University of Minnesota
Department of Biomedical Engineering

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Current and Recent Department News

BME Undergrad Jumps at Study Abroad Opportunity Created by CSE Alumnus

Sam Newell

December 4, 2018 - Studying abroad ranks high on the to-do list for most students, but the rigorous curriculum in the College of Science and Engineering can make it difficult for some to have such an experience. So when Sam Newell, BBmE Class of 2020, learned about the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BUTE) exchange program, he went for it.

Read more about Sam's experience and the CSE alumnus who made it possible >

UMN Startup Vascudyne to Commercialize Biologically Engineered Tissue

Tranquillo Lab Heart Valve

December 3, 2018 - University of Minnesota Technology Commercialization today announced the formal launch of Vascudyne Inc., a startup company based in Stillwater, Minn., focused on the development of biologically engineered tissue for medical device and therapeutics applications. The technology offers a regenerative capacity unavailable until now in materials and devices used for medical treatment.

Vascudyne’s technology is based on discoveries by University researcher Robert Tranquillo, Ph.D., professor in the departments of Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering & Materials Science in the College of Science and Engineering, and researchers in his lab, Zeeshan Syedain, Ph.D., senior research associate, and Lee Meier, B.S., staff scientist and present M.D./Ph.D. student.

Read the full news release >

Provenzano Lab Sheds Light on How Cancer Cells Change Their Movements

Provenzano Lab Cancer Cells

November 20, 2018 - A team of researchers led by Prof. Paolo Provenzano gained new understanding of how cancer cells move through contact guidance, uncovering the possibility to disrupt metastasis. The discovery has the potential for major impact on millions of people undergoing therapies to prevent the spread of cancer within the body. The research is published in Nature Communications, a leading peer-reviewed research journal.

Read the full UMN news release >

Mathew Rynes Receives Distinguished MS Thesis Award

Mathew Rynes

November 2, 2018 - Mathew Rynes has received the University's Distinguished Master's Thesis Award in the math/physics/engineering division. His thesis, "Principles of Computer Numerical Controlled Machining Applied to Small Research Animal Microsurgical Procedures" (advised by Suhasa Kodandaramaiah), will now advance to the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) competition. Matt's thesis was selected for its innovation and significant contributions to the field of neural engineering.

Matt graduated with a BS in Neuroscience from the University of Minnesota in Spring 2013. He started our Master's program in Fall 2015, joined Prof. Kodandaramaiah's lab in February 2017, and graduated that December. He was admitted to our PhD program this Fall and is continuing his doctoral work with Prof. Kodandaramaiah.

Congratulations, Matt, and best of luck in the MAGS competition!

2018-19 Department Newsletter Published

Newsletter thumbnail

October 25, 2018 - Highlights include program milestones, faculty promotions, and student/alumni profiles. We also feature our faculty's role in hosting three major neural engineering conferences on campus.

Read the full newsletter >

Now Accepting Fall 2019 Grad Applications

We are driven

October 1, 2018 - The application system for Fall 2019 is now open! The PhD deadline is December 15, and the Master's deadline is March 31. Application review will begin immediately after the deadlines.

Application information and instructions >

Multiple Faculty Positions Available

Block MSeptember 17, 2018 - Our department invites applications and nominations for full-time tenure-track or tenured positions at open rank, depending upon applicant qualifications. Candidates with established research interests and accomplishments in any field of biomedical engineering/bioengineering are invited to apply. Visit our Employment page for more information >

Victor Barocas Named BMES Fellow

Professor Victor Barocas

August 13, 2018 - Prof. Victor Barocas was named a 2018 Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) Fellow. BMES Fellows are selected based on demonstrated exceptional achievements and significant contributions within the biomedical engineering field, as well as also extensive leadership within the field including service to the Society.

Congratulations, Victor!

John Bischof Named IEM Director

John Bischof, Institute for Engineering in Medicine Director

July 30, 2018 - John Bischof, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering, has been appointed for a three-year term as Director of the University of Minnesota Institute for Engineering in Medicine (IEM). He has served as interim director during the past year.

