Skip to main content

Bioengineering Archived News

News and Awards

Mercuri named John Witherspoon Gilpin, M.D. ’82 Endowed Associate Professor of Bioengineering

Mercuri ProfileDr. Jeremy Mercuri has been named the John Witherspoon Gilpin, M.D. ’82 Endowed Associate Professor of Bioengineering.

Read more

Dr. Jeoung Soo Lee awarded NIH RO1 for Nanotherapeutics research

Soo Lee awarded for research An NIH RO1 and a patent have been awarded to Associate Professor Jeoung Soo Lee. The grant is Neuron-specific Nanotherapeutics for Spinal Cord Injury Repair. Dr. Lee’s patent is Multi-functional Particles and Methods of Using the Same.

Dr. Will Richardson: NIH R01 to model cardiac therapy

Simionescu awarded for research When cardiac fibrosis progresses to heart failure, it can prove deadly.

Read more

Potential Benefit to Thousands of Kidney Patients

Vyavahare's team have reversed kidney disease in animals By loading a chelation drug into a nano-sized homing device, Naren Vyavahare and his team have reversed in an animal model the deadliest effects of chronic kidney disease.

Read More

Dr. Naren Vyavahare Receives NIH R01 to reverse vascular calcification

Vyavahare research on cardiovascular conditions This could be the first treatment to reverse the effects of a cardiovascular condition that affects millions of patients.

Read More

Dr. Naren Vyavahare receives NIH R01 for nanoparticle research

Dr. Naren Vyavahare receives NIH R01 for nanoparticle research Naren Vyavahare, who holds the Hunter Endowed Chair of Bioengineering, has received $1.47 million from the National Institutes of Health to advance research into abdominal aortic aneurysms.

Read More

Melissa McCullough one of 60 Pat Tillman scholars for 2019

mccullough in lab McCullough, staff member, student, and teacher, adds Pat Tillman Foundation awardee to her CV.

Detecting Precancerous Changes

Grad student Slonecki
Image Credit: Clemson University School of Health Research.

Graduate student Tyler Slonecki looks at exosomes using the Leica SP8 Hyvolution microscope and discusses findings with Dr. Terri Bruce.

Three of Six Outstanding Alumni are Bioengineers!

Vertegel awarded grant

Alumni I.V. Hall and Vanessa Ellerbe Wyche were inducted into the Thomas Green Clemson Society of Engineers and Scientists. Alumna Chelsea Ex-Lubeskie was chosen for membership in Outstanding Young Alumni.

VentureWell Interviews Bioengineering Capstone Programs

Simionescu awarded for research

Dr. John DesJardins discussed the experiences students need to excel beyond the classroom.

Ryan Borem Awarded NSF GRFP Renewal

A United States Army combat veteran and current BIOE Ph.D. student, Ryan’s research focuses on the development of a tissue engineering scaffold to assist in the repair and regeneration of intervertebral discs in people suffering from back pain. He describes his life and work:

"By supporting me in pursuit of a doctorate in bioengineering, The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP) has allowed me to continue my research, which focuses on the development of a tissue-engineered device for intervertebral disc repair. This medical device works to promote tissue regeneration of an intervertebral disc through incorporation of biologic tissue and human stem cells. I have the opportunity to work for an advisor (Dr. Jeremy Mercuri) who ensures that our research always has a translational aspect to it. We never lose sight that at the end of the day, we are trying to help patients through basic science studies and the development of biomaterials and stem cell technologies. With Dr. Mercuri’s mentorship, my wife’s ongoing love and support, and the NSF GRFP, I am able to focus on research that will one day improve the quality of life for future generations."

Senior Emily Gullette receives scholarship, internship opportunity from Hubbell Lighting Inc.

Gullette receives scholarship

Hubbell Lighting Inc., a world leader in lighting innovation, and the Hubbell Foundation have pledged $250,000 to Clemson University to establish the Hubbell Foundation Engineering Scholarship Endowment.

A celebration at Clemson this week honored the first five engineering students to receive scholarships as part of the endowment.

Cottle Speaks About Disparities

Cottle joins faculty-student panel

Dr. Renee Cottle was asked to join a faculty-student panel to discuss racial and gender disparities in science, technology, engineering, and math.

