July 2008

Greetings from Purdue! As summer sets into full swing, we bring you these latest stories of the great things happening at the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering.
$25M NIH grant to create Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Leaders of Indiana and Purdue universities recently announced the creation of the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI), a medical research initiative supported by a $25 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that will combine the strengths of the universities, business and government to swiftly transform discoveries into better patient care and business opportunities.

Read more... https://engineering.purdue.edu/BME/HomepageFeatures/WeldonSchoolIntegralPartofNewMedicalInstitute

Weldon Honors Second Undergraduate Class of 2008
On May 9th, the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering honored their second class of new alumni, the Weldon School Class of 2008. On a beautiful May afternoon, Dr. Wodicka and Professor Pedro Irazoqui addressed the class with heartfelt pride. Stories of their classmates' bond and antics were shared by students before a crowd of family, friends, faculty, staff, and students. The event concluded with awards presentations for outstanding achievement. Of thirty-two graduates, sixteen are entering industry, twelve will be continuing their education in graduate studies, and four will be entering medical school in the fall. Please join us in congratulating the Class of 2008.

 The recognitions for the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering were as follows:

Haselby Outstanding BME Senior:

This prestigious award is given to the student, or students, who exemplify the Weldon School values of Scholarship, Leadership, Service, and Character. This year's award recipients were both very active leaders, in service at Purdue and beyond, and excelled in the classroom and the research lab.

Halle Burton is now employed by GE Healthcare in the prestigious Financial Management Program.

Halle has one of the top engineering minds of her generation.  She demonstrates this through a strong work ethic, passionate spirit, and solid leadership...   Halle exemplifies integrity and servant leadership.”

Steven Lee is one of two students nationwide accepted this fall to the joint MD/PhD program with IU School of Medicine and Weldon School.

 “I can for see Steven becoming one of the country's top physicians and research scientists.  …He has dedicated himself to serve others not only on Purdue's campus but internationally as well. ”


Senior Design Awards:

These awards are given each semester to teams in the capstone course of Weldon's Biomedical Engineering program.  A new twist this year, ten student design teams developed ten unique products.  The final requirement of the course is for each group to present their system in the format of a technical conference.  Immediately following the presentations, the teams host product demonstrations in the atrium and the Leslie A. Geddes' Senior Design Laboratory.   

The Top Senior Design Team award was a special award created by the faculty this year to honor the team work of certain individuals to successful complete their projects.  The Senior Design Innovation Award is a perpetual award given each semester to recognize the unique contributions that a team's design brings to the biomedical community. 

The Top Senior Design Team Award -  Fall 2007

The Horizontal Nystagmus Team:  Eric Brandner, Iunia Dadarlat, Athurva Gore, and Omeed Paydar

Nystagmus is a condition in which there is a rapid involuntary and oscillatory movement of the eye.  The Team developed a fully automated device capable of determining the blood alcohol content of an individual by employing a horizontal gaze Nystagmus test.

The Brain-Computer Interface Team:  Maria Dadarlat, Meghan Floyd, Shaunak Kothari, Rohit Shah

The Brain Computer Interface (BCI) team has developed a non-invasive system that allows an individual to move a mouse on a computer screen through bioelectric signals of facial muscles.  The concept of this device was to provide a means for individuals unable to use their arms to control a computer mouse.  


Top Senior Design Team Award – Spring 2008

inTENSE Team: Steven Higbee, Lauren Hamamoto, Arun Mohan, Daniel Song

In order to provide additional therapeutic alternatives to individuals with a compromised tendon the inTENSE team has developed a programmable tendon bioreactor.  The bioreactor employs controllable mechanical stimulation to encourage cells seeded on constructs to expression a tendon cell phenotype.

Senior Design Innovation Award – Fall 2007

Neural Regeneration Team: Tracy Liu, Jonathan Lubkert, Harsha Ranganath, Ian Thorson

Previous research has shown that oscillating-field stimulators (OFS) are effective tools in the regeneration of damaged spinal cord tissue.  OFS work by creating an electric field to stimulate nerve tissue repair.  The Neural Regeneration Team is interested in extending these findings to repair brain injuries.  They developed an OFS to treat a rodent model of traumatic brain injury (TBI).  TBI commonly results from a jolt or blow to the head during falls, motor vehicle accidents, or assaults. The development of a rodent model to test the effectiveness of OFS treatment on TBI may greatly enhance a patient’s diagnostic outcome.