Read the full UMN news release >

BME Hosts Successful Neural Interfaces Conference

Neural Interfaces Conference 2018

June 27, 2018 - The 43rd Neural Interfaces Conference (NIC2018), organized by Conference Chair Matt Johnson, was held June 25-27 in Minneapolis. The event event brought together over 500 scientists, engineers, clinicians, regulatory experts, industry leaders, and representatives from the NIH, NSF, DARPA, and FDA.  It showcased the University and its outstanding neuroengineering research programs based in BME and Neurology.

Alford Paper Named Best of 2017

Alford M

May 31, 2018 - The 2017 paper, “Empirically Determined Vascular Smooth Muscle Cell Mechano-Adaptation Law,” by Steucke et al has been awarded the Richard Skalak Award for the best paper published in the Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, given by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Bioengineering Division.

The paper’s authors are Kerianne Steucke (PhD'17),  Zaw Win (PhD'17), Taylor Stemler (BBmE'17), Emily Walsh (BBmE'17), Jennifer Hall (Associate Professor, Medicine), and Patrick Alford (Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering).

UMN Graduates 1000th BME Major

1000th BME Graduate

May 21, 2018 - The 1000th Bachelor of Biomedical Engineering degree was conferred by the department this spring. At the department's commencement reception, all 1000 names were displayed as the Minnesota Rouser was played. The audience was also treated to a wonderful tribute to the e'sprit-de-corps of the B.Bm.E. community, delivered by graduating senior Brooke Braman - full text of her speech is available here.

Congratulations to our graduating Class of 2018!

BME PhD Students Win 2018-19 Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships

April 25, 2018 - Four Biomedical Engineering Ph.D. students were awarded Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships (DDFs) for the 2018-19 academic year in a University-wide competition sponsored by the Graduate School. The program provides selected recipients with the opportunity to devote full-time effort to dissertation research and writing during the fellowship year. Awards were given to

Congratulations to these doctoral candidates!

Two Ph.D. Students Receive NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

April 4, 2018 - Congratulations to our 2018 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship recipients!

Ryan MahutgaAyako Ohoka

Second-year Ph.D., advised by
Casim Sarkar

Rachel MorfordGabi Shull

Second-year Ph.D., advised by Suhasa Kodandaramaiah

We also had several students and alumni recognized with honorable mentions:

Julia (Quindlen) Hotek Receives 2018 BME Best Dissertation Award

Julia Quindlen

March 30, 2018 - Julia (Quindlen) Hotek (PhD'17) has been awarded the Biomedical Engineering program's 2018 Best Dissertation Award! Her project, "Mechano-to-Neural Transduction of the Pacinian Corpuscle," was advised by Prof. Victor Barocas. Since graduating in October 2017, Julia has been working as a postdoctoral researcher in the Spine Research Lab at the University of Pennsylvania.

Later this month the department will nominate Julia for the University-wide Best Dissertation Award in the Physical Sciences and Engineering division.

Congratulations, Julia!

UMN BME Climbs into the "Sweet Sixteen" of U.S. News Rankings

Professor Victor Barocas

March 20, 2018 - After being ranked in the top 30 in 2016, and top 20 in 2017, the University of Minnesota BME department continued its rise to #16 in the 2018 rankings of Biomedical Engineering/Bioengineering graduate programs released today by U.S. News and World Report. Of course, there is already some trash talk about next year's March Madness and an "Elite Eight" ranking!

Victor Barocas Awarded for Outstanding Contributions to Graduate and Professional Education

Professor Victor Barocas

February 23, 2018 - Prof. Victor Barocas is a recipient of the Outstanding Contributions to Graduate and Professional Education Award. This University-wide honor is awarded to exceptional candidates nominated by colleges in their quest to identify excellence in graduate and professional education.

This award honors Victor's long service as the Director of Graduate Studies for Biomedical Engineering, his contributions to our graduate classes and curriculum, and the individual guidance that he has provided his own trainees as well as students throughout the program.

Victor will be inducted into the U's Academy of Distinguished Teachers at an awards ceremony this spring.

Senior Anant Naik Receives Outstanding Community Service Award

Undergraduate Anant Naik

February 9, 2018 - BME senior Anant Naik received the highest honor the U gives to a student for service to the community, for his participation in and leadership of Engineers Without Borders (EWB).

Anant started his involvement with EWB his freshman year. His interest in the public health component of the project prompted his trip with a group of engineers to Yulo, a rural village in the Bolivian Andes Mountains working to secure the sustainable transportation of water from a spring to the community.

