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Bioengineering Archived News

News and Awards

Timmy Samec Awarded Hollings Lowvelo Fellowship

Timmy Samec Awarded Hollings Lowvelo FellowshipThe Hollings Cancer Center awards go to those with the greatest potential to become independent cancer researchers and compete for extramural grants.
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BIOE Professorships

Dean and Mercuri ProfessorshipsBIOEs Honored: 2 of 4 Professorships for Research and Education into Advanced Manufacturing and Biotechnology Innovation Delphine Dean is the Ron and Jane Lindsay Family Innovation Professor; Jeremy Mercuri is the John Witherspoon Gilpin, M.D. Associate Professor.
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New Administrative Coordinator

Anna Craft profileAnna Craft, a recent graduate of Anderson University, has been hired to fill the position of Communication Outreach Director. With a major in Digital Media Communications and a minor in Applied Computing for Business, Anna will be the departmental webmaster. Additionally, she will develop and specify promotional material tailored to various audiences including those at national conferences. Traveling to events, she will work with faculty and staff to deliver and evaluate the department’s approach. Anna will assist faculty with travel arrangements and with subsequent reimbursement and will manage all aspects of planning for on-campus events.

New Faculty Members

Dunn and Larsen faculty membersTwo new faculty members have joined the department. Heather Dunn, a lecturer in the Department of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, is now a BIOE Research Assistant Professor. Heather’s research interests include mammary gland development, cancer biology and epithelial mesenchymal transition. Jessica Larsen is now Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Bioengineering. Her research interests include drug delivery, biomaterials and nanotechnology.

Bonthius 2020 ORS Spine Section Award Winner

ORS WinnersDaniel Bonthius, an MD/Ph.D. student in Hai Yao’s lab, noted, “We are working on a new type of implant to treat children with very bad spinal deformity.” His presentation was for Rib-hook Construct For Pediatric Hyperkyphosis And Kyphoscoliosis.
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Faculty, Students represent BIOE at ABRCMS

ABRCMS RepresentativesAnnual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Scientists (ABRCMS), one of the largest conferences for underrepresented minorities in STEM, was held in Anaheim, CA, on November 13-16. Clemson’s undergraduates, graduates, postdoctoral fellows, faculty and students joined over 4,650 attendees representing more than 350 colleges and universities. For the third year in a row, BIOE participants served as research presenters, recruiters, session chairs, and poster judges.
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Kate Byrd named one of Aviation Week Network's 20 Twenties for 2020

Kate Byrd at MIT - Photo: Nicole Fandel - MIT NewsKate Byrd, Clemson BIOE alumna and an associate staff member in MIT Lincoln Laboratory's Advanced Sensors and Techniques Group, was recently named one of Aviation Week Network's 20 Twenties for 2020. Byrd was nominated for the award by Harvard University, where she studied electrical engineering from 2018 to 2019.
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BIOE Students Distinguish Themselves in 3-day HERO Pitch Event

winning teamsClemson’s Hayek Center for the Business of Prosperity held a 3-day event to help Clemson students incorporate business principles into their community outreach and international aid projects. The program included lectures by renowned philanthropists, business leaders and scholars, and small-group mentoring by graduate students. Student organizations that best-incorporated business principles into their charitable projects were eligible for HERO Prizes ranging from $2,000 - $5,000.
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Singapogu Receives NIH R01 for Evaluating and Training Surgeons

View Joseph SingapoguDr. Joseph Singapogu receives NIH R01 for evaluating and training surgeons in suturing skills using objective metrics. SutureCoach: Examining Vascular Suturing Skills Assessment, Training, and Transfer of Training via Objective Metrics.

Xinyue “Lucy” Lu, a graduate student researcher, wins BioPro Award

Research winner with checkLu is developing a novel bio-adhesive mesh system for hernias. She proposes this new point-of-care technology to combine hydrogel adhesive and polymer surface modification, which will be part of a $3 billion industry.
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Mei and Yost (MUSC) awarded EPSCoR Grant

Ying Mei Clemson Associate ProfessorPI Ying Mei and Co-PI Michael Yost (MUSC) were awarded an EPSCoR Grant for Exploratory Academic Research for their proposal, Computational modeling guided biomaterials development for therapeutic vascularization.