Senior Design Innovation Award – Spring 2008

Under Pressure: Matt Croxall, Jeff Kras, Drew Lengerich

The occurrence of foot ulceration in some diabetic patients is the result of their inability to sense when they have applied too much pressure to their foot while they are walking.  The Under Pressure team developed a portable system which can alert a patient when the contact pressures in the foot converge or exceed the levels which are known to induce ulceration.

Class of 2008 Continues "Weldon Wagon" Tradition
New graduates and faculty from Purdue University's Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering recently visited Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to present "Weldon Wagons" to Parkview's Pediatric Department.

Read more... https://engineering.purdue.edu/BME/HomepageFeatures/2008WeldonWagonsPresented

MD/PhD candidate Steven Lee Profiled by NIH/NIBIB
Steven Lee, who recently graduated from the Weldon undergraduate program and is now entering Weldon's M.D./Ph.D. program, has been profiled by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, section of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Please check out this excellent interview.


First International Symposium on Audible Acoustics in Medicine and Physiology
This inaugural symposium at Purdue will bring together a wide range of researchers, technology developers, and clinicians from around the world in order to enhance their programs through exposure to novel technologies, techniques, and applications in this diverse field. Featured will be invited presentations, poster sessions, networking opportunities, and a keynote address by Bernie Krause of Wild Sanctuary.

The symposium will be held September 8-9. The deadline for abstract submissions is July 1, 2008, and the deadline for registration is July 15, 2008. For more information on this program, check here.

Conference on Dynamical Systems in Physiological Modeling
This unique conference at Purdue, with a special student tutorial session, will present a cross-section of theoretical and computational results -- from the level of cells to the level of organs -- in dynamical systems in physiological modeling. The student tutorial session will run October 8-10 with the main workshop being October 11-13. More details can be found here.
Graduate Students Rein in Spring Honors
For Weldon's graduate students this spring was not only a season of an abundance of rain and research, but also presentations and awards. This spring our graduate students reined in honors as their hard work and dedication inside the lab, and out, earned them high recognition.
The Joe Bourland Graduate Student Travel Award provides travel support to Weldon's graduate students presenting at conferences as part of their graduate studies. Dr. Joe Bourland was one of the "Fab 4" to come from Baylor University, along with Dr. Geddes, Dr. Tacker, and Dr. Babbs, in 1974 to begin the Hillenbrand Biomedical Engineering Center that eventually became the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering. Winners are reimbursed, to the extent that such support is permitted under University policies, for a portion of their travel expenses.
Patrick Schexnailder traveled to the 235th American Chemical Society (ACS) National Meeting, April 6-10, 2008 in New Orleans, LA. He gave an oral presentation entitled Poly(ethylene oxide)-Laponite Derived Hydrogels for Synthetic Extra Cellular Matrix Applications, and also presented a poster entitled Structure of Nanocomposite Hydrogels with Different Ionic Strengths.  Patrick is studying with Professor Gudrun Schmidt.

Mary-Margaret Seale and Mike Zordan both just returned from the International Society for Analytical Cytology's 24th International Congress in Budapest, Hungary. Mary-Margaret presented two poster presentations, Targeted magnetic nanoparticles: optimization for cellular delivery and Automated high-capacity quadrupole magnetic flow sorter with single-use components.

Mike presented three posters, and won an Outstanding Poster Award for one titled A novel multiplatform method for the clonal isolation of rare cancer cells.   Zoran said, "I likely would not have been able to attend the conference if it weren't for the Joe Bourland Travel Award that I received.  Ms. Seale and Mr. Zordan are both studying with Professor Jim Leary.