After this experience, Anant focused on leadership roles in the organization, leading as the fundraising Officer and later as President for the group, overseeing the start of the new Ethiopia program and the close out of the Uganda program. Anant now coordinates the research program in EWB and is working to ensure training and mentorship of younger board members.

David Odde Named AAAS Fellow

Professor David Odde

November 20, 2017 - Prof. David Odde was named a 2017 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow. Election as a Fellow is bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers. Prof. Odde was recognized as a Fellow for his contributions to the understanding of the self assembly and force generation of microtubules, F-actin, and associate proteins.

Prof. Odde is one of four UMN faculty to be elected AAAS Fellows. Read the full UMN news release >

Novel Blood Vessel Replacement Developed by Tranquillo Lab One Step Closer to Human Trials

Professor Bob Tranquillo

November 1, 2017 - A team of researchers led by Prof. Bob Tranquillo has created a new lab-grown blood vessel replacement that is composed completely of biological materials, but surprisingly doesn’t contain any living cells at implantation. The vessel, that could be used as an “off the shelf” graft for kidney dialysis patients, performed well in a recent study with nonhuman primates.

It is the first-of-its-kind nonsynthetic, decellularized graft that becomes repopulated with cells by the recipient’s own cells when implanted. The discovery could help tens of thousands of kidney dialysis patients each year. The grafts could also be adapted in the future for use as coronary and peripheral bybass blood vessels and tubular heart valves.

The study, “A Completely Biological Off-the-Shelf Arteriovenous Graft that Recellularizes in Baboons,” was published today as the cover story in Science Translational Medicine, an interdisciplinary medical journal by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Watch the KARE 11 coverage >

Read the full UMN news release >

John Bischof Named Interim Director of IEM

Professor John Bischof

September 21, 2017 - Biomedical Engineering/Mechanical Engineering Professor John Bischof has been appointed as the interim director of the University's Institute for Engineering in Medicine (IEM). Prof. Bischof previously served as an associate director of IEM from 2007-2009 and 2013-2017. He is a renowned researcher in thermal bioengineering, having contributed to applications in therapeutics, regenerative medicine, and diagnostics.

Read the full UMN news release >

Odde Lab Study Gives New Insight Into How Cancer Spreads

Professor David Odde

June 6, 2017 - A research study led by Prof. David Odde gives new insight into how cancer cells move based on their ability to sense their environment. The discovery could have a major impact on therapies to prevent the spread of cancer.

The study, “Shifting the optimal stiffness for cell migration,” was published in Nature Communications, a leading research journal.

Read the full UMN news release >

BME PhD Students Win 2017-18 Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships

May 15, 2017 - Three Biomedical Engineering Ph.D. students were awarded Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships (DDFs) for the 2017-18 academic year in a University-wide competition sponsored by the Graduate School. The program provides selected recipients with the opportunity to devote full-time effort to dissertation research and writing during the fellowship year. Awards were given to

Congratulations to these doctoral candidates!

Ogle Lab Creates 3D-Bioprinted Patch to Help Heal Scarred Heart Tissue

Brenda Ogle

April 14, 2017 - A research team led by Prof. Brenda Ogle has created a revolutionary 3D-bioprinted patch that can help heal scarred heart tissue after a heart attack. The discovery is a major step forward in treating patients with tissue damage after a heart attack.

The study, “Myocardial Tissue Engineering With Cells Derived from Human Induced-Pluripotent Stem Cells and a Native-Like, High-Resolution, 3-Dimensionally Printed Scaffold,” was published today in Circulation Research. It was featured in the news on KSTP and Kare11.

Read the full UMN news release >

Jiaen Liu Receives 2017 BME Best Dissertation Award

Jiaen Liu

April 11, 2017 - Jiaen Liu (PhD'15) has been awarded the Biomedical Engineering program's 2017 Best Dissertation Award! His project, "Imaging Electrical Properties Using MRI and In Vivo Applications," was advised by Prof. Bin He. Since graduating in November 2015, Jiaen has been working at the National Institutes of Health as a postdoctoral fellow.

Later this month the department will nominate Jiaen for the University-wide Best Dissertation Award in the Physical Sciences and Engineering division.

Congratulations, Jiaen!

