Institute for Biological Interfaces of Engineering

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Institute for Biological Interfaces of Engineering (IBIOE) Awarded $50,000 from Dabo’s All In Team® Foundation 

Clemson University Football Coach Dabo’s All In Team® Foundation recently awarded IBIOE a $50,000 grant for breast cancer research project.  The funding will be used for Assistant Research Professor Dr. Brian W. Booth’s project entitled, “Incorporation of the Anti-Cancer Agent Tannic Acid Into Biomaterials Used for Breast Reconstruction.” Avon_13

One of the objectives of the All In Team® Foundation is to raise funds annually for breast cancer prevention and research with an emphasis on local university research programs, and efforts providing medical screening and testing to local upstate residents. The Swinney extended family has experienced first-hand the battle with breast cancer. Since 2009, more than $160,000 has been raised and donated to breast cancer prevention and research.  IBIOE is pleased to be a 2014 grant recipient for breast cancer research. See the full story here, or the video here.

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Susan G. Komen Affiliates Tour IBIOE Laboratories

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Susan G. Komen representatives visited IBIOE on Friday, September 19th as part of their campus-wide tour of breast cancer research initiatives at Clemson University.  Komen representative Cindy Parker and Donna Weinbrenner, Board President of Komen’s South Carolina Mountains to Midlands division visited IBIOE labs. During the visit, they had opportunities to learn first-hand the research works going on in the labs and see demonstrations of scaffold construction and bioprinting from Lab Manager Scheen Thurmond, Research Associates Christopher Moody and Kerri Kwist, and IBIOE graduate students. They also spent some time with Dr. Guigen Zhang, Director of IBIOE, and Dr. Brian Booth, Research Assistant Professor and an expert in breast cancer research, discussing the on-going works in the labs on cancer research and diagnostic technology development.

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During the discussion, Dr. Booth presented a short overview of the exciting new findings of his translational cancer research incorporating anti-cancer compounds into biomaterials to be used for tissue engineering purposes following cancer surgeries. This invention would help regrow tissue while simultaneously reducing cancer recurrence. Dr. Booth also highlighted his research focusing on differentiating HER2+ (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive) breast cancer cells, which in turn makes the cancer cells more susceptible to chemotherapies. When translated into the clinic this would not only kill cancer cells but help reduce the amount of toxic treatments patients will have to endure. 

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IBIOE Helps Advance Research of its Member, Dr. Pingshan Wang

IBIOE member Dr. Pingshan Wang, an associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and his group develop microwave lab-on-chip techniques with single molecule sensitivity and radio-frequency (RF) specificity for sensing applications in biology, chemistry and medicine.  Currently, Wang is developing techniques to detect and identify volatile organic molecules (VOCs), biological molecules (e.g. DNAs and proteins, as well as dynamics), and malaria disease.  The miniaturized and robust microwave total analysis systems (µ2TAS) are expected to be inexpensive and easy to use.

The need to access a bio-safe facility with guiding hands from experts in biology as well as in biosafety compliance is so critical to Wang’s work in order to accomplish testing and evaluating microwave total analysis systems with appropriate biological samples. The IBIOE at Clemson is structured to facilitate breakthrough research at the interfaces of biology and engineering with in-house expertise in bother engineering and biology, so that researchers like Dr. Wang can push forward their cutting edge research work in a most effective way. In the meantime, IBIOE also opens up collaborative opportunities and expands research expertise and capabilities to its members.

“We believe that such interdisciplinary interactions will further advance our research significantly. At the same time, IBIOE staff and other IBIOE faculty members will have access to our unique microwave lab-on-chip techniques,” Wang says.  “We expect that new ideas and collaboration opportunities will be generated and such interactions and activities will help advance the IBIOE mission.”

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IBIOE's Victoria Artigliere receives the Editor's award from the National Society for Histotechnology

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At the 40th annual National Society for Histotechnology symposium in Austin, Texas, in August of 2014, Victoria was awarded the "Editor's Award" for her outstanding work with the Journal of Histotechnlogy.

Victoria has worked on the editorial staff for In Touch Magazine for dental hygienists, and Special Reports for family physicians. In 2010, Victoria became the managing editor of the Journal of Histotechnolgy preforming technical checks on submissions, formatting papers, sending articles out for review, proofreading manuscripts, coordinating proofs, and managing communications with editors, reviewers, and authors.

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Megan Casco appointed newest IBIOE Call Me Doctor® Fellow

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First year bioengineering graduate student and newly appointed IBIOE Call Me Doctor® fellow Megan Casco has known for a long time that engineering was her destiny.  

“I remember exactly where I was when I decided I wanted to be an engineer,” she laughs.  “I was riding with my Dad in the car and he turns around and looks at me and says now that I was in the 7th grade it was time to decide my college major.”  

She realized she was always very good in math and science so, at the age of 12, she decided engineering was for her.  It wasn’t until a few years down the road while expressing her fascination with medicine and the medical industry to her chemistry teacher when she heard the term “bioengineering” for the first time.  Her high school teacher nudged her towards the field and she was set on her career path.

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Dr. Guigen Zhang named IBIOE Director 

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Dr. Guigen Zhang has taken the reigns as director of Institute for Biological Interfaces of Engineering (IBIOE).  A professor in the Department of Bioengineering and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Zhang previously served as the institute’s deputy director since its inception in 2008. Zhang is excited about the opportunity and plans to lead the institute to a new high, aiming to bridge the gaps between biological science and engineering to solve practical and clinically-relevant problems through strategic interdisciplinary research, industry partnerships, and unique educational initiatives.

Currently, IBIOE has a team of two research faculty, Dr. Brian Booth (a biologist) and Dr. Joseph Singapogu (a bioengineer), and four full-time staff members, Scheen Thurmond, Laboratory Manager; Kerri Kwist, Cell Biologist Research Associate; Christopher Moody, Electromechanical Research Associate; and Victoria Artigliere, Administrative Coordinator. 