DesJardins and Bina Study Helmet Safety


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 75 percent of traumatic brain injuries that occur each year are concussions. A team of Clemson University researchers and an Upstate businessman believe they can help make football a little safer by creating a facemask that can help reduce the severity of head injuries by increasing overall helmet protection.

American Heart Association Funds Richardson


Dr. William Richardson and his lab were recently awarded a Scientist Development Grant from the American Heart Association to support highly promising beginning scientists in cardiovascular and stroke research. The $231,000 grant will support investigation of mechano-adaptive cell signaling related to cardiac healing after a heart attack. According to Dr. Richardson, “Our lab is using a computer model of scar healing to test the effects of potential drugs that could allow us to control, based on local mechanical forces, where, when, and how much scar is deposited. Such a drug would improve cardiac function after a heart attack. Furthermore, we will continue developing the computer model as a tool to predict the effects of numerous drugs and devices on long-term scar structure.”

Joey Wilson named Schwarzman Scholar

Wilson receives scholar

BIOE and Honors College senior Joey Wilson has been named a Schwarzman Scholar. Often referred to as the Rhodes Scholarship to China, the Schwarzman will send 129 men and women from 30 countries to study for one year at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

Read more

McMahan Receives Helping Hand Award


Chad McMahan, the department’s Histology Lab manager and officer for safety and compliance, was recognized by the National Society for Histotechnology at its 42nd annual NSH Symposium in Long Beach, California, September 18-21, 2016. The society’s Helping Hand Award recognized McMahan’s excellence in sharing scientific and technical knowledge in the histology community.

McMahan has just completed a two-year term as president of the SC Society of Histology Technicians. He said, “I value leadership in both members and officers. Encouraging students to be thinkers and leaders in their profession is my greatest contribution as president.” McMahan presided over the state’s 2016 meeting of histologists at Litchfield, SC, November 3-6. Activities included hosting career days for over 200 students from five high schools in the Pawley’s Island area. Beginning with lectures covering histology fundamentals and pathological diagnosis, the experience provided several wet-lab workstations including microtomy, cryotomy, staining, microscopy slide review and hands-on exploration of biomaterial implants. The experience complemented STEM activities held at each school. Of his term in office, McMahan said, “Participating on the state and national level greatly encourages me because I have the opportunity to support, challenge and connect with my peers. My greatest desire is that cancer research will continue locally, statewide and across the world.”

As a member of the department’s research staff, McMahan has a range of responsibilities. “I ensure that students working in the histology labs have proper training. I assist with sample preservation, sectioning samples with biomedical implant devices and staining slides with various techniques. I assist in all methodologies of histology fundamentals to produce a slide with values of complete sample morphology and cellular details. Graduate and undergraduate students encourage me to stretch my limits to assist them with great challenges. Repeating experiments, sectioning difficulties and staining variabilities are several roadblocks that students face. My duties include being research safety liaison and manager of our $10M inventory. Through our department, I collaborate with researchers and students from CECAS, CAFLS, and CES.

Regarding his role as safety officer, McMahan stated, “We consistently ensure safety showers and eyewashes are functioning properly. Fire extinguishers and other aspects of building safety compliance are monitored. We keep accurate training logs for all students who complete the required safety modules. Safety is a top priority when researchers and students are involved with biologics and the chemicals required in bioengineering research. We train, train, and re-train to ensure student compliance. Students are our greatest asset: I would not do what I do without our students.

New Clemson Bioengineering Traveling Exhibit


Always seeking the best ways to communicate with future bioengineers, the department specified a traveling exhibit that debuted at the 2016 BMES annual meeting. The exhibit includes a 10 ft. truss for three vertical banners, adjustable tabletops, a monitor mount, a counter, and spotlights. Assembly is toolless. According to Graduate Student Services Coordinator Maria Torres, the exhibit is “techie, slick and vibrant. The crowd in Minneapolis was impressed and had very good comments about our video and the ability to fill out a short online application on site.” As Team BIOE, Torres and several graduate students managed the display throughout the meeting, encouraging passersby to enter a raffle for Clemson headphones, take a set of tiger paw logo retractable earbuds, talk with Clemson students, and apply online.