New Faculty Member Hired - Alex Opitz

Alex Opitz

March 30, 2017 - We are pleased to welcome a new faculty member to our department! Dr. Alex Opitz received his Diploma in Physics from the University of Tuebingen and his PhD in Computational Neuroscience from the University of Gottingen in 2014. Prior to joining our department, he has been a Research Scientis at the Nathan Kline Institute in New York. His expertise and pioneering work is the development and validation of computational models of electrics fields in brains induced by non-invasive modulation (transcranial magnetic and electrical stimulation). Dr. Opitz will join our faculty in Summer 2017!

Four Ph.D. Students Receive NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

March 20, 2017 - Congratulations to our 2017 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship recipients!

Ryan MahutgaRyan Mahutga

Second-year Ph.D.
student, advised by
Victor Barocas

Rachel MorfordRachel Morford

Second-year Ph.D. student, advised by Paolo Provenzano

Julia SlopsemaJulia Slopsema

Second-year Ph.D.
student, advised by
Matthew Johnson

Malaney YoungMalaney Young

First-year Ph.D.
student, advised by Jonathan Sachs

Two of our alumni also received awards: Luke Rosedahl (B.Bm.E.'15, currently at UC Santa Barbara) and Albert You (B.Bm.E.'15, currently at UC Berkeley)!

Emily Bermel (second-year Ph.D. student, advised by Victor Barocas) and Nick Braun (second-year Ph.D. student, advised by Pat Alford) were recognized with Honorable Mentions.

Congratulations to these outstanding students!

Bischof Lab Publishes Breakthrough Tissue Cryopreservation Technology

John Bischof and his team

March 1, 2017 - A research team, led by Professor John Bischof, has discovered a groundbreaking process to successfully rewarm large-scale animal heart valves and blood vessels preserved at very low temperatures. The discovery is a major step forward in saving millions of human lives by increasing the availability of organs and tissues for transplantation through the establishment of tissue and organ banks.

The study, "Improved tissue cryopreservation using inductive heating of magnetic nanoparticles," was published today in Science Translational Medicine.

Read the full news release >

Anthony Tabet Wins Prestigious Churchill Scholarship

Anthony Tabet

January 19, 2017 - Congratulations to Anthony Tabet, an undergraduate researcher in Associate Professor Chun Wang's lab, for receiving a Churchill Scholarship from the Winston Churchill Foundation for the United States. Only 15 seniors from top colleges and research universities nationwide were selected as Churchill Scholars. The scholarship will allow Tabet to spend the 2017-18 academic year at Churchill College of the University of Cambridge, where he will complete an M.Phil in Chemistry. Working with Professor Oren Scherman, he will conduct research on supramolecular hydrogels which have potential therapeutic applications in cancer treatment. Read the full story >

Brenda Ogle Elected as AIMBE Fellow

Brenda Ogle

December 19, 2016 - Congratulations to Associate Professor Brenda Ogle for being elected to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering's College of Fellows! The College is comprised of 1,500 individuals who are the outstanding bioengineers in academia, industry and government. These leaders in the field have distinguished  themselves through their contributions in research, industrial practice and/or education and represent the top 2% of the medical and biological engineering community. Professor Ogle was selected for her "innovative approaches to harness stem cell potency for cardiovascular repair."

He Lab Pioneers New Robotic Arm Controlled by the Mind

Robotic arm controlled by the mind

December 14, 2016 - Professor Bin He and his research team have made a major breakthrough that allows people to control a robotic arm using only their minds. The research has the potential to help millions of people who are paralyzed or have neurodegenerative diseases.

The study, "Noninvasive Electroencephalogram Based Control of a Robotic Arm for Reach and Grasp Tasks," was published today in Scientific Reports, a Nature journal. It was also featured in an article by the Star Tribune.

Read the full UMN news release >

Academic Analytics Data Shows UMN BME Ranks Top 15 in Funding

Block M

November 1, 2016 - Based on their most recent data set (2011-2014), Academic Analytics reports that UMN BME ranks in the top 15 Bioengineering/Biomedical Engineering departments in the United States for grant dollars per full-time faculty member.

More about Academic Analytics >

Tranquillo Lab Publishes Groundbreaking Vessel Bioengineering Study

Patient Implant

September 27, 2016 - In a groundbreaking new study led by Professor Bob Tranquillo, artificial blood vessels bioengineered in the lab and implanted in young lambs are capable of growth within the recipient. If confirmed in humans, these new vessel grafts would prevent the need for repeated surgeries in some children with congenital heart defects.