Zhang’s goals is to make IBIOE the institute on campus and in the state of South Carolina to facilitate breakthrough research at the interfaces of biology and engineering, and a center of excellence for fostering corporative sponsored research and economic development activities. Zhang also envisages to expand IBIOE’s membership structure to better assist academic researchers in both biological science and engineering areas for fertilizing interdisciplinary ideas and collaborations. On the economic development front, he plans to make IBIOE a place to assist startups and local industry pursuing innovations at the biological and engineering interfaces with their research and development activities. On education, Zhang aims to continue and expand IBIOE’s educational and training efforts, especially its unique and highly successful Call Me Doctor® fellowship program, through partnering underrepresented IBIOE engineering/science doctoral fellows with education scholars at Clemson University, to bring cutting edge science/engineering concepts to the community and to the K-12 classroom. 

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IBIOE’s Walker Blanding Wins Prestigious Summer Internship at St. Jude’s Research Hospital


Walker14IBIOE undergraduate researcher, Walker Blanding, was selected as one of only two undergraduate students to work at St. Jude’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN, during the summer of 2014. Blanding competed against 500 other applicants for the highly desirable summer internship position. Blanding will work in the Pediatric Oncology unit from May through August with two days of each work week conducting laboratory research and three days of each week assisting doctors in surgeries. Blanding is an undergraduate biology major at Clemson University. For more than a year, he has been earning credit hours in the IBIOE laboratories assisting IBIOE’s Dr. Brian Booth with research on cancer cells.

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IBIOE Awarded $150,000 from the 2013 Avon Walk for Breast Cancer 

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Clemson University Institute for Biological Interfaces of Engineering (IBIOE) was awarded $150,000 at the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Charlotte on October 27. The grant supports a research project to begin the development of an easy-to-use diagnostic test that can both predict breast cancer risk and monitor changes in breast cancer over time. The grant was accepted by Suzanne Tabbaa, IBIOE Graduate Research Assistant and PhD Candidate, Timothy Burg, IBIOE researcher and Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Olsen Horton, IBIOE Graduate Research Assistant and PhD Candidate. This is the third project awarded to Clemson University by the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade.

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The 2013 Avon Walk for Breast Cancer raised more than $1.65 million to advance access to care and finding a cure for breast cancer. The Avon Walk Charlotte is the final of eight Avon Walks this year, and the event attracted more than 800 participants from 41 states (and Washington, DC). Among the participants were 146 breast cancer survivors and 128 men, who joined together to raise lifesaving funds and awareness for breast cancer.

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NSF’s Video Series Science Nation Films IBIOE 3D Tissue Test Systems for Broadcast


Science_NationOn Friday, September 13, National Science Foundation  Science Nation film producer, Kate Tobin, visited the IBIOE laboratories to gather video footage and story material about 3D Tissue Test systems.Tobin filmed IBIOE Director Karen Burg giving an overview of IBIOE’s mission and goals,  IBIOE Research Associate Christopher Moody demonstrating the Bioprinter operations, and IBIOE graduate students working on their research in the laboratories. The finished video aired on the 27th of January 2014, and can be found here.

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In the National Science Foundation's Science Nation online magazine, reporters examine the breakthroughs, and the possibilities for new discoveries about the planet, the universe and humans. Each week, Science Nation takes an entertaining look at the research--and the researchers--that change lives.

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IBIOE NSF-EFRI Program Prepares Undergrads for Laboratory Research

Math ExcellenceUndergraduates interested in the EFRI-REM program applied through the PEER (Programs for Educational Enrichment and Retention) office. Four participants were chosen to be part of the EFRI-REM training program at Clemson University for Fall 2013. They are: Mark Allen, Brodie Davila, Quinton Gilliard and Terrance Harris.  The EFRI-REM undergraduates come from three different fields of engineering: Mechanical Engineering, Biomaterials Engineering and Computer Engineering. Each program participant was assigned a mentor.  IBIOE student mentors, Sarah Rowlinson and Olsen Horton, are tasked with overseeing the NSF-EFRI students’ laboratory work and managing their class hours.

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IBIOE Performs Outreach with Project WISE Program

WISEWith assistance from fellow IBIOE graduate students, Sarah Rowlinson, Dick Pace, and Olsen Horton, IBIOE graduate student Suzanne Tabbaa taught three days of Project WISE classes during the summer of 2013.  Project WISE is a one week residential camp for middle school girls (rising 6-8th graders). W.I.S.E. is an organization at Clemson University designed to help and support females in engineering and science majors.  Project WISE is an outreach program geared to develop and foster interest in the STEM fields for middle school girls.

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IBIOE Leads Math Excellence Workshops (MEW)

Math ExcellenceDuring summer 2013, IBIOE assisted Clemson University’s Program’s for Educational Enrichment and Retention (PEER) office with its Math Excellence Workshops (MEW).  Dr. Karen Burg, IBIOE Director, and Dr. Tim Burg, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, helped oversee three MEW seminars which consist of rising freshmen planning to major in science or math.  The final seminar was a career panel in which four Clemson University (CU) graduate students and one CU undergraduate shared their research experiences and projects. Shelby Darnell (PhD candidate in Human Centered Computing), Jordon Gilmore (PhD candidate in IBIOE), JaBria Byers (Undergraduate student in Bioengineering), Freddy Paige (PhD candidate in Civil Engineering) and Kayla Gainey (Masters candidate in Bioengineering) presented their research projects which included designing medical devices for developing countries, learning to and from net zero energy homes, production of 3D tissue scaffolds, increasing middle school student Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics career interest, and building a tool for analyzing classroom engagement.  MEW students had the opportunity to ask questions and hear firsthand about the world of research at Clemson University.

MEW is open to all incoming Clemson University PEER students majoring in computer science, engineering, the life sciences, the physical sciences or mathematics. This workshop allows students to take either the pre-calculus or calculus class during the second session of summer school at Clemson. 