National Institutes of Health awards Clemson its first COBRE Phase III

Dr. Naren Vyavahare part of COBRE researchDr. Naren Vyavahare is the PI of this dynamic five-year award. Phase III objectives are to facilitate the transition of research core resources developed during initial phases into state-of-the-art core facilities capable of supporting the conduct of high-caliber biomedical research.
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Latour’s research chosen for funding by Innovation Maturation Fund

LAtour profileDr. Bob Latour’s research on breath-test sensors to measure the ammonia concentration in kidney patients’ breath was chosen for funding by Innovation Maturation Fund, a joint effort by Prisma Health and Clemson University.
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Booth’s research chosen for funding by Innovation Maturation Fund

Booth - Innovation Maturation FundDr. Brian Booth’s research on an implant for use after lumpectomy to aid breast regeneration and prevent tumor recurrence was chosen for funding by Innovation Maturation Fund, a joint effort by Prisma Health and Clemson University.
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Inaugural John Witherspoon Gilpin, M.D., Endowed Associate Professor of Bioengineering Named

Mercuri - inaugural holder of professorshipDr. John Witherspoon Gilpin ’82, a philanthropist and leader in providing for students and institutions in medicine and higher education, recently established an endowed associate professorship in bioengineering. Dr. Jeremy Mercuri is the inaugural holder of the professorship.
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Two of six Clemson students chosen to present research at ACC Meeting of the Minds are bioengineers.

Clemson studentsA select group of Clemson University undergraduates have just returned from Louisville, Kentucky, where they participated in a Meeting of the Minds with other Atlantic Coast Conference students.

The conference is held each spring to celebrate undergraduate research and creativity and to provide an opportunity for sharing ideas and collaboration.
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View Medical Team: Gary Stevenson, head of MB Ventures; Lawrence Boyd, VP of R&D, Bioventus; Dan Coppersmith from BihlerMED; Mike Sherman, View Medical president and head of MB Innovations.

Dr. Lawrence Boyd and his teamOn March 13, 2019, Dr. Lawrence Boyd and his team launched their product, SurgiLight, at the annual meeting of the American College of Orthopedic Surgeons. Dr. Boyd, one of our professors of practice, offered some history of the product, a saga of developing a good idea. “I started on it back in Durham when I was based in the First Flight Venture Center incubator, and later we had it incubated in Memphis in the Zeroto510 program. We received funding from MB Ventures and Innova in Memphis. This all started back in 2013, so it’s been a long (and interesting) road. Several years ago we found a great commercial partner in BihlerMED.” Explaining the product’s purpose, Dr. Boyd said, “Clean, targeted lighting is as important for a surgeon as having the right instruments close by. The use of headlamps and overhead lights is inherently limited as movement and shadows interrupt a proper view of the surgical site. The SurgiLight is an exciting new surgical illumination device developed as an ergonomic alternative to headlamps and a great addition to overhead lights. SurgiLight provides versatile and safe illumination, which can be focused on specific surgical procedures. This precision surgical light can attach to existing overhead lighting or be mounted securely to an operating table to provide an optimal vantage point for harnessing an intense and focused high powered LED light source.”

Clemson University Research Foundation Award

Dr. Kevin ChampaigneAs CEO of Circa Bioscience, Dr. Kevin Champaigne was awarded an SC EPSCoR Phase-0seed grant to develop a novel bioadhesive mesh system for abdominal hernia repair. As part of this project, Circa Bioscience will collaborate with Clemson University researchers to obtain preliminary data on the performance of an innovative implantable mesh/bioadhesive system for improved fixation for hernia repair surgery. Dr. Champaigne’s collaborators are Dr. Melinda Harman and Dr. Jiro Nagatomi and two investigators from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Dr. Igor Luzinov and Dr. Thompson Mefford.South Carolina Research Authority awarded Dr. Champaigne a matching grant to support an ongoing Phase 1 STTR from the National Institute of Mental Health. In this research, Greenwood Genetic Center and Circa Bioscience are partnering to develop a screening test for autism spectrum disorder.

Simionescu awarded research foundation award

Dr. Simionescu - Research Foundation AwardDr. Dan Simionescu was awarded a Technology Maturation Fund grant to continue development of vascular grafts that are resistant to diabetes. Numerous surgeons use small diameter synthetic grafts during bypass surgery to salvage failing limbs or hearts in diabetic patients; however, many of these grafts fail dramatically in these patients. This targeted approach solves the unmet need for off-the-shelf graft solutions that are resistant to complications associated with diabetes.