Dr. John Desjardins Delivers Winning Pitch at 6th Annual SCBIO Conference


At SCBIO Live 2016, South Carolina’s annual life science industry conference, Dr. John Desjardins of Aravis Biotech and Clemson’s Department of Bioengineering won the SCRA Pitch Contest. The $2,500 prize was sponsored by Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing and Technology, South Carolina Research Authority and Carolina Biotech Group. It was awarded at SCBIO’s sixth annual conference, held November 10-11 at Greenville’s Westin Poinsett.

Two CU bioengineering alumni, Rebecca DeLegge, co-founder and president of DeLegge Medical, and Matthew R. Gevaert, co-founder and CEO of Kiyatec, were recognized for their dedication to the advancement of the life sciences in South Carolina. At the career fair that preceded the conference, students with industry representatives advertising 40 open technical positions. A platinum sponsor, Clemson Bioengineering hosted the panel breakfast with keynote speaker Dr. Christopher Austin, Director of the National Institutes of Health National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.

SCBIO is a member organization that supports South Carolina’s life science industry through collaboration, advocacy, workforce development, and business operations support. Its goal is to ensure that South Carolina’s companies, research institutions, and citizens reap the economic and societal benefits of a world-class life sciences cluster. The following companies were represented at the career fair: AmbioPharm, AVX, Capsugel, Foster Healing, Milliken Healthcare Products, Nephron Pharmaceuticals, Poly-Med, Inc., SCRA, and The Ritedose Corporation.

Bioengineering Lunch and Learn Series

Lunch and Learn Logos

The Department of Bioengineering’s Lunch and Learn Series is an industry- and business-related event where biotech professionals describe their work or focus, answer students’ questions, and dine with students. Most of the sessions address professional development and how students can best position themselves to obtain experience and prepare for a career. Speakers during the Fall 2016 semester were

  • Drew Green (CU BIOE Alumnus), CEO at Cormatrix.
  • Ray Boudreaux, Ph.D. (CU BIOE Alumnus), and Emma Moran, Ph.D., Research Engineers at Cook Medical
  • Jerome Klawitter, Ph.D. (CU BIOE Alumnus), VP of Advanced Development at Integra Life Sciences
  • Richard Hing, Sales Engineer at Zeus

The Fall series concluded with a product demonstration from Zeus. The South Carolina-based company, a worldwide leader in polymer tubing, presented a locker of materials to the Senior Design class to support student design of prototype devices. If you would like to be a guest in our Spring 2017 Lunch and Learn Series, please contact Jennifer Hogan at

Dabo Swinney All In Foundation Supports Bioengineering

Brian Booth

Recently appointed assistant professor of bioengineering Dr. Brian Booth received another vote of confidence on October 17, 2016. For the third time, Tiger football coach Dabo Swinney’s All In Team Foundation funded Booth’s proposed breast cancer research. The foundation has been behind Booth from his first studies showing that tannic acid, a naturally occurring anticancer agent, kills ER+ and HER2+ breast cancer cells at a greater rate than normal breast cells.

According to Booth, “We are working to develop an injectable matrix of small collagen beads and tannic acid that will facilitate tissue regeneration following a lumpectomy. When a patient’s own cells grow on the matrix of beads, the anticancer agent will be released, killing any residual cancer cells and inhibiting tumor recurrence.” The first year of the new grant will allow the Booth lab to perform laboratory experiments to refine the matrix. In the grant’s second year, Booth’s lab will translate the results into preliminary animal experiments.

Booth describes graduate Lauren Jordan, who finished her M.S. degree in bioengineering working on this project with the support of Dabo’s All-In Team Foundation, with pride. “We have been able to present the research at international scientific conferences including the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting and the Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting. We have published two scientific papers about our results so far, have another accepted for publication, and a fourth is currently being prepared for submission.” He added, “Potentially, this research could translate to other soft tissue cancers such as melanoma. The matrix will also be applicable to soft tissue regeneration such as after injury or trauma.”