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Lead Academy Summer Enrichment Program Visits IBIOE Laboratories

Lead AcademyOn Thursday, July 18, more than eighty 7th and 8th grade students from Greenville’s Lead Academy Summer Enrichment Program toured the IBIOE laboratories to learn more about tissue engineering and laboratory research.  IBIOE researchers Jordon Gilmore, Erin McCave, Jonathan Shaul and Kerri Kwist guided small groups of students through the laboratories and talked about the purpose and function of the different pieces of research equipment. 

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JaBria Byers Presents Summer IBIOE Tissue Engineering Research at SURE Event

JaBriaBioengineering undergraduate student and former EFRI REM participant, JaBria Byers, presented her IBIOE summer research results at the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) event at the Fluor Daniel building on July 26th. During summer 2013, JaBria worked with faculty advisor Dr. Timothy Burg, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Her IBIOE research project entitled, “Automated Production of 3-Dimensional Tissue Scaffolds” was funded by the Hearst Foundation.

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Freda Yin Wins Poster Award at Summer Research Symposium

Freda YinOn July 24, NSF EFRI summer research student, Freda Yin, was awarded best poster presenter for the Physical and Biological Sciences and Math division of the Charlotte Scholars Program.  Coauthors included Jordon Gilmore, Erin McCave, Dr. Michelle Coleman, Stephen Rego, Dr. Timothy Burg, Dr. Didier Dréau and Dr. Karen Burg. The project title was “Acinus Formation and Expression of Specific Proteins by MCF10A Breast Cells Cultured in 3D Extracellular Matrices Embedded with Polylactide Beads and Fibers”. Congratulations to Freda!

The Charlotte Research Scholars (CRS) program is a summer program for high-achieving undergraduate students to gain experience in research and professional development in their field of interest. These opportunities are not typically available in the undergraduate classroom. Topics include: responsible conduct of research, developing a competitive research fellowship application, preparing an academic resume, professional communication tools, and a session on preparing for graduate school. 

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IBIOE Researcher Dr. Timothy Burg and IBIOE Graduate Student Duong Nguyen Honored by The President’s Commission on Women at Clemson University

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Dr. Timothy Burg, Institute for Biological Interfaces of Engineering (IBIOE) faculty researcher and IBIOE graduate student researcher, Duong Nguyen were honored at the recent Outstanding Women Awards luncheon sponsored by The President’s Commission on Women at Clemson University.

Burg, Associate Professor of Electrical & Chemical Engineering, received the “Distinguished Contributor” award for his extensive work with the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) summer outreach program for middle school girls entitled “Project WISE.”  Nguyen was honored with the “Graduate Student” award, in part because of her volunteer efforts with the Society of Women Engineering and her Call Me Doctor™ community engagement programs with local chapters of the Girl Scouts of America.

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The President's Commission on the Status of Women annually honors individuals who have made outstanding contributions to improve the status of women. Categories for Outstanding Women include academic faculty, classified staff, graduate student and undergraduate student. The Distinguished Contributor category may include male or female alumni, senior administrators, unclassified staff, non-academic faculty, major gift donors and other individuals who have made a significant contribution to improving the status of women.

The President's Commission on Women at Clemson University was established in 1994 to improve the quality of life for women at Clemson. It is the Commission's pledge to encourage and inspire women to become leaders, problem solvers and innovators making meaningful contributions to American society.

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IBIOE Graduate Student Jordon Gilmore Elected President-Elect of the National Student Section of the Society for Biomaterials

Jordon GilmoreInstitute for Biological Interfaces of Engineering (IBIOE) graduate student researcher and Call Me DoctorTM fellow Jordon Gilmore has been elected President-Elect (2013-2014) of the national Student Section of the Society For Biomaterials (SFB).

The SFB Student Section mission is to encourage the development of knowledge in biomaterials, promote student research in biomaterials, further the objectives of SFB as they related to student research and education, identify students interested in biomaterials, and promote interaction between students and biomaterial professionals. 

The Student Section of the SFB was formed in 1990. Five students hold offices: The officers of the Section shall be the President, President-Elect, Secretary/Treasurer, Secretary/Treasurer-Elect, Bylaws Chair and any other Committee Chairmen appointed by the president.   These individuals are elected for a one-year term. 

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NSF EFRI-REM Networking Day Held at Clemson University on December 1, 2012

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On December 1, 2012, Dr. Rosemarie Wesson, Acting Director, Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation, was a special guest at the NSF EFRI-REM Networking Day which brought together the eight REM students to Clemson University for a full day of research presentations, poster sessions and face-to-face meetings. UNC-C REM students were Jocsa Cortes, Paola Sanchez, Monique Sutherland, Devaughn Vaughn. Clemson University REM participants were Roneisha Blakeney, Nateisha Drayton, Jaquanas Grant and Morgan Scott. 

The purpose of the event was to have students meet each other and share their research and learn about research opportunities such as REUs. Each REM student detailed his or her research projects with rapid fire presentations to the group and through poster presentations. All REM students successfully completed the program and achieved one credit hour towards graduation and a certificate of achievement from the program directors.

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Dr. Joseph Singapogu Joins IBIOE as a Core Research Faculty Member

Dr. Joseph SingapoguDr. Ravikiran “Joseph” B. Singapogu joined IBIOE on January 2, 2013. Singapogu comes to IBIOE from a Graduate Research Assistant position in the Haptic Interaction Laboratory at Clemson University.  As a member of the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Team at Clemson University, Singapogu served as the entrepreneurial lead for Dr. Tim Burg’s team in which they developed a new method to train surgery residents via a novel surgical simulator for force-based (or haptic) laparoscopic skills.  In the fall of 2012, the I-Corps team won People’s Choice award for best presentation among 27 country-wide teams at a competition in Atlanta. Singapogu’s work for IBIOE will continue his extensive review of current laparoscopic training methods and working with surgeons and residents at the Greenville Hospital System in Greenville, SC. Singapogu completed a Doctorate in Bioengineering in 2012 and earned a Masters of Science in Electrical Engineering in 2007, both from Clemson University. 