The Magoon Award is administered by the College of Engineering and is given in honor of Estus and Vashti Magoon and the influence they had on the lives of many engineering educators early in their careers. Teaching Assistants for the 2007-2008 academic year were nominated by BME faculty instructors. Recipients of the Magoon Award were:
  • Javier Gonzalez Castillo for BME 595G, Medical Device and Engineering Analysis
  •  Yunzhou (Sophia) Shi for BME 305, Bioinstrumentation
  •  Hamsa Jaganathan for BME 304, Bioheat and Mass Transfer
  •  Lester Smith for BME 405, Senior Design
  •  Vincent Chan for BME 201, Biomolecules: Structure, Function, and Engineering Applications
The Celebration of Graduate Student Teaching Award is administered by the Committee on the Education of Teaching Assistants (CETA) and the Office of the Provost.  Vincent Chan, was honored this year for his teaching excellence in BME 201, Biomolecules: Structure, Function, and Engineering Applications. Vincent was honored at a Purdue-wide banquet held on April 17.
The NSF Grades K-12 Fellowship, sponsored by the Discovery Learning Center at Discovery Park, was awarded to Heyjin Park this spring. The fellowship offers a unique opportunity for graduate students in the STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and is funded by the National Science Foundation and Purdue University. Fellows serve a one-year fellowship as "visiting scientists" in a program designed to instill the excitement of learning science into middle school classrooms. Teamed with 6th, 7th, and 8th grade science and math teachers, Heyjin will develop lesson plans and teach interdisciplinary-focused experiments geared toward science in everyday life.  At the time of publication, Ms. Park was still awaiting more details on her fellowship.
The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) was bestowed upon Catherine Whittington. The GRFP provides students with three years of funding for research-focused Master's and PhD degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields.  The purpose of the National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship Program is to ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the United States and to reinforce its diversity by offering approximately 1,100 graduate fellowships in this highly competitive program.

Catherine Whittington just completed her first year of graduate school and joined Professor Sherry Harbin's team in the spring.  Currently, she is working on a reporter gene construct and transfection process with the hope to monitor single cells within 3-D tissue matrices.  Catherine hopes to focus her work within tissue engineering for microcirculation and vasculogenesis solutions.

The Geddes-Laufman-Greatbatch Award is presented annually to the outstanding student or post-doctoral fellow for an academic year. Dr. Geddes established this award after he received the 1987 AAMI Foundation/Laufman-Greatbatch Prize in recognition of the importance and unparalleled diversity of his contributions in biomedical instrumentation.
Brian C. Ward, an MD/PhD candidate working with Professor Alyssa Panitch, was awarded this year's Geddes-Laufman-Greatbatch Award.  Brian has worked very hard to lead BMEGSA, and make it an organization that can support professional growth, leading to significant change in the organization over the last year. The students have taken ownership of the society and are creating a strong bond to the school. There is a strong sense of caring and commitment from the organization. Academically, Brian is on track to graduate in three years with as strong a thesis as most students have in 4-5 years.
Sigma Xi Graduate Student Research Poster Awards were awarded to three students in Professor Riyi Shi's laboratory at a banquet on April 16.


  • Jianming Li earned First Place (engineering science) for his poster Novel three-dimensional polymeric scaffolds for neural tissue engineering.
  • Hui Ouyang received an Honorable Mention (engineering science) for her poster Functional deficit of spinal cord white matter after decompression is proportional to the strain and duration of sustained compression during injury.
  • Kristin Hamann earned First Place (life sciences) for her poster Acrolein Scavengers as Potential Treatment for Spinal Cord Injury.


New Acoustic Technology Could Help Prevent Fractures in Horses
Purdue Biomedical Engineering researchers are developing a monitoring system similar to those used by earthquake seismologists to detect tiny cracks in bones, a technology that could help prevent fractures in humans and racehorses.

Read more... http://news.uns.purdue.edu/x/2008a/080604AkkusFracture.html

Research Offers Potential New Pathway for Nanomedicine Cancer Treatment
Researchers at Purdue University have discovered a possible new pathway for anti-tumor drugs to kill cancer cells and proposed how to improve the design of tiny drug-delivery particles for use in "nanomedicine."

Read more... http://news.uns.purdue.edu/x/2008a/080502ChengCancer.html