Clemson University Research Foundation Award

Dr. Nagatomi - Technology Maturaiton Fund grantDr. Jiro Nagatomi was awarded a Technology Maturation Fund grant to develop a novel mesh-adhesive system for abdominal hernia repair by combining a bifunctional polyamine hydrogel adhesive with a surface modification technology.

Clemson University Research Foundation Award

Dr. Alexey VertegelDr. Alexey Vertegel was awarded a Technology Maturation Fund grant to further develop a polymeric coating that can cling to metal implants. The technology can significantly reduce the burden of orthopedic implant pin site infections through the utilization of highly adhesive anti-microbial drug-eluting polymeric coatings.

Mechanobiology Handbook Second Edition

Jiro Nagatomi, not pictured: Eno EbongDrs. Jiro Nagatomi and Eno Ebong of Northeastern University co-edited the second edition of Mechanobiology Handbook, which Dr. Nagatomi originally edited in 2010.
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Harriet and Jerry Dempsey Research Conference

Harriet and Jerry Dempsey research conferenceDr. Dan Simionescu is an organizer of the third annual Harriet and Jerry Dempsey Research Conference along with Dr. Kevin Taaffe and Mr. Jerry Dempsey.
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Vanessa Wyche Breaks Barriers

Vanessa WycheVanessa Wyche, a bioengineering graduate, is the first African American to serve as deputy director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center.
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Medical Device group recognizes Martine LaBerge with award

Dr. Martine LaBerge in labDr. Martine LaBerge, Chair of the Department of Bioengineering, was presented the Southeastern Medical Device Association’s Spotlight Award for her contributions to the development of the Southeastern medical device community.
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$11M NIH grant creates musculoskeletal research center

11M NIH GrantWith an $11 million grant from the National Institutes of Health Center for Biomedical Research Excellence, Clemson University has launched the South Carolina Center for Translational Research Improving Musculoskeletal Health.
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Dr. Angela Alexander-Bryant awarded Scientific Advocate Network Grant

Dr. Angela Alexander-BryantDr. Angela Alexander-Bryant was awarded a grant by the Scientific Advocate Network Program of the SC EPSCoR/IDeA Program. With this funding, Dr. Alexander-Bryant will implement management plans to meet the goals she proposed in two categories: Engaging Underrepresented Students in MADE in SC Research and Recruiting a Diverse Group of Graduate Students.

Dr. Vladimir Reukov’s Creative Inquiry group awarded Best Printed Poster

Dr. Reukov's Creative Inquiry groupDr. Vladimir Reukov’s team took Best Printed Poster at Clemson’s annual Focus on Creative Inquiry Poster Forum for Characterization and Application of Quantum Dots for Drug Delivery and Cancer Cell Tracking.

Authors are Anastasia Frank-Kamenetskii, Aleena Thomson, Bradley Scammon, Kacie O’Neill, Lanz Pasig, Melanie Hedge, Rashes Abdel-Tawab and Will Ashley.

Josh Walters selected for GRA

Josh WaltersJosh Walters, a student of Dr. Jeremy Mercuri, has been selected for a Graduate Assistantship by the South Carolina Space Grant Consortium. The Graduate Research Assistantship (GRA) is designed to help meet the continuing needs of the aeronautics and space effort by increasing the number of highly trained scientists and engineers in aerospace, space science, space applications and space technology. The GRA Program awards assistantships for graduate study leading to research-based masters or doctoral degrees in the fields of science, mathematics, and engineering. Josh will be investigating the effects of prolonged spaceflight on intervertebral disc health using an explant culture model.

SFB Star Awardees: Ryan Borem, Hetal Maharaja!

Ryan Borem and Hetal MaharajaThe Society For Biomaterials recognizes recognize research excellence and develops future leaders within the SFB through the Student Travel Achievement Recognitions (STARs). STAR recipients are selected according to these procedures: SFB Special Interest Group officers will review a list of the SIG Student Recognition applicants who applied for the STAR Awards when submitting their meeting abstracts, along with their abstract titles and scores. Each SIG will then nominate several students to the Society's Education and Professional Development Committee for consideration. The Educational and Professional Development Committee will review the nominations and select the STAR recipients. Those abstracts recommended by the SIGs, but not selected by the Educational and Professional Development Committee will receive honorable mentions. The awardees will receive a certificate and monetary award of $250; the Honorable Mentions will receive a certificate.