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Spring 2012 Departmental Seminar Awards Given to IBIOE Graduate Students Suzanne Tabbaa and Jonathan Shaul

IBIOE graduate students Suzanne Tabbaa and Jonathan Shaul were honored with Spring 2012 Departmental Seminar awards from Clemson University’s Bioengineering Department.  Tabbaa presented a summary of her research entitled, “Transport Limitations of 3-Dimensional Tissue Engineered Bone Scaffolds” and earned second place. Shaul presented a summary of his research entitled, “Tissue Engineering Approach to Maxillary Reconstruction” and won third place.

Each semester, Department Head Martine LaBerge, PhD, hands out three awards to the best seminar presentations. Winners receive a certificate of achievement and $300 travel award to attend a bioengineering conference of their choice.  

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IBIOE’s Beau Inskeep Teaches Rose-Hulman Students the Ins and Outs of Working in a Research Laboratory

Institute for Biological Interfaces of Engineering (IBIOE) graduate student, Beau Inskeep, helped introduce biomedical engineering students at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology to the world of a research laboratory. At the request of Dr. Kay C. Dee at Rose–Hulman, Inskeep showed 19 students from Dee’s “Tissue Biomaterial Interactions” class what to expect when they enter into a research lab. 

With the use of Skype, Inskeep took the students on a visual tour of the IBIOE laboratories so they could see the types of equipment used in a research laboratory.  Several IBIOE students contributed to the lecture, providing introductions to various laboratory activities.  Inskeep also educated and entertained the students with a slide show entitled, “The Top 10 (-ish) Things That Can Get You Kicked Out of the Lab”.   To see a list of the Top 10, click here.

Prior to the class on November 6, the students were given the assignment of reading a scientific journal article on which Inskeep’s own research is based. From there, they had to figure out any limitations with the study and develop experiments to overcome any of those limitations.  The goal of the class was to have the students come up with experiments that pertained to the research. The class ended with a question and answer session.

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IBIOE’s Dr. Brian Booth Featured in Clemson University’s Glimpse Magazine

Dr. Brian Booth is featured in the Fall 2012 edition of Clemson University’s Glimpse Magazine. In the profile piece entitled “As Close as Someone You Care About” by writer Peter Kent, Booth talks about his breast cancer studies including the redirecting of tumor cells and his translational research as Research Assistant Professor at the Institute for Biological Interfaces of Engineering (IBIOE).

Glimpse is published quarterly by Clemson University’s Office of the Vice President for Research and features stories and highlights from across the campus.  

To read the complete feature article about Dr. Booth’s breast cancer research work at IBIOE, click here.

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IBIOE welcomes Electromechancial Research Associate Christopher Moody

Christopher MoodyWe are pleased to announce the addition of Christopher Moody as Electromechanical Research Associate. Moody will be engaged in management and improvements of IBIOE electromechanical equipment and will work with faculty members, students, and staff to further related projects. Moody will also work closely with the IBIOE Laboratories Manager to provide technical oversight of Institute infrastructure. 

Moody recently received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from North Carolina (NC) State University with a concentration in bioinstrumentation. Prior to joining IBIOE, he worked at Turf Pathology Lab at NC State University and was Electrical Assistant at Integrated Systems Technology in Newton, NC.

Moody looks forward to his new role at Clemson University. “Electrical engineering is my passion, and I am eager to work on many exciting IBIOE projects and further develop the technology for our use,” he says.

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CMD Fellow Duong Nguyen Wants to Steer Young Women Towards Science and Engineering Careers

Duong NguyenDuong Nguyen, CMD® fellow, wasn’t always into all things science.  In elementary school she remembers having to put a lot of effort into understanding her science classes. It’s because of this extra work to make things click that she quickly found the subject intriguing.  So much so that by the time it came for her first day as an undergraduate at the University of Memphis (U of M) she knew without a doubt that science would be her chosen field of study.

Nguyen was one of 30 students who enrolled in the brand new Biomedical Engineering program at the U of M in the fall of 2005. Of those 30, only nine made it to graduation day. Nguyen attributes her success to her ability to look for opportunities for growth and sheer stubbornness. At a time when there were not any undergraduate positions available in laboratories, she was the first person in her class to seek out professors about working in their labs at no cost, just for the experience. By her junior year, she knew that she wanted to accelerate her goals and enrolled in the BS/MS program in which she would earn her undergraduate and Masters degrees in bioengineering over the course of 5 years. Before her senior year had even started, Nguyen had already begun her Masters work by taking graduate level classes and doing her own research projects. Even more impressive, Nguyen was challenged by an undergrad class assignment to apply for a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship. She was awarded the three year grant in the spring of 2008.

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IBIOE Investigators Receive $50,000 NSF I-Corps Grant


Haptic Device DemonstrationInstitute for Biological Interfaces of Engineering (IBIOE) investigators Dr. Timothy Burg, Associate Professor Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and doctoral candidate Ravi Singapogu and Lisa Perpall, Technology Commercialization Officer with the Clemson University Research Foundation, received a $50,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) I-Corps grant to explore commercialization of a haptic device to train laparoscopic surgeons. Laparoscopic surgery is a minimally invasive surgical technique wherein surgeons insert long tools through small incisions made in the abdomen and perform surgery via camera images relayed on a monitor. Due to its desirable advantages to patients, there is an enormous demand for medical students (residents) to learn this surgical technique. However, acquiring the skills needed for proficient laparoscopy is extremely challenging because of the surgeon’s “remoteness” to the surgical site. 

Due to this, most surgical errors during laparoscopic procedures are caused by the application of excessive forces on tissues.  The team will study a new method to train surgery residents to apply controlled forces via a novel surgical simulator for force-based—or haptic—laparoscopic skills. NSF established the NSF Innovation Corps (NSF I-Corps) in order to jumpstart a national innovation ecosystem. The NSF I-Corps' purpose is to identify NSF-funded researchers who will receive additional support - in the form of mentoring and funding - to accelerate innovation that can attract subsequent third-party funding.

