Kerri Kwist joins IBIOE as new Cell Engineering Research Associate
IBIOE is proud to announce the recent addition of Kerri Kwist to its tissue engineering research team as the new Cell Engineering 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 in different laboratory environments including endocrinology research laboratory, forensic biology and microbiology.
Call Me Doctor® Fellow LaToya McDonald Embarks on New Research Path
Call Me Doctor® fellow LaToya McDonald was the first person in her family to go to college. Now, she’ll be the first person in her family to be called “Doctor”. McDonald began her journey to a PhD in July 2011 as she commenced her research with cancer cells and biomechanics under the mentorship of IBIOE collaborative researcher and Clemson University Bioengineering professor, Dr. Delphine Dean.
McDonald grew up in Columbia, SC, where she developed an early interest in engineering and math. By the time she was in ninth grade, she was taking senior calculus classes surrounded by all upperclassmen. “I loved math in high school and just always knew I wanted to be an engineer.” After high school, McDonald traveled to Raleigh, North Carolina to study at St. Augustine’s College where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering and Mathematics in May 2010.
IBIOE Research Assistant Professor, Dr. Brian Booth, Presents at the International Association for Breast Cancer Research Conference
Dr. Brian Booth, IBIOE Research Assistant Professor, took part in the 28th International Association for Breast Cancer Research (IABCR)/Breakthrough in Breast Cancer Conference in Manchester, England from April 15-18, 2012. Booth presented his poster abstract entitled, “Differential expression of stem cell associated genes in nuclear label-retaining epithelial cells during mouse mammary gland development.” Booth’s poster was one of 100 abstracts that were selected for presentation at the poster session.
This was Booth’s first time presenting at IABCR conference and believed it was a great opportunity to discuss his most recent data. “It’s great to be in a place where breast cancer researchers from around the world are coming together to gain novel insights and new collaborations in the areas of stem cells in breast cancer development,” he said. “The IABCR conference inspired me to drive my research forward.”
IBIOE PhD Student Jordon Gilmore Earns Seminar Award
IBIOE Graduate Student Jordon Gilmore was honored with Second Place in Clemson University’s Bioengineering Department’s fall semester seminar presentation awards. Gilmore presented a summary of his research entitled, “Automated Loom Development for Variable Weaving for Biocompatible Meshes.” Each semester, Department Head Martine LaBerge gives 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. To watch a video on the IBIOE loom project, click here.
Call Me Doctor® Fellow Jordon Gilmore Fulfills Research Passions through IBIOE
As a young boy, the “toy” Jordon Gilmore most wanted was a microscope or a chemistry set. His love of all things science continued with him through middle and high school in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. Gilmore, now a first year PhD graduate student, hopes one day to be called “Doctor” through IBIOE’s Call Me Doctor® fellowship program.
Gilmore took a drafting class in high school that sparked his love of engineering. After attending a summer engineering camp at North Carolina State University, he knew engineering was for him. Gilmore was recruited by several schools to play football, but chose The Citadel because of their strong engineering program. Gilmore started as a civil engineering major, but switched to electrical engineering when he realized he loved the idea of using computers to interface with the outside world.
IBIOE Hosts Call Me Doctor® Summer Workshops
IBIOE sponsored four Call Me Doctor® (CMD®) workshops, in conjunction with the Programs for Educational Enrichment and Retention (PEER) Office. Workshops were held on Mondays July 11, July 18, July 25 and August 1 in Clemson University’s Riggs Hall. The goal of the IBIOE Call Me Doctor® conference workshops was to provide an introduction to research and the research process, graduate student career path possibilities, and the role of research in a university setting to incoming Clemson University minority students majoring in computer science, engineering, the life sciences, the physical sciences or mathematics.
The workshops encouraged minority undergraduate to not feel rushed and hurried into choosing their field of study. Presenters let these students know that there are many avenues of research i.e., electrical engineering, computer engineering, mechanical engineering, bioengineering, biomedical, and so forth. Presenters encouraged undergraduate minority students to ask questions, get involved, and not only pursue undergraduate degrees in these fields, but also go on to further their studies in graduate level work.
IBIOE Researchers Present Mammary Gland Research at Gordon Research Conference
IBIOE 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.
IBIOE Welcomes New Research Associates to the Team
IBIOE is proud to announce the addition of Nic Hanks as Research Associate and Mr. Scheen Thurmond as Research Associate/Laboratories Manager.
Hanks is engaged in management and improvements of IBIOE electromechanical equipment and works with faculty members, students, and staff to further related projects. Hanks also works closely with the IBIOE Laboratories Manager to provide technical oversight of Institute infrastructure. Hanks recently received his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical & Computer Engineering from Clemson University with an area of expertise in electronics and robotics.
Mr. 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.
IBIOE Provides a Unique Research Operational Model
Traditional cell culture is based on 2-D cellular arrangements or cells distributed in 3-D gels that have limited relevance to tissues found in the human body. Diagnostic test systems are engineered heterotypic tissues built with cells and biomaterials to provide spatially relevant 3-D arrangements – more like those found in the body – and allow the end user to predict disease behaviors and progression as well as efficacy of therapies, vaccines or new medical implants.Development of these systems for clinical and industrial use requires robust, collaborative relationships with business and medical partners.
Accordingly, the core IBIOE research is conducted by permanent research faculty members who provide a consistent base of research operation. This unique model allows continuity, reliability, and productivity in designing diagnostic test systems. The pairing possibilities for IBIOE collaborations seem endless. A research and development group could include a professor from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and an IBIOE cancer cell biology research faculty member — both working in conjunction with a cancer surgeon. This corporate-type core model is unique in a university setting.
IBIOE Involves Graduate Students in Community Engagement & Training Programs
What do empty paper towel rolls, a stuffed animal, squirt bottles filled with water, black acrylic paint, yellow hair gel, Band-Aids®, cork stops, Styrofoam™ balls and snack-size plastic baggies have in common? These items make one of IBIOE’s many community engagement biomedical demonstrations possible.
With IBIOE community engagement projects, researchers can transfer their work from the lab to real-world applications for others to see firsthand. It’s a win-win dynamic for all involved.
IBIOE researchers, in conjunction with high school and middle school teachers, have developed half a dozen classroom-friendly modules that convey complex biomedical ideas that teachers can incorporate in the classroom. The modules explain complicated scientific concepts such as stem cells, drug delivery processes, chronic inflammation and encapsulation — all on a level that 10-year-olds can understand.
IBIOE is Proud to Announce its Call Me Doctor® Training Program
The CMD® program partners underrepresented IBIOE engineering and science doctoral fellows with education doctoral students and faculty members to deliver cutting-edge science and engineering concepts to the community and K-12 classrooms. The goal of the program is to leverage the skills and interests of the fellows, exciting and informing the public about cutting edge research. The fellows enhance their communication skills and gain a broader learning experience than they would in a traditional research environment.
CMD® Disciplines include Animal Sciences, Biological Sciences, Bioengineering, Chemical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. The CMD® graduate fellows program supports high-achieving Ph.D. students who have an interest in pursuing doctoral study in mathematics, sciences or engineering.