Two BIOE Students Recognized by NSF

Aniqa ChowdhuryTimmy SamecThe National Science Foundation conferred its Graduate Research Fellowship award on Aniqa Chowdhury, a graduate student in Dr. Delphine Dean’s lab. NSF conferred Honorable Mention on Timothy Samec, a graduate student in Dr. Angela Alexander-Bryant’s lab.

The purpose of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) is to help ensure the vitality and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce of the United States. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) or in STEM education. The GRFP provides three years of support for the graduate education of individuals who have demonstrated their potential for significant research achievements in STEM or STEM education.

Technology Maturation Fund grants go to Four BIOE Faculty

CURF logo

Drs. Delphine Dean, John DesJardins, Naren Vyavahare and Tong Ye will use their CURF grants to advance their research toward licensing or industry collaboration.
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Orthopaedic Research Society recognizes Kyle Snethen

Kyle SnethenKyle Snethen, a student of Dr. Melinda Harman, was awarded the Force & Motion/ORS Young Scientist Travel Grant to attend the ORS annual meeting. Kyle presented his abstract, "Sensitivity of Calculated Ligament Tensions to Differences in Intraoperative Knee Kinematics: A FE Computational Study." Terms of the award included that the recipient present on multi-axis force measurement and testing.

Robert H. Brooks Sports Science Institute supports Drs. Ye and Mercuri

Dr. Jeremy MercuriDr. Tong YeDrs. Jeremy Mercuri and Tong Ye were awarded a seed grant from the Robert H. Brooks Sports Science Institute for their project, “Early detection and prophylactic treatment for post traumatic osteoarthritis.

Society for Biomaterials recognizes work in Dr. Jeremy Mercuri’s lab

Dr. Jeremy Mercuri’s Laboratory of Orthopaedic Tissue Regeneration and OrthobiologicsDr. Jeremy Mercuri’s lab received an honorable mention from the Society for Biomaterials for the work they presented at the society’s annual meeting in April. The lab’s abstract, “Stem cell seeded biomimetic nucleus pulposus and annulus fibrosus implants promote living repair of degenerative intervertebral discs in sheep” was nominated as an outstanding contribution to the Society for Biomaterials 2018 Annual Meeting by the Special Interest Group Chairs of the Society.

Biotechnology Journal highlights article by Vertegel's lab

Mercuri ProfileAn article by members of Dr. Alexey Vertegel’s lab and their collaborators was chosen for the January 2018 cover of Biotechnology Journal: “Albumin-Assisted Method Allows Assessment of Release of Hydrophobic Drugs from Nanocarriers.” D. Gil, A. Frank-Kamenetskii, J. Barry, V. Reukov, Y. Xiang, A. Das, A. Varma, M. Kindy, N. Banik, A. Vertegel. Art by Olga Reukova.

Dr. Latour speaks at the International Symposium on Macromolecules and Biointerfaces

Dr. Latour at International SymposiumDr. Robert Latour was one of ten invited speakers at the International Symposium on Macromolecules and Biointerfaces in Suzhou, China, October 27-29, 2017. The special symposium, organized in celebration of Dr. John Brash’s 80th birthday, focused on talks related to the blood compatibility of biomaterials.

Yang Li wins Second Place at 2017 Halushka Reserach Day

Yang Li, PhD candidate with awardYang Li, PhD Candidate in Dr. Tong Ye’s lab, was awarded Second Place for PhD Candidates (3+ years section), Oral Presentation, at the 2017 Perry Halushka Research Day at Medical University of South Carolina.

Three Bioengineering Students Recognized by NSF

Lauren Pruett and Jacqueline Rohde, Meredith Owen not picturedSeniors Lauren Pruett and Jacqueline Rohde were awardees in the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship competition, and graduate student Meredith Owen was selected for honorable mention.
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Clemson facemask research continues in quest to help reduce brain injuries

BIOE faculty, face mask researchFaculty from bioengineering, faculty from food, nutrition and packaging sciences, students and an area business collaborate to study face masks.
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MUSC Recognizes Collaboration with Clemson BIOE

The Medical University of South Carolina Foundation for Research Development cited the following in its Year in Review email: The Clemson Senior Design Bioengineering/MUSC Collaboration involves eight teams this year, strengthening our collaboration with Clemson’s Bioengineering programs.