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Kerri Kwist joins IBIOE as New Cell Biology Research Associate 


BMES 2011We are pleased to announce the recent addition of Kerri Kwist to the IBIOE tissue engineering research team as Cell Biology Research Associate. Kwist’s main job responsibilities include identifying IBIOE cell biology needs and implementing solutions to meet those needs as well as exploring and developing novel biology techniques. Kwist’s professional background includes working as an adjunct instructor at the Biology Department at Tri County Technical College where she taught both lab and lecture classes in the subjects of biology, anatomy and physiology and microbiology. Kwist comes to IBIOE with a strong background from different laboratory environments including endocrinology, forensic biology and microbiology.

Kwist received her Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology from Texas Tech University in 1997 and earned her Master of Science in Microbiology from Clemson University in 1999.

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IBIOE Exhibit at Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting in Connecticut
BMES 2011Researchers and staff members of the Institute for Biological Interfaces of Engineering (IBIOE) presented graduate school information and promotional materials to hundreds of potential graduate students and post doctorates at the 2011 Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting in Hartford, CT, October 12- 15. IBIOE collaborative researcher, Dr. Delphine Dean, IBIOE doctoral candidates Erin McCave and LaToya McDonald, as well as IBIOE administrative coordinator, Victoria Artigliere, staffed the IBIOE booth answering questions about tissue engineering research opportunities at Clemson University.

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IBIOE Awarded Avon Foundation for Women's Breast Cancer Research Grant
From the Clemson University Newsroom 
avon foundation for womenThe Avon Foundation for Women has awarded the Clemson University Institute for Biological Interfaces of Engineering (IBIOE) a second grant for medical research related to breast cancer procedures. The institute will receive $150,000 from the foundation to support research that improves breast reconstructive surgery using a patient’s cells, with a novel application of drugs to reduce tumor recurrence or metastases. 

Clemson was one of seven universities or hospitals to receive grants from the foundation. The recipients were named Sunday in Charlotte following the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. Avon Walk Charlotte raised $1.7 million to advance access to care and finding a cure for breast cancer. This is the second time the Avon foundation has awarded a grant to Clemson's Institute for Biological Interfaces of Engineering. In 2009, the institute received $195,000. Karen Burg, the institute’s director and Hunter Endowed Chair of Bioengineering, who attended the Charlotte event, said the Avon foundation and walk participants raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for breast cancer research. The foundation’s grants will help accelerate advances in research and health care. “The Avon Foundation for Women not only raises awareness of this terrible disease, it also leads the way in funding research programs such as IBIOE’s,” Burg said. Read full article.

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Scheen Thurmond Joins IBIOE as New Laboratories Manager
Scheen ThurmondMr. Scheen Thurmond began his role as IBIOE Research Associate/Laboratories Manager during the summer of 2011 and he couldn’t be more pleased with his new professional position at Clemson University. “Being IBIOE Lab Manager brings me back to my love of biology and my medical field interests. I find the work of diagnostic tissue test systems fascinating and am honored to be part of this collaborative team doing such important research,” said Thurmond.

Thurmond comes to IBIOE from a research specialist position at Clemson University in the Dairy Cow Nutrition Laboratory where he performed lab duties in support of research in dairy cow nutrition such as fatty acid analysis via gas chromatography, setup, and maintenance of continuous cultures, diet, reagent and solution preparation. Thurmond’s background also includes research roles at Clemson University’s Department of Entomology and the Genomics Institute as well as teaching positions at Tri-County Technical College in Pendleton, SC, and the School District of Oconee County. Thurmond received his Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology from Clemson University in 1995 and he is an honors graduate of Greenville Tech’s Medical Laboratory program and an ASCP certified MLT.

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IBIOE Faculty Present Mammary Gland Research at Gordon Research Conference
Booth and ParkIBIOE researchers, Dr. Brian Booth and Dr. Jang Park, were invited to present their poster, Differential Gene Expression in Label-Retaining Epithelial Cells in the Developing Mouse Mammary Gland, at the Gordon Research Conference on Mammary Gland Biology at Salve Regina University in Providence, Rhode Island from June 12-17, 2011.

“It was an honor to be invited to present our research at this year’s Gordon Research Conference,” says Booth. “It was an unique opportunity to be part of the conference because the number of participants was purposely limited to less than 200 to allow increased opportunity for dialogue. Many people spoke with us in great detail about our mouse mammary gland cell research at IBIOE.”

The Gordon Research Conferences were initiated by Dr. Neil E. Gordon, of the Johns Hopkins University, who recognized in the late 1920s the difficulty in establishing good, direct communication between scientists, whether working in the same subject area or in interdisciplinary research. The Gordon Research Conferences promote discussions and the free exchange of ideas at the research frontiers of the biological, chemical and physical sciences. Scientists with common professional interests come together for a full week of intense discussion and examination of the most advanced aspects of their field. These conferences provide a valuable means of disseminating information and ideas in a way that cannot be achieved through the usual channels of communication - publications and presentations at large scientific meetings.

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IBIOE Director, Karen Burg, elected president of Society For Biomaterials
Karen BurgClemson University IBIOE Director, Karen Burg, has been elected president of the Society For Biomaterials (SFB), a professional society for scientists and engineers who study cells, tissues and organs and their interactions with natural and synthetic materials, including implanted prosthetic devices.

Burg was installed as president at the 2011 SFB Annual Meeting and Exposition which was held April 13-16 in Orlando, FL. Burg will serve a one-year term which concludes with the 2012 World Biomaterials Congress in Chengdu, China.

Established in 1974, SFB is the oldest scientific organization in its field, offering scientific meetings and special interest groups for researchers as well as the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research.

Clemson University, where the Society held its inaugural meeting in 1975, is one of 16 universities with student chapters of the organization.