Dr. Dan Simionescu awarded new NIH grant

Dr. Dan Simionescu, the Harriet and Jerry Dempsey Professor of Bioengineering, was recently awarded a new R56 grant for “Tissue engineering and regeneration of the aortic root” from the National Institutes of Health. This $410k, “High Priority, Short Term Project Award” from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute will support efforts to regenerate heart valves using scaffolds, stem cells, and bioreactors. The research team is comprised of Dr. Jeffrey Gimble and Dr. Bruce Bunnell of Tulane University and LaCell LLC, Dr. Leslie Sierad of Aptus LLC in Clemson, Dr. Jun Liao of Mississippi State University and Dr. Chris Wright, a thoracic surgeon at the Greenville Health System.

Team BIOE and SCBIO, a winning partnership!

Clemson Bioengineering will be highly represented at the SCBIO Annual Conference on November 10-11, 2016 in Greenville. Not only will our students show leadership and entrepreneurial engagement, but they will also use this opportunity for networking with biotech industry.

Hai Yao appointed new Ernest R. Norville Endowed Chair

A Clemson University professor who plays a key role in bringing together some of South Carolina’s leading minds for bioengineering research is the new Ernest R. Norville Endowed Chair in Biomedical Engineering. Hai Yao’s appointment comes as the result of a $1.5-million gift from Mitch and Carla Norville. Mitch Norville received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Clemson in 1980, and the endowed chair is named after his father.

BEST Design Workshop 2017

Clemson Bioengineering annually sponsors the Biomedical Engineering and Surgical Technology (BEST) Design Workshop, where stakeholders evaluate how the design of medical-device prototypes may affect patient safety. The 2017 event coordinator was Dr. Melinda Harman, Director of GreenMD, Clemson’s medical device recycling, and reprocessing certificate program.

One problem with device reuse is that poor design can prevent the effective cleaning and sterilization that the Food and Drug Association requires between patients. Prototype evaluation is one step in preventing patient risk of a debilitating or fatal illness caused by inadequate cleaning and sterilization.

Clemson University Biomedical Engineering Innovation Center (CUBEInC), a state-of-the-art facility primarily dedicated to biomedical research and accelerated innovation, was the site of the Workshop.

CUBEInC has 30,000 sq. ft. of research laboratories and education facilities, translational/incubator space, bioimaging research facilities, and state-of-the-art surgical-skills facilities.

CUBEInC is the translational research arm of the Clemson University School of Health Research (CUSHR), providing the environment essential to developing clinically driven technology and addressing research questions. Opened in 2011, CUBEInC facilitates student and faculty collaboration with healthcare practitioners.

The Workshop included an overview of GreenMD from Dr. Harman on medical device recycling and reprocessing. GreenMD is an industry immersion and training program for engineers to adapt medical device designs for sustainability, to impact healthcare safety with green technology, and to connect with medical and industry leaders.

Market research firms agree that the global market for reprocessed medical devices will be measured in billions of dollars within the next decade. Bioengineers are expected to be involved in designing, developing, marketing and regulating such devices.

Katie Jurewicz, Ph.D. candidate in industrial engineering, presented the keynote address on the role of human factors in medical device design.

She described human factors engineering, noting that the FDA requires that knowledge about human behavior, abilities and limitations and other characteristics of medical device users be part of the design process and included when safety and efficacy of medical device use are demonstrated.

Pitching their prototypes of medical devices for review, five bioengineering teams made presentations.

Attendees completed a reprocessing assessment report for each design to identify characteristics that could help or hinder the device’s reusability.

BEST Design Workshop: Feedback from Attendees

What kind of difference did the BEST Design Workshop make to you as a researcher and student/educator?

Melinda Harman (BIOE faculty): The BEST Design Workshop is becoming a cornerstone event in the GreenMD program. As an educator in bioengineering, this type of challenge-based learning allows us to “see the coursework in action” as the students apply knowledge they bring from all of their previous courses and experiences. This event really highlighted the advantages of engaging cross-disciplinary teams for medical device design, with enthusiastic interactions between attendees throughout the afternoon.

