Twelve McKelvey School of Engineering doctoral students in the Department of Biomedical Engineering received or utilized highly competitive fellowships in 2023. Several students and alumni also received National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships in 2023.

Maria Bandres received an F99/K00 award from the National Institutes of Health Blueprint and BRAIN Initiative Diversity Specialized Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Advancement in Neuroscience program (D-SPAN). Her project is titled “Integrative spinal physiology to restore neural control of sensorimotor functions after neurological injury.” Bandres is a doctoral student in the lab of Jacob McPherson, affiliate faculty member and assistant professor of physical therapy and anesthesiology at the School of Medicine. This award will support her transition to an appointment as a postdoctoral research fellow and enable her pursuit of independent scholarship.  She is developing spinal electrical stimulation-based therapies intended to enhance rehabilitation of voluntary movement while also alleviating spinal cord injury-related neuropathic pain.

Austin Bell-Hensley received an F31 from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases for his project “Modulation of MicroRNAs to Engineer a Layered Osteochondral Tissue Construct.” Bell-Hensley is a doctoral student in the lab of Audrey McAlinden, affiliate faculty member and professor of orthopaedic surgery at the School of Medicine.

Lucy Woodbury received an F31 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for her project “Investigating the interactions of auxiliary subunits with the Nav1.5 channel.” Woodbury is a doctoral student in the lab of Jon Silva, professor of biomedical engineering.

Martina Marras received an American Heart Association Fellowship for her project "Molecular Mechanisms of Cardiotoxicity Linked to Tyrosine Kinase Inhibition.” Marras is a doctoral student in Silva’s lab.

Shashank Anand received an F31 from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for his project “Functional connectivity associated with motor recovery after internal capsule lesions”. Anand is in the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at the School of Medicine conducting research in the lab of Dan Moran, professor of biomedical engineering.

Zainab Harissa received an F31 from National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases for her project “The Impact of COL6A3 Mutation on Inflammatory Susceptibility in Osteoarthritis.” Harissa is a doctoral student in the lab of Farshid Guilak, affiliate faculty member and Mildred B. Simon Research Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the School of Medicine.

Erica Ely received an F31 from National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases for her project “The Multiscale Role of Piezo Channels in Obesity-Associated Cartilage Damage.” Ely is a doctoral student in Guilak’s lab.

Ryan Bowen received an F31 from National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for his project “The Influence of Arc on Remapping, Network Repair, and Functional Recovery After Stroke.” Bowen is a doctoral student in the lab of Jin-Moo Lee, MD, PhD, affiliate faculty member and Andrew B. & Gretchen P. Jones Professor in Neurology and chair of Department of Neurology at the School of Medicine.

Yang-Yang Feng received an F30 from the National Institute of Mental Health for his project “Determining the role of the primate raphe-habenula circuit in multi-attribute decision-making.” Feng is in the MSTP at the School of Medicine conducting doctoral research in the lab of Ilya Monosov, affiliate faculty member and professor of neuroscience at the School of Medicine.

Rachel Mintz received an F30 from the National Cancer Institute for her project “Mechanisms Underlying the Omental Support of Ovarian Cancer Peritoneal Metastasis.” Mintz is in the MSTP conducting research in the lab of Gwendalyn Randolph, affiliate faculty member and the Emil R. Unanue Professor of Pathology & Immunology at the School of Medicine.

Abbie Hasson received the STEM Chateaubriand Fellowship from the Office for Science and Technology of the Embassy of France for her project “A DFO-HOPO derivative Chelating Agent for Thorium-227 Chelation and Bioconjugation." Hasson is a doctoral student in the lab of Daniel Thorek, affiliate faculty member and associate professor of radiology at the School of Medicine.

Kaitlyn Strandberg received a fellowship from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation for her project "Novel biomaterials for implanting genetically engineered stem cells.” Strandberg is a doctoral student in

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