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Roudsari awarded NSF graduate fellowship
Laila RoudsariClemson University senior undergraduate student, Laila Roudsari, has been awarded a 2011 National Science Foundation (NSF) graduate fellowship. Roudsari is majoring in Bioengineering with a Biomaterials concentration and currently conducting a Departmental Honors research project with the Institute of Biological Interfaces of Engineering (IBIOE).

The NSF graduate research fellowship program (GRFP) fellows receive three years of support, $30,000 annual stipend, $10,500 cost of education allowance, international research and professional opportunities and TeraGrid supercomputer access. Applicants for the GRFP are expected to be enrolled in a graduate program by Fall 2011, and to have completed no more than 12 months of full-time graduate study or the equivalent as of August 1, 2010.

“I am honored to be a part of such a prestigious program that will serve as a platform to launch my career in bioengineering,” says Roudsari. “I am also very excited about the opportunity to develop my own research project, but I know that I have big shoes to fill considering the highly reputable accomplishments of fellows in the past and I am looking forward to a challenge.”

The GRFP helps ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the United States and reinforces its diversity. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees at accredited U.S. institutions.

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Gangadharan wins NSF sponsored travel award to present at the Institute of Biological Engineering annual conference
Clemson University bioengineering graduate student, Rajan Gangadharan, was recently honored as the recipient of the 2011 National Science Foundation (NSF) Student Travel Award.
Gangadharan was one of only six students from across the country to be selected to be part of the NSF sponsored symposium, “Biosensors, Biochips and Micro/Nano-Devices,” at The Institute of Biological Engineering (IBE) 2011 Annual Conference held in Atlanta, Georgia, last month. The award provided travel expenses to the IBE conference for Gangadharan to present his paper entitled, “Monitoring Microfluidic-Based Cell Culture Using Optimized 3D Electrodes.”

Gangadharan is currently pursuing his doctorate under IBIOE Deputy Director, Dr. Guigen Zhang. Zhang, co-author of the paper with Gangadharan, is pleased that they are being recognized for their work. “I’m very proud of Rajan because it was a highly competitive process for winning this award,” says Zhang.

The Institute of Biological Engineering (IBE) was established to encourage inquiry and interest in biological engineering. IBE supports the community of scientists and engineers that are addressing global challenges in the environment, resources, energy, health, and sustainability through biological systems analysis and design.

IBIOE graduate student elected president of Clemson’s black graduate student association
First year IBIOE graduate student and Call Me Doctor® fellow, Jordon Gilmore, has been elected to serve as president of Clemson University’s Black Graduate Student Association (CU BGSA). His one year term begins in April 2011.

Clemson University’s Black Graduate Student Association exists to foster a supportive environment for graduate students that promotes holistic development and creates opportunity for upward mobility that will empower students to achieve academically. It also provides an infrastructure of unity, support and academic guidance for the enrichment of the graduate student body and the community.

Gilmore came to Clemson University in January 2011 to start his bioengineering doctorate, conducting IBIOE research. Within a short period of time, he rose to this leadership position and feels privileged and honored to be elected president of CU BGSA by his peers.

Gilmore is ready to begin his new role. “During my tenure as president I hope to make the CU BGSA a more visible entity on campus, especially amongst the African American community. By integrating ourselves into Graduate Student Government functions and undertaking various projects of our own, we hope to become a group of students noted for their dedication to academic achievement, involvement in the community, and pride in Clemson University,” he says.

IBIOE undergraduate researcher awarded Society For Biomaterials scholarship
Laila Roudsari, a senior undergraduate student at Clemson University majoring in Bioengineering with a Biomaterials concentration, has been awarded the C. William Hall Scholarship from the Society For Biomaterials. Roudsari is currently conducting a Departmental Honors research project with the Institute of Biological Interfaces of Engineering (IBIOE) that focuses on enhancing the functionality of a bioprinting system to build tissues and tissue test systems. The goal of her IBIOE research is to integrate a device into the bioprinter that will prevent cell settling which would allow future researchers to print with a higher level of precision.

The scholarship, which honors the memory of the Society’s first president, Dr. C. William Hall, is awarded each year to a junior or senior undergraduate pursuing a bachelor’s degree in bioengineering or a related discipline. During the year of the scholarship award, it is required that the student participate in undergraduate research in biomaterials. Applicants submitted brief essays on their planned research and career objectives, as well as a letter from their advisor confirming their status and role in the research. Roudsari will be honored at the Society For Biomaterials (SFB) Annual Meeting & Exposition which will be held April 13-16, 2011 in Orlando, Florida.

Roudsari is grateful for the special opportunities that the C. William Hall Scholarship will give her. “The SFB annual conference will not only update me on what is at the forefront of biomaterials research, but will open up my eyes to the wide range of different types of research being performed in the field to help guide my future focus,” says Roudsari. “Attending the conference sessions will bring the concepts I have studied in my classes to life and allow me to see first-hand how they are applied in the research facilities all over the world.”

IBIOE graduate student Erin McCave presents at AIMBE’s 20th annual event
Erin McCave, Institute for Biological Interfaces of Engineering (IBIOE) graduate student, has been selected to present her poster entitled “Breast Cancer Tissue Test Systems” at the American Institute of Medical & Biological Engineering (AIMBE) 20th Annual Event in Washington, D.C., February 20-22, 2011. This is the first time in the event’s history that graduate students from across the country have been invited to present. McCave was chosen as a presenter based on her application that included an abstract and a personal essay.

While at AIMBE’s 20th Annual Event, McCave will attend panel discussions and conference sessions where she will have the opportunity to network with industry professionals and government officials, as well as those in academia, to highlight the importance of Clemson University’s bioengineering research and how it relates to personalized medicine. The focus of McCave’s breast cancer research at Clemson University is to develop a tissue test system (3D engineered tissue models), using a patient’s own cells, that in the long-term may be used to understand a patient’s cancer, develop customized treatment plans, and help researchers understand the mechanisms that cause cancer, and ideally, develop preventative vaccines.

AIMBE emphasizes the importance of leadership roles and outreach programs for medical and biological engineering professionals. McCave has served in multiple leadership roles in the Clemson University Bioengineering Society and Clemson University Graduate Student Government; she has also conducted bioengineering workshops for college aged populations and delivered interactive presentations to high school, middle school and elementary students. “Presenting at AIMBE’s Annual Event will give me the tools necessary to become a voice for bioengineering and help me be a better advocate for the medical and biological engineering industry,” says McCave. “I’m discovering that in addition to the research itself, I really enjoy opportunities where I can discuss how to enhance bioengineering programs. This is a great opportunity for me as a Clemson University graduate student, and I look forward to sharing my experiences.”

Clemson University IBIOE researcher receives $100,000 Gates grant for diagnostics research
Guigen Zhang, Deputy Director of the Institute for Biological Interfaces of Engineering, has received a Grand Challenges Explorations grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Awarded through a program to support innovative global health research, the grant will help fund work to create low-cost diagnostic tools for doctors in developing countries. "Our work is designed to develop highly sensitive, specific and direct-molecule-interfacing biosensors that are inexpensive to build, simple to use and rugged to deploy," Zhang said. Inexpensive, simple and rugged medical tools are important in remote, underdeveloped areas, which is why the research is focused on the development of tiny "biosensors" to replace more expensive and delicate mechanical and electrical devices. "It is a novel idea, and very exciting, because it could also lead to a groundbreaking sensing paradigm for meeting many of the pressing biomedical diagnostic and rapid screening needs, including rapid cancer screening and DNA sequencing," Zhang said. The grant is part of the Gates Foundation's fourth funding round of Grand Challenges Explorations, an initiative to help scientists around the world explore new and largely unproven ways to improve health in developing countries. Only 78 grants were awarded to scientists in 18 countries on six continents.

Call Me Doctor® Sponsored Workshop
Announcing an IBIOE Call Me Doctor® sponsored workshop, to be held on Wednesdays, July 14, 21, and 28 at 3:00 at Clemson University. Topics include introduction to research, research process, graduate student career path, and the role of research in a university setting. Please direct electronic inquiries to kburg@clemson.edu.

Dr. Tim Burg and Dr. Groff's Senior Design class awarded NCEES Engineering Award
IBIOE investigators Drs. Timothy Burg and Richard Groff lead a student team from the Senior Capstone Design Class in Clemson University's Holcombe Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering to earn a $7,500 award in a design competition sponsored by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). The NCEES Engineering Award for Connecting Professional Practice and Education is an annual competition sponsored by the organization, which develops, administers, and scores the examinations used for engineering and surveying licensure in the United States.

The senior design course challenges students to design systems to solve real-world problems under realistic constraints. In the Spring 2009 semester, the students were tasked with developing a device that allows third-graders to "feel" their interaction with a computer. The project adds a sense of touch to the computer interface, allowing children to actually feel force and vibration as they compare shapes, sizes and weights of objects shown on the computer screen. Their project -- "Engineering Haptic Virtual Manipulatives to Enhance K-12 Math and Science Education" -- seeks to help elementary school children learn basic math and science concepts, such as rotational symmetry and the relative weights of objects.

"The idea is to use real-world objects to teach abstract concepts," said Dr. Burg, who heads the IBIOE Haptics Lab. "The students adapted manipulatives-based teaching methods from Math Out of the Box® , a K-12 module developed by Clemson University educator Dot Moss, and turned them into computer-based haptic virtual manipulatives.

"A haptic device, essentially a computer-controlled robot that uses electric motors to push or pull against the user, is a unique computer output device that allows the user to actually feel forces or vibrations," Burg said. "Creating haptic virtual manipulatives holds the potential to revolutionize the educational field of math and science instruction and to revolutionize distance collaborations." IBIOE research is capitalizing on haptics technology to provide new methods for multi-disciplinary collaboration.
Class Website

IBIOE appoints Clemson's first Professor of the Practice (PoP)
IBIOE has appointed a retired business executive with nearly four decades experience as the university’s first “Professor of the Practice.” A Professor of the Practice should have an industry or business background where the individual’s “real-world” acumen can aid the university’s mission. Steve Hunter, who spent 39 years with General Electric, has joined the institute to help pair private-sector connections with its core researchers and to mentor students on real-world applications for research. Clemson students and faculty will benefit from his experience in the business world. Dr. Karen Burg said Hunter’s appointment provides a new model of doing business at Clemson. It marks the first time the university has tapped the surrounding retired business community via a formal mechanism.
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Visit by Dr. Gil Smith, Chief of NIH Mammary Stem Cell Biology Section
Dr. Gil Smith, Chief of Mammary Stem Cell Biology Section at the National Cancer Institute, will be visiting Clemson University this Thursday and Friday, co-hosted by the Department of Animal & Veterinary Sciences and the Institute for Biological Interfaces of Engineering. Dr. Smith will present a seminar, entitled "Long-label retention and asymmetric division - are they related in mammary epithelium?", on Friday at 1:00 in Poole Agricultural Center Room F149.
Dr. G. Smith Seminar Flyer [pdf]

Chalmers University students visit IBIOE labs
Graduate students Pierre Nyquist and Hanna Mattsson from Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden visited the IBIOE laboratories. They are working on a biostatistics project with IBIOE collaborators Professor Leadbetter and Professor Budhiraja from the Department of Statistics and Operations Research at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. 

Hannah-Pierre 1
Hanna Mattsson, Pierre Nyquist, Dr. Karen Burg, Erik Bland

Hannah Pierre 2
Hanna, Erik and Pierre with the Clemson Dalarna Horse

$195,000 from the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer
Charlotte, NC, October 2009 — The 2009 Avon Walk for Breast Cancer season concluded with the Avon Walk Charlotte this weekend, and raised more than $2.3 million to advance access to care and finding a cure for breast cancer. The Avon Walk Charlotte is the final of nine Avon Walks this year, and the event attracted more than 1,100 participants from 4 countries and 39 states, plus Washington, DC. Among the participants were 114 breast cancer survivors and 138 men, who joined together to raise lifesaving funds and awareness for breast cancer.

The Clemson University Institute for Biological Interfaces of Engineering (IBIOE) was awarded $195,000 at the event, to support a research project that seeks to develop new ways to improve reconstructive surgery following a lumpectomy using a engineered tissue with anti-cancer properties. The grant will support the development and assessment of this novel injectable, cell-based biomaterial that will be designed to reduce tumor recurrence or metastases. The grant was accepted by Karen Burg, IBIOE Director and Hunter Endowed Chair of Bioengineering, and Brian Booth, IBIOE Research Assistant Professor. This is the first project awarded to Clemson University by the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade and the first Avon Foundation award ever to support research at the intersection of biology and engineering.

 Avon Walk for Breast Cancer
Pictured from left to right: Marc Hurlbert, PhD, Director, Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Crusade, Brian Booth, PhD, IBIOE Assistant Research Professor, Timothy Burg, Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering, Karen Burg, PhD, IBIOE Director and Hunter Endowed Chair in Bioengineering, and Eloise Caggiano, Program Director, Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.

Avon award 1Avon award 2

Pictures from the award ceremony after the walk

Dr. Karen Burg presents at AO Foundation Meeting
Dr Karen Burg presented at the AO Foundation ( http://www.aofoundation.org/wps/portal/ ) on Large Bone Defect Healing, 4th annual meeting ( link ) held in Davos, Switzerland on October 2, 2009. She presented IBIOE work in the area of scaffolds for large bone defect repair.

Matthew Pepper receives NIBIB/NIH Student Travel Fellowship Funding
Matthew Pepper, an IBIOE PhD student, was a recipient of a National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)/National Institutes of Health (NIH) Student Travel Fellowship. This award was bestowed following submission of the paper, The Design and Implementation of a 2D Inkjet BioPrinter, to the annual conference of the IEEE Engineering Medicine and Biology Society. The Engineering Medicine and Biology Conference 2009 was held in downtown Minneapolis, MN and showcased the work of over 5000 authors from around the globe. The fellowship award of $400 helped finance Matthew’s trip to present his work.

Dr. Guigen Zhang gives invited talk at OECD Conference
Dr. Guigen Zhang, IBIOE Deputy Director, gave an invited talk at the recent Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Conference in Paris, France. His talk addressed the potential environmental benefits of nanotechnology. Established in Paris in 1961, OECD provides a forum for international participants to compare policy experiences, seek answers to common problems, identify good practice domestic and international policies. OECD's focus is on fostering "green" and innovation-led growth. Nanotechnology is an emerging technology which could significantly contribute to raising living standards and improving the quality of life and has already been applied in many products from energy efficiency, to healthcare, to environmental protection, and to information and communication technologies.

Dr. Timothy Burg named IEEE Senior Member
Timothy Burg was named a Senior Member of IEEE (www.ieee.org) during the June 2009 Meeting. IEEE is a non-profit organization and is the world's leading professional association for the advancement of technology. The IEEE name was originally an acronym for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. Senior Membership is a professional recognition of technical and professional excellence. Senior Member is the highest grade for which IEEE members can apply.

Dr. Brian Booth speaks at Gordon Research Conference
IBIOE researcher Dr. Brian Booth spoke at the prestigious Gordon Research Conference on Mammary Gland Biology on Monday, June 15, 2009. The topic of his Short Talk was 'Human Embryonal Carcinoma Cells are Differentiated by the Mouse Mammary Microenvironment'. Experts from the fields of microRNAs, stem cells, homonal signaling, lactation and breast cancer presented and led discussions at the conference. The overall goal of the conference was to enhance understanding of the fundamental connections between mammary gland development and the alterations that occur during tumorigenesis. Additionally, model systems and technological advances that can be adapted to enhance experimental approaches were explored.

Clemson receives $3 million for Center of Economic Excellence in tissue-based research
Clemson University received approval from the South Carolina Endowed Chairs Review Board to establish a Center of Economic Excellence in Tissue System Characterization with $3 million in state funds that require an additional $3 million in non-state matching funds. There will be one endowed chair associated with the center. To be housed in Clemson's Institute for Biological Interfaces of Engineering, the center will expand and connect existing expertise in tissue engineering and biomaterials to provide alternatives to animal testing and will allow Clemson researchers to further explore novel technologies with the potential to serve as new diagnostics, medical devices and therapeutic products.
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Dr. Brian Booth to join IBIOE
We are excited to announce that Dr. Brian Booth will be joining IBIOE starting February. Currently working as a CRTA fellow at NIH/NCI(National Cancer Institute), his research includes investigating the connections between mutated somatic stem/progenitor cells and breast cancer. We look forward to adding his expertise to our team.

Dr. Guigen Zhang named Deputy Director of IBIOE
We are pleased to welcome Dr. Guigen Zhang as the Deputy Director of IBIOE. Dr. Zhang joined Clemson University from the University of Georgia, and will be continuing his research on Micro/Nano Bioengineering and Stem Cell Tissue Engineering.
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Breast cancer research and inkjet tissue printing get NSF boost
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $2 million to the Institute for Biological Interfaces of Engineering (IBIOE) at Clemson University for the development of engineered tissues that will be used to study the causes, progression and treatment of breast cancer.
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Clemson research improves inkjet technology for organ printing
Research from Clemson University shows that producing cardiac tissue with off-the-shelf inkjet technology can be improved significantly with precise cell placement. Tom Boland, associate professor in Clemson’s bioengineering department, along with Catalin Baicu of the Medical University of South Carolina, present their findings today (2-18) at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Conference in San Francisco.
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Inkjet printers offer biology breakthrough
If you think injecting ink into a printer cartridge might damage your printer, try filling it with animal cells. That's what they're doing at Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina.
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