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Graduate students shine at annual research symposium

Laura Schmitt
5/9/2018 1:18:17 PM

Novel biological machines, enhanced MRI, a microfluidic biochip that detects sepsis, a new combination drug therapy for breast cancer, and CRISPR base gene editing techniques were among the topics that Bioengineering graduate students presented at the department's 2nd annual research symposium on May 3, 2018.

In all, more than 20 students presented the results of their research at the event's poster session and formal presentations. Graduate student Mike Gapinske, a member of Assistant Professor Pablo Perez Pinera's group, received the Best Oral Presentation award. Gapinske's research focuses on using the Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR-Cas9), a gene editing tool, to look for new ways to control gene transcription and splicing.

Pin-Chieh 'Jenny' Huang received the Best Poster award.
Pin-Chieh 'Jenny' Huang received the Best Poster award.

Graduate student Pin-Chieh "Jenny" Huang, a member of Professor Steve Boppart's lab, earned the Best Poster award. Huang's research focuses on a novel magnetomotive optical coherence elastography (MM-OCE) technique to probe the tissue stiffness alteration during cancer treatment. 

Jungeun 'Jenny' Won is the recipient of the McGinnis Medical Innovation Graduate Fellowship.
Jungeun 'Jenny' Won is the recipient of the McGinnis Medical Innovation Graduate Fellowship.

In addition, Jungeun "Jenny" Won received the McGinnis Medical Innovation Graduate Fellowship, which is made possible by a generous gift from Illinois alumnus Jerry McGinnis (BS Mechanical Engineering 1958), an inventor and founder of Respironics, the maker of the world's first continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea.

A member of Professor Steve Boppart's lab, Won is developing novel optical imaging and analytical methods to better understand and diagnose middle ear infections, which affect more than 80% of children in the United States during early childhood. She uses optical coherence tomography (OCT) to non-invasively image and characterize the middle ear space behind the eardrum. Her ultimate goal is to pursue a career as a faculty member working on translational medical instruments that improve human health.

The symposium is sponsored by the graduate student chapter of the Biomedical Engineering Society (GradBMES) and the Bioengineering department. At the conclusion of the event, the Bioengineering department also presented additional awards to the following students.

Teaching Excellence Fellows: Ishita Jain, Dikshant Pradhan, Zachary Quicksall, Jiaojiao Wang, Jake Winter, Yang Zhu, Mohammad Zahid, and Sandra Arias

Gelson Pagan Diaz received the Bioengineering Student Leadership award.
Gelson Pagan Diaz received the Bioengineering Student Leadership award.

Student Leadership Award: Gelson Pagan Diaz

Best Seminar Series Presentation: Zachary Quicksall

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