BME Department Celebrates Fall 2022 Successes

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The fall semester at Binghamton University is underway, and students, faculty, and staff in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Thomas J. Watson College of Engineering have been busy with classes, research projects, and more Again.

Research News

A new agreement between Upstate Medical University and Watson College will strengthen the ties between the two schools and encourage closer research collaborations in translational biomedical research. Areas explored include neuroscience, brain imaging, digital pathology, cancer research, and bone tissue engineering.

In an article published in Nature Communication, Matthew Brown, PhD ’22and Assistant Professor Ahyeon Koh show how the thin metallic layer of a gold CD can be separated from the rigid plastic and fashioned into sensors to monitor electrical activity in the human heart and muscle as well as levels of lactose, glucose, pH and oxygen. The sensors can communicate with a smartphone via Bluetooth.

Brown and Koh also collaborated on research on “smart” bandages published in ACS sensors. They propose an adhesive-free, stretchable and permeable wound care platform that would feature multiple sensors to offer real-time data on exudate (medical term for wound discharge). A heating element would also keep the wounds at an optimal temperature.

Assistant Professor Yuan Wan wants to develop a faster, less painful way to diagnose malignant solitary lung nodules, which affect more than 1.5 million Americans each year. He received a five-year, $2.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health under the prestigious MERIT (Method to Extend Research in Time) award program.

Professor Shajin received a $138,000 grant from New York State to develop a processing system that will eliminate or lessen the negative environmental impact of food waste. Currently, food waste makes up a quarter of US landfills, and that produces methane, a potent greenhouse gas that causes global warming and climate change. The project aims to convert food waste into environmentally friendly and value-added industrial materials, such as biodegradable plastics.

Student News

Clara Rodriguez, a major in biomedical engineering and a minor in Spanish, is part of the Beckman Scholars Program, a 15-month supervised research experience for undergraduate students in chemistry, biological sciences, biochemistry, biomedical engineering, or integrative neuroscience. She works with Associate Professor Guy German to analyze skin patterns on human hands and arms for potential forensic applications.

Major in Biomedical Engineering / Minor in Biology Ryan Soron spent his summer in the lab as part of the Masonic Medical Research Institute Summer Fellowship Program in Utica. During the 10-week fellowship, undergraduate, graduate, and medical students are immersed in cutting-edge science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) research. They are paired with a senior scientist from the institute and work together to design a project that complements both student and lab interests.

An American Heart Association (AHA) scholarship will allow graduate students Nathalie Weiss to further his research in the development of 3D cardiac models. She carries out her work in Assistant Professor Tracy Hookwayusing cell culture, 3D stem cell modeling and live tissue imaging for regenerative medicine therapy.

A feature in the Watson Reviews reviewing the best senior synthesis projects for 2021-22, the BME team tasked with developing a bladder sensor that can seamlessly send results via Bluetooth to a mobile device.

Graduate News

In the weeks leading up to his baccalaureate, Flynn Anderson ’22 won the Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence, the President’s Award for Undergraduate Student Excellence, and the Student of Distinction Award. He also traveled to Puerto Rico at the annual Inclusiv conference to represent Binghamton’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.

In an article by Problems in science and technology. alumnus Guru Madhavan, MBA ’07, PhD ’09, Senior Director of Programs at the National Academy of Engineering, offers the concept of “grinding challenges” which can provide a different conception and articulation of engineering and big projects.

In addition to a specialization in biomedical engineering with a double concentration in biomaterials and computational biosystems, Vanessa SernaVilla ’22 liked to stay busy. From vice president of the Society of Women Engineers to dancing as a hobby as a freshman, she seems to do it all. She is currently studying at Carnegie Mellon University for a master’s degree fully funded by the National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science (GEM) Fellowship.

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