Katie Jurewicz (IE grad student): The BEST Design Workshop challenged me as a student and researcher. As a graduate student, I research one topic for four years, defend my dissertation and get a job, and because of the way this system is set up, it makes it easy for me to stay in my own silo of how I think and do work. The BEST Design Workshop provides the opportunity for me to see how other students interested in healthcare research approach problems, and it challenges me to think outside of the box and consider different perspectives to healthcare problems.

Angela Alexander-Bryant (BIOE post-doc): The BEST Design Workshop taught me that it is important to consider the potential for reprocessing in designing medical devices to expand their utility. Through the workshop, I also learned how to evaluate medical devices for reprocessing and reuse.

Jeremy Mercuri (BIOE faculty): What I thought was most beneficial about the event was that it really opened my eyes to thinking more critically about how to design reusable / reprocessable medical devices as opposed to the more traditional implants and biomaterials that I typically work on. It was great having cleaning and reprocessing experts there in the room with us to help critique current device designs.

Kristi Carlson (BIOE grad student): It provided a unique opportunity to hear the perspective of employees in the reprocessing industry and how real design criteria can improve the safety of reprocessing.

Moriah David (BIOE grad student): It allowed me to see the application of concepts we learn in GreenMD courses.

Joseph Pate (BIOE grad student): It provided better insight into the reprocessing industry and the skills necessary for designing medical devices that do not interfere with reprocessing.

Curt Laugh (BIOE grad student): It helped me focus on human factors in medical device design and see alternate design strategies to address those factors.

Katie Hafner (BIOE grad student): Gaining input from professionals in the reprocessing field, especially on the sales and marketing side of that industry, is a critical advantage in device design. It allowed me to hear what criteria, other than science or engineering inputs, can motivate business decisions.

Cristalei Polk (BIOE grad student): The BEST Design Workshop was a great experience. It provided me with the opportunity to sit down with industry leaders and learn more about what they do. It also opened up the door for a summer internship in the reprocessing industry!

Mat Stanford (BIOE grad student): Allowed me to present my research project and prototype device to a diverse group of people and receive direct feedback to improve the design for ease of use and ease of reprocessing.

Brittney Cotton (BIOE grad student): It was beneficial the way Dr. Harman organized us into small groups to evaluate the prototype designs and to use the worksheet to document key factors related to reprocessing.

Thomas Granger (BIOE grad student): Everyone involved had different experiences, including those with skills in mechanics, manufacturing, reprocessing, sterilization, electronics, which really provided clarity about design features of the different prototype devices.

Feedback from Attendees: What did you enjoy about the workshop?

Melinda Harman: The BEST Design Workshop brought together a diverse and tremendously enthusiastic group of participants. It is an advantage in medical device design, or any design process for that matter when there are contributions from people with different skill sets and strengths. The format of the hands-on workshop activity and networking that followed fostered opportunities for everyone to give and receive input.

Katie Jurewicz: I really enjoyed the interconnectivity and teamwork that occurred during the workshop. The only way to successfully develop a medical device that is designed for a variety of users and designed for recycling or reprocessing is to receive feedback from people with different points of view. If you are a biomedical engineering student asking another biomedical engineering student to evaluate the design of your device, you are missing the additional information that would only come from a different perspective. I think that engineers and scientists get too comfortable in their own areas to seek this type of feedback, but the BEST Design Workshop was perfect in the sense that it brought biomedical engineering students, human factors engineering students, surgical technician students, medical professionals, and those that are experts in the reprocessing design process. I think anyone interested in working in healthcare would benefit greatly from attending this workshop as you’re exposed to the different perspectives one might face when working in a healthcare setting.

Angela Alexander-Bryant: I really enjoyed interacting with the representatives from the reprocessing company. It was interesting to hear their advice on aspects of device design that should be considered for reprocessing.

Jeremy Mercuri: It provided a collaborative and engaging environment between students, faculty and device experts which fostered open discussions and learning.

Kristi Carlson: Gaining more insight into human factors and how they affect medical device designs.

Moriah David: We were able to engage local industry in evaluating medical device prototypes designed by Clemson Bioengineering students.

Joseph Pate: I really enjoyed getting a wide variety of perspectives on the prototype designs, including those from human factor specialists, industry professionals, and other students.