Predicting Clinical Outcomes in TKR

Predicting Clinical Outcomes in TKRKyle Snethen, graduate student in Dr. Melinda Harman’s lab, was awarded the Dassault Systèmes Project 2017 Jury Prize. Kyle’s winning entry demonstrated that finite element modeling of patient-specific simulations could inform surgical decisions and intraoperative technology. In future work, Kyle plans to exercise the model across a broader patient population to generate additional clinically useful predictions.
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Dr. Simionescu wins American Heart Association award

Dr. Simionescu in labDr. Aggie Simionescu’s research has been chosen for an American Heart Association Institutional Research Enhancement Award for a period of two years, during which Dr. Simionescu will study mitral valve tissue engineering. According to Dr. Simionescu, “Mitral valve insufficiency is the most common cause of regurgitation referred for surgical repair or replacement in the western world, but currently available substitutes do not adequately comply with the performance and flow pattern requirements of the left ventricle. Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine approaches using scaffolds, cells, and bioreactors could provide viable implant solutions. Our goal is to develop a tissue engineered mitral valve with ideal characteristics: large orifice, rapid opening and closure, no rigid support, maintenance of mitral annulus–papillary muscle continuity, extended durability, biocompatibility, normal function at any change in the left ventricle size in time, and also, easy to produce and construct.” Goals of the AHA award are to support meritorious research, expose students to research and strengthen the research environment of the institution.

Dr. Sarah Harcum is Clemson PI on $70M Department of Commerce Biopharmaceutical Institute

Dr. Sarah HarcumA team of researchers at Clemson University is part of a new national institute aimed at advancing the United States’ leadership in the biopharmaceutical industry. Clemson bioengineering professor Dr. Sarah W. Harcum is the Clemson site director for this initiative.
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Dr. Joseph Singapogu Leads NIH Project to Improve Dialysis Treatment

Singapogu - NIH ProjectDr. Joseph Singapogu has designed a simulator and a virtual mentoring system to train nurses and technicians to find a fistula and measure a needle's motion, force, angle and location.
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A Tale of Pandas, Stem Cells, Problem-Solving and Medicine: Irene Cheng's Boren Fellowsip

Irene ChengI chose to study bioengineering because I really appreciated the hands-on aspect of this field. From conducting lab work, tinkering with electrical components, and working on my problem-solving capabilities, bioengineering challenges me everyday, which I love!
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Southeast Regional Biomaterials Day

Meredith OwenCodyThe 4th annual Southeast Regional Biomaterials Day, hosted by Clemson University, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Vanderbilt University, will take place November 8-9, 2018, in Clemson, SC.
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National Scholar Casey Young honors Dr. Delphine Dean as mentor

Dean and YoungWhen National Scholars graduate, they choose one mentor to honor. Casey Young chose Dr. Delphine Dean, who was recognized at the National Scholars Program Awards of Distinction event. Dr. Dean was honored for all the contributions she has made to the National Scholars Program and particularly for the enthusiastic support and expert guidance she has provided Casey. According to Dr. Dean, "Casey worked on projects in Tanzania, helping to design a low-cost patient monitor. She now has a B.S. in bioelectrical engineering, and she is staying to do her M.S."

Research by Drs. Ye and Mercuri supported by Robert H. Brooks Sports Science Institute

Sports science logoDr. Jeremy Mercuri and Dr. Tong Ye, assistant professors in the bioengineering department, were awarded $43,592 byClemson’s Robert H. Brooks Sports Science Instituteto determine the effectiveness of mesenchymal stem cells to promote knee cartilage health in patients undergoing surgical repair after injury. The investigators will also determine the effectiveness of nonlinear optical microscopy to identify degenerative knee cartilage damage.
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Clemson University wins award from Edmund Optics

Edmund logoClemson University has been awarded a 2017 Educational Award by Edmund Optics, a provider of optical components to both industry and academia. The award is given in recognition of outstanding undergraduate and graduate optics programs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics at nonprofit colleges and universities worldwide. Clemson was nominated by Claire Ma, a graduate student in Dr. Bruce Gao’s lab.
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Dr. John DesJardins awarded CECAS 2017 Mentoring Award

Desjardins wins awardDr. John DesJardins, Hambright Distinguished Professor in Engineering Leadership, was awarded the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Science’s 2017 Mentoring Award. According to Dr. DesJardins, this recognition affirms his belief that mentoring is a slow and consistent process of gaining and maintaining the trust of another person, placing their interests, aspirations, and successes above your own, for the common good of everyone.
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