the spring semester and the company offered her a position for the summer.

Bioengineering

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
1270 Digital Computer Laboratory, MC-278
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Urbana, IL 61801, USA

P: (217) 333-1867 | E: bioengineering@illinois.edu

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