Curt Laugh: The interaction and group collaboration during the hands-on design evaluation activity.

Katie Hafner: I liked hearing the variety of topics discussed, from human factors to the prototype pitches from different students. The worksheet Dr. Harm provided for the hands-on activity really helped give structure to the design evaluations.

Cristalei Polk: I really enjoyed being able to see so many diverse device prototypes with different functions and clinical uses and then brainstorming with other attendees about some of the potential challenges of reprocessing them.

Mat Stanford: I liked meeting with professionals working in the medical device industry and hearing the diverse skills they use in their day-to-day jobs.

Brittney Cotton: I really enjoyed listening to all the speakers, especially the industry professionals. I felt we had a very useful dialogue during the prototype evaluations in the workshop activity.

Thomas Granger: I enjoyed the input from the industry representatives who helped to broaden my knowledge about the design process used in industry.

The Clemson University Department of Bioengineering is proud to announce its newest student award, The R. Larry Dooley Entrepreneurship Award in recognition of Dr. Dooley's legacy as a mentor and innovator.

Ideas: Making Them Real


In 30+ years at Clemson, R. Larry Dooley began every day having ideas. These then turned into partnerships, alliances, and centers that continue to attract educators, researchers, and year after year, classrooms full of bioengineering students. Presently Professor Emeritus of Clemson University Department of Bioengineering, Dr. Dooley retired in 2016 after more than 30 years as a teacher, mentor, and author. He followed his career path at Clemson University as Director of the Bioengineering Alliance of South Carolina (1986-1994), Chair of the Department of Bioengineering (1994-2002), Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies in the College of Engineering and Science (2002-2011), Interim Dean of the College of Engineering and Science (2011-2012), and Interim Vice-President for Research at Clemson University (2013-2016). He served on numerous boards and was expert in scientific visualization, computational modeling, advanced manufacturing techniques and microstructural engineering of materials.

Dr. Dooley earned his B.S. in mechanical engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He completed his Master’s work at Clemson University and in 1976, finished his Doctorate in bioengineering there. He was named professor of bioengineering at Clemson in 1985. Dr. Dooley served as Interim Vice President for Research at Clemson. In this role, he oversaw research and sponsored activities campus-wide. Earlier, Dr. Dooley was named Interim Dean of the College of Engineering and Science. In that capacity, he led 14 academic departments and an enrollment of 5,000 students, with 23 undergraduate and 45 graduate degree programs. Prior to his role as interim dean, Dr. Dooley served as Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies for the then College of Engineering and Science. He coordinated the college’s graduate-level activities—including oversight of the college’s research centers, alliances, and institutes.

Dr. Dooley’s vision was that founding alliances among state institutions of higher education would strengthen the state’s bid to attract research funding and increase collaborative relationships. The South Carolina Bioengineering Alliance (SCBA) was established by the state Commission on Higher Education in 1985 among Clemson University, the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), and the University of South Carolina (USC). From 1986-1994, Dr. Dooley directed the Alliance. Its mandate is to lead the state-wide initiative to promote and strengthen bioengineering research, education, and technology transfer. It so acts today, serving to organize and activate alliances that support the organization’s mandate.

In 1998, Dr. Dooley played a major role in convincing the National Science Foundation to fund the Center for Advanced Engineering Fibers and Films (CAEFF) at Clemson University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Industrial partners were 3M, Amoco Performance Products, Clark-Schwebel, Dow, DuPont, PPG, Shell, Owens Corning, and others. Investigators explored how fiber and film industries can speed the development of new products through innovative computer modeling. The center made it easier for engineers to visualize film and fiber design on a molecular level and then plan a clear developmental pathway to manufacture the finished product. The center created a new model for collaboration between engineers and computational scientists.

In 2003, Dr. Dooley saw another of his projects come to fruition: An educational and research partnership between Clemson and MUSC was formally recognized by both schools. Sowing the seeds of this program, Dr. Dooley foresaw that the value that would accrue to each school would far exceed what either could amass alone. This value is manifested today in award-winning students and multidisciplinary and translational research.

Simultaneously, Dr. Dooley was working on a public-private partnership, and in 2004, the legislature designated this undertaking as Regenerative Medicine Center of Economic Excellence. All three of the state’s research universities (Clemson, MUSC, USC) entered into an association with private entities Health Sciences South Carolina and BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation. The center’s goals are fostering basic research in genetics, proteogenomics, developmental biology, cell biology, and physiology of stem cells; translating the research into novel therapies; collaborating with the private sector to develop business innovation research grants; and establishing predoctoral and postdoctoral training programs in stem cell technology, developmental biology, biomaterials and tissue engineering.

In 2009, Dr. Dooley was instrumental in forging the state’s then most comprehensive public alliance as he joined representatives of nine other South Carolina institutions of higher education. The group persuaded the National Science Foundation to fund the South Carolina Project for Organ Biofabrication through a Research Infrastructure Improvement Grant. The statewide alliance in the field of tissue biofabrication included Claflin University, Clemson University, Denmark Technical College, Furman University, Greenville Technical College, the Medical University of South Carolina, South Carolina State University, the University of South Carolina, the University of South Carolina Beaufort, and Voorhees College. The South Carolina Project’s goal was to build scientific, technological, and educational capacity for the biofabrication of human organs by advancing intellectual and physical infrastructure. Dr. Dooley was Clemson’s PI on this integrated plan to implement a statewide vision to give South Carolina a competitive edge in the field of biofabrication.

Dr. Dooley was also key in building the public-private partnership, the SmartState Advanced Tissue Biofabrication Center of Economic Excellence. The center continues and sustains the work and values of the National Science Foundation award.

According to Dr. Martine LaBerge, Clemson’s current chair of the Department of Bioengineering, “Professor Dooley serves as an exemplary role model of leadership and engagement. His vision has led to the development of the Clemson-MUSC Bioengineering Program, among many other large state-wide programs strengthening collaborations among institutions. His collegiality has been motivating. His dedication to students has been and will continue to be an inspiration to all.”

Congratulations to Bioengineering Alumni!

Read about the recent accomplishments of our Bioengineering Alumni.

Clemson’s student chapter of the Biomedical Engineering Society was awarded the Commendable Achievement Award for 2016. The students were recognized for their activities to increase biomedical engineering knowledge and its utilization.

Dr. Melinda Harman participated this summer in the PEER FIRE program, which provides outreach activity to incoming freshmen who are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and math.

Graduate Student Sarah Rowlinson Named An Outstanding Clemson Woman for 2016
Annually, the President’s Commission on the Status of Women holds a competition in several categories. This year, Sarah Rowlinson, a graduate student advised by Dr. Karen Burg, was named outstanding woman in the graduate student category. 3/31/2016

Clemson Bioengineers Receive Awards at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Heart Valve Society

Dr. Dan Simionescu and Ph.D. students Chris deBorde and Hobey Tam were awarded best poster presentation and best abstract oral presentation. 3/28/2016

Justin Shaw: Epicenter University Innovation Fellow
This national program empowers student leaders to increase campus engagement with innovation, entrepreneurship, creativity, and design.

USTA Campus Leader Award
Jennifer Andersongraduate research assistant in bioengineering, was honored last month as United States Tennis Association (USTA) Southern Tennis on Campus Leader of the Year award recipient. The annual award is given to a student who has demonstrated leadership by contributing heavily to his or her campus tennis program. 2/16/2016

Minority Scholar in Cancer Research Award
Angela Alexander-Bryant, a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Jeoung Soo Lee’s lab, has been recognized by the American Association for Cancer Research with a Minority Scholar in Cancer Research Award. Angela is part of the CU-MUSC program in Charleston. 2/10/2016

AACU Recognizes Przestrzelski
Breanne Przestrzelski, a student of Dr. John DesJardins, has been recognized as an exceptional student by the Association of American Colleges and Universities. Since coming to Clemson, Breanne has helped the university fulfill its mission of teaching, research, and public service. 1/26/16

Board Member to be Inducted into AIMBE
Departmental Advisory Board member Rifat Pamukcu, M.D., Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Midway Pharmaceuticals, will be inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. 1/20/2016

Zhang Elected to Lