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Purdue-UPRM Initiative Receives Corporate Support

Liliana Polo Corrales
Liliana Polo Corrales, a graduate student at UPRM received a grant from Abbott Laboratories to support her research in bioengineering.
Seung Ho Choi
Seung Ho Choi, a graduate student at Purdue, is West Lafayette's recipient of the Abbott Laboratories research grant.
As part of the educational alliance between the campuses of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, and the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez, Abbott Laboratories awarded $40,000 between the two institutions to support graduate students working on issues related to cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

The partnership between the two universities, which began in 2007, aims to develop complementary educational and research collaboration in areas of clinical importance. The key faculty member at Purdue is George Wodicka, Professor and Head of the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering. His principal counterpart at Puerto Rico is Dr. Eduardo Juan, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Director of the new Graduate Program in Bioengineering that is under development at UPRM.

According to Dr. Juan, "We have seen that there is great interest in bioengineering among our students; although at UPRM we don't yet have a formal curriculum in the area, we have research and funding for related projects." The funding of the Purdue-UPRM initiative is seen by Abbott as a method of preparing future employees by training specialists in research related to cancer and cardiovascular issues.

Liliana Polo Corrales, a doctoral student in the Department of Chemical Engineering at UPRM, will be one grant recipient. She is working in the synthesis and characterization of magnetic nanoparticles for cancer treatment under the supervision of Dr. Carlos Rinaldi, Professor of Chemical Engineering. Liliana regards Abbott’s gift as a great opportunity to advance her studies, while at the same time contributing to the development of bioengineering in Puerto Rico and further strengthening the collaborative efforts between Purdue, Abbott, and the University of Puerto Rico.

On the West Lafayette campus, Seung Ho Choi will be supported by an Abbott grant in his doctoral research in Professor Young Kim's biomedical photonics laboratory. Their work includes predictably behaving random lasing modes by single-nanoparticle perturbations.