The study, "Tissue engineering of acellular vascular grafts capable of somatic growth in young lambs," was published today in the journal Nature Communications.

Read the full news release >

UMN Named a Udall Center of Excellence in Parkinson's Disease Research

Cancer Cell

September 22, 2016 - The University was awarded a grant totaling $9.07 million over the next five years to improve the lives of patients with Parkinson’s disease. A team of University researchers and physicians seek to better understand the changes in brain circuitry that occur in Parkinson's patients. The team includes two Biomedical Engineering faculty, Associate Professors Matthew Johnson and Tay Netoff, whose research will explore the effects of novel neural stimulation approaches to mediate movement problems associated with Parkinson's disease. Read more and watch a video >

UMN Awarded Multimillion-Dollar Grant for Physics-Based Approach to Cancer

Cancer Cell

September 1, 2016 - The National Cancer Institute (NCI) awarded the University of Minnesota an $8.2 million Physical Sciences in Oncology Center (PS-OC) grant over the next five years to develop a cell migration simulator that will predict how cancer cells spread in the body leading to invasion and metastasis. Professor David Odde will help lead an interdisciplinary team of biomedical engineers, cancer biologists, oncologists and surgeons on this project. Read the full story >

Zeeshan Syedain Receives Minnesota Regenerative Medicine Biobusiness Award

Zeeshan Syedain

August 1, 2016 - Zeeshan Syedain, PhD, a Senior Research Associate in the Tranquillo Lab, received the 2016 Minnesota Regenerative Medicine Biobusiness award for "Bioreactor for GMP Manufacturing of Tissue Engineered Vascular Graft for Pediatric Regeneration." The story was recently highlighted in Twin Cities Business. Read the full story >

Daniel Lu Awarded AHA Fellowship

Daniel Lu

July 26, 2016 - Xinran (Daniel) Lu, a Ph.D. candidate in the Living Devices Lab, was recently awarded an American Heart Association Pre-Doctoral Fellowship. Daniel's project, titled "A microfluidic platform to quantify the combined effects of rheology and endothelial adhesion in sickle cell disease," hopes to bridge the gap between the biological and physical components of Sickle Cell Disease. Congratulations to Daniel and his advisor, David Wood!

Sarah Hunt Wins 2016-17 Predoctoral Diversity Teaching Fellowship

Sarah Hunt

July 12, 2016 - Sarah Hunt, a Ph.D. candidate in Victor Barocas' lab, has received the 2016-17 Predoctoral Diversity Teaching Fellowship. Administered through the University's Office for Diversity in Graduate Education, this highly competitive fellowship offers doctoral candidates teaching opportunities at the Morris and Duluth campuses while writing their dissertations and being mentored by senior faculty. Sarah will be teaching one course per semester for the Chemical Engineering department at the Duluth campus as she completes her thesis. Congratulations, Sarah!

BME Students Win Multiple Awards at Biomechanics Conference

Barocas Students

July 7, 2016 - Grad students Chris Korenczuk (1st in Tissue Mechanics and Modeling, Barocas lab), Zaw Win (2nd in Cardiac and Vascular, Alford lab), and Julia Quindlen (3rd in Mechanosensing, Barocas lab) were among the Ph.D. Student Competition winners at this year's Summer Biomechanics, Bioengineering, and Biotransport Conference. Recent alum Johnny Carruth (BBmE'16, Barocas lab) took first place in the Cell and Tissue Mechanics category of the B.S. Student Competition. In addition, Mechanical Engineering graduate students Vahhab Zarei (Barocas lab) and Yiru Wang (Bischof lab) placed in the Ph.D. competition, giving the UMN Biomedical Engineering Department's labs 5 out of 18 winners, selected from over 100 entries. Alum Jared Zitnay (BBmE'14) also won one of the Ph.D. student awards for his graduate work at the University of Utah.

Pictured are Johnny Carruth, Julia Quindlen, Victor Barocas, Chris Korenczuk, and Vahhab Zarei.

Bin He Named Recipient of the IEEE Biomedical Engineering Award

Bin He

June 21, 2016 - Professor Bin He has been named the recipient of the 2017 IEEE Biomedical Engineering Award for his outstanding contributions to biomedical engineering, specifically in the fields of neuroengineering and neuroimaging. IEEE is one of the largest professional organizations in the world, with over 400,000 members. This award is given annually to an individual, team, or multiple recipients up to three in number, for exceptional achievements that have made an impact on the biomedical engineering profession. It is the highest IEEE award in biomedical engineering.

Bin He is a Distinguished McKnight University Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Director of the Institute for Engineering in Medicine, and the Medtronic-Bakken Endowed Chair for Engineering in Medicine.

Brenda Ogle Receives Mullen-Spector-Truax Women's Leadership Award

Brenda Ogle

June 8, 2016 - Associate Professor and program alumna Brenda Ogle (MS'98, PhD'00) was awarded the 2016 Mullen-Spector-Truax Women's Leadership Award for her outstanding contributions to women's leadership development at the University of Minnesota. Prof. Ogle serves as co-Chair of the Women's Faculty Cabinet in the Provost's Office, and she is also the faculty mentor for the award-winning Graduate Women in Biomedical Engineering student group. She will be recognized at the annual Celebrating University Women Awards Program, hosted by the Women's Center this coming fall.

Michelle Hall (MS'15) Receives Dean's Award for Early Career Achievement from the University of Iowa

Michelle Hall

May 19, 2016 - Biomedical Engineering alumna Michelle Hall (MS'15) received a Dean's Award for Early Career Achievement from her undergraduate alma mater, the University of Iowa. She presented a special seminar, "Finding Your Way to a Career in Orthotics and Prosthetics," on the Iowa campus earlier this month. This award is presented to Iowa alumni under 40 years old who have accomplished remarkable early career success in their professional field.

Michelle is a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (AAOP) with Distinction, a Career Development Award Recipient from the American Association of University Women, and a member of the University of Iowa's Biomedical Engineering Advisory Board. In March, she won the Howard R. Thranhardt Lecture Series from the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists for her lecture, "Margins of Stability in Children with Cerebral Palsy Diplegia: Barefoot versus AFO Comparison," part of which was based on the research that she completed here for her Master's project, advised by Prof. Michael Schwartz at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare. Since graduation, Michelle has continued her work at Gillette Children's, where she is a Certifed Prosthetist Orthotist and the Prosthetic Residency Director.

Congratulations, Michelle, on this well-deserved honor!

Amanda Dahl Receives President's Student Leadership and Service Award

Amanda Dahl

May 11, 2016 - Biomedical Engineering senior Amanda Dahl was one of 43 University of Minnesota undergraduates to receive a 2016 President's Student Leadership and Service Award (PSLSA). This award honors students who have provided outstanding leadership and service contributions to the University and surrounding community.

Amanda, who will graduate this spring with a BME major and a Leadership minor, has been an active mentor in the CSE Ambassadors program and in the Society of Women Engineers. She has held key leadership positions on the Science and Engineering Student Board and the National Association of Engineering Student Councils (NAESC). Amanda spent one month in Bali, Indonesia, as part of a study abroad program focusing on happiness, culture, and cross-cultural leadership; as well as three weeks in Tanzania working on the design of sustainable water systems. After graduation, she will join St. Jude Medical as a Quality Engineer.

Congratulations to Amanda!

BME PhD Students Win 2016-17 Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships

Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship Recipients, 2016-17

April 28, 2016 - Four Biomedical Engineering Ph.D. students were awarded Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships (DDFs) for the 2016-17 academic year in a University-wide competition sponsored by the Graduate School. The program provides selected recipients with the opportunity to devote full-time effort to dissertation research and writing during the fellowship year. Awards were given to

Congratulations to these doctoral candidates!

St. Jude Medical Provides Gift for Endowed Graduate Student Fellowships

St. Jude Medical

April 16, 2016 - For the third time, St. Jude Medical is contributing $50,000 to support new BME graduate students during their first semester of study. This is another gift in a campaign aimed at local medical device companies, with the goal of an endowment that supports the entire class of BME graduate students each fall.  It also reflects a growing presence of St. Jude Medical at the University of Minnesota.

Highest University Alumni Honor Awarded to Bruce KenKnight (PhD'97)

Bruce KenKnight

April 13, 2016 - BME alumnus Bruce KenKnight (PhD'97, advised by James E. Holte, PhD; Raymond E. Ideker, MD, PhD) has been awarded the University's highest recognition for alumni, the prestigious Outstanding Achievement Award. Dr. KenKight has accumulated nearly 150 patents and 50 peer-reviewed publications related to innovative devices and therapies for cardiac rhythm management CRM and heart failure mitigation since his first industrial position starting in 1985 with GE Medical and a career that has included leadership positions at Guidant, Boston Scientific-CRM, Valtech Cardio, Cyberonics, and presently LivaNova. Dr. KenKnight will accept his award at a ceremony hosted by the College of Science & Engineering this fall. Read more about Dr. KenKnight's career >

Timothy Pearce Receives 2016 BME Best Dissertation Award

Timothy Pearce

April 5, 2016 - Timothy Pearce (PhD'14) has been awarded the Biomedical Engineering program's 2016 Best Dissertation Award! His project, "Self-assembly of ssDNA-amphiphiles into micelles, nanotapes, and nanotubes," was advised by Prof. Efie Kokkoli. After he graduated in December 2014, he continued in Prof. Kokkoli's lab as a post-doc for a few months. This past summer he began working as a consultant for a local medical technology consulting firm.

Later this month the department will nominate Tim for the University-wide Best Dissertation Award in the Physical Sciences and Engineering division. Congratulations, Tim!

Mackenzie Callaway and Chris Korenczuk Receive NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

March 30, 2016 - Congratulations to our NSF Graduate Research Fellowship recipients!

Mackenzie Callaway

First-year Ph.D.
student, advised by
Paolo Provenzano

Chris Korenczuk

Second-year Ph.D. student, advised by Victor Barocas


The following students and alumni were also recognized in the fellowship competition with honorable mentions:

Emily Bermel - first-year Ph.D. student, advised by Victor Barocas

Nick Braun - first-year Ph.D. student, advised by Pat Alford

Patrick Holec - B.Bm.E. student, advised by Ben Hackel

Molly Kupfer - second-year Ph.D. student, advised by Brenda Ogle

Amanda Rooney - B.Bm.E.'13, currently at Cornell

Alexandra Schonnesen - B.Bm.E. student, advised by David Wood

Paige Voigt Tracy - B.Bm.E'14, currently at U Michigan

Albert You - B.Bm.E.'15, currently at UC Berkeley

Congratulations to these outstanding students!

Abbas Sohrabpour Awarded Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship

Abbas Sohrabpour

February 2, 2016 - Ph.D. student Abbas Sohrabpour was awarded a 2016-17 Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship for his research project, "Hacking Epilepsy Networks: Studying the Spatio-temporal Dynamics of Seizures Noninvasively." This competitive fellowship provides a unique opportunity for outstanding doctoral students whose research is interdisciplinary and who would benefit from interaction with faculty at one of the University’s interdisciplinary research centers or institutes. Abbas will complete his project at the Institute for Engineering in Medicine (IEM), under the mentorship of his primary advisor, Bin He (Professor of Biomedical Engineering), and his IEM co-mentor, Zhiyi Sha (Assistant Professor of Neurology). Congratulations, Abbas!

Bob Tranquillo's Pediatric Heart Valve Featured on KARE-11 News

Bob Tranquillo

January 20, 2016 - Following the Star Tribune article (see below), NBC affiliate KARE-11 featured Prof. Tranquillo's research! Read or watch the full news story >

Patrick Alford Receives NSF Career Award

Patrick Alford

January 14, 2016 - Assistant Professor Patrick Alford has been awarded a National Science Foundation CAREER Award to study trauma-induced alteration of vascular smooth muscle mechanics. Prof. Alford's lab will develop new tools for measuring the elastic and viscoelastic properties of smooth muscle cells and use them to better understand the cerebrovascular injury progression in blast traumatic brain injury (bTBI).The result of this study will be a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in bTBI, providing insight for potential therapeutic approaches. Learn more about the Alford Lab's research >

Paper by Krissy Morin is a JBME Editors' Choice for 2015

Krissy Morin

January 8, 2016 - Alumna Krissy Morin (PhD'12) had one of the papers from her doctoral thesis selected as a Journal of Biomechanical Engineering (JBME) Editors' Choice for 2015. The paper, "A Mathematical Model for Understanding Fluid Flow Through Engineered Tissues Containing Microvessels" (JBME 137(5):051003-051003-11), was one of eleven selected for this distinction, out of a total 165 papers published last year. The Editors' Choice list represents the papers that the editorial board felt best exemplified the high quality and significance of work in the journal's 2015 publications. The paper was co-authored by program alumnae Michelle Lenz (BBmE'12, MS'13) and Caroline Labat (BBmE'14), as well as Dr. Morin's PhD advisor, Prof. Bob Tranquillo. Congratulations to Krissy and her co-authors!

Bob Tranquillo's Pediatric Heart Valve Featured in Star Tribune

Bob Tranquillo

January 6, 2016 - A Star Tribune article on the University's Pediatric Device Innovation Consortium featured research in the lab of Bob Tranquillo (Professor and Head of Biomedical Engineering). The photo included shows his Senior Research Associate, Dr. Zeeshan Syedain, holding a prototype valve mounted inside a plastic block for lab testing.  The novel pediatric valve was recently described in their 2015 paper by Reimer et al in the journal Biomaterials.  It is made from two decellularized tissue tubes grown in the lab from skin cells that are sutured together with degradable suture to form a tubular valve that can grow when the patient's cells repopulate the tubes and fuse them together along the suture line. Read the full article >

96% Placement for 2014-15 Graduating Seniors

Hubert Lim

December 29, 2015 - For the second year in a row, Biomedical Engineering (BME) graduating seniors had 96% placement at 6 months post-graduation, according to the College of Science and Engineering (CSE) Career Center. Approximately 2/3 of our 2014-15 graduating seniors are in full-time paid employment (mostly at local medtech companies), and about 1/3 are enrolled full-time in a graduate or professional degree program. Also, BME was the top CSE engineering major hired by Boston Scientific, Medtronic, and St. Jude Medical, with 16 of our students hired at just those three companies.

Hubert Lim Discusses the Effectiveness of Sound Therapy

Hubert Lim

December 7, 2015 - Hubert Lim (Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering) was interviewed by WCCO about the practice of sound therapy. A harmonic sound therapist interviewed for the story says that the therapy has brought relief to his patients suffering from backaches, headaches, sleeping difficulties and Parkinson’s disease symptoms. Prof. Lim believes sound therapy can cause physiological changes in the body and brain and his lab is exploring if and how these types of effects can be systematically controlled to relieve certain disease symptoms or enhance other conventional treatments, leading to new directions in integrative medicine. Read or watch the full news story >

Zaw Win Awarded AHA Fellowship

Zaw Win

December 7, 2015 - Ph.D. student Zaw Win was awarded an American Heart Association Pre-Doctoral Fellowship to fund his research project, "Nonlinear Anisotropic Mechanical Properties of Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells." Congratulations to Zaw and his advisor, Patrick Alford!

Wiley Releases Volume on Drug-Device Combinations, Co-Edited by Ron Siegel

Drug-Device Combinations for Chronic Diseases

December 1, 2015 - Wiley Publishing has just released a volume co-edited by Ronald Siegel (Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Pharmaceutics), Drug-Device Combinations for Chronic Diseases. The book covers two areas: (1) detailing the concepts and technologies of drug-device combination products; and (2) case studies of important products that either significantly shape our technologies and thinking, or contribute to current healthcare practice. Learn more >

Highest University Alumni Honor Awarded to Dianne Rekow, DDS, PhD

Dianne Rekow

October 1, 2015 - BME alumna E. Dianne Rekow (PhD'88, advised by Art Erdman) has been awarded the University's highest recognition for alumni, the prestigious Outstanding Achievement Award. Dr. Rekow is currently the dean of the Dental Institute of King's College in London. She is the first female dean of the school, and the first American to hold such a leadership position at a European dental institiution. Dr. Rekow will accept her award at a ceremony hosted by the UMN Dental School later this month. Read the full news story >

Boston Scientific Makes Another Gift for Endowed BME Graduate Student Fellowships

Lazarina Gyoneva

September 28, 2015 - Boston Scientific will contribute another $150,000 towards its previous gifts that totaled $650,000 to support new BME graduate students as Boston Scientific Fellows for their first semester of study. This new gift will help the department reach its goal of establishing an endowment that supports the entire class of BME graduate students each fall. It also reflects a sustained and valuable presence of Boston Scientific at UMN and its connection to BME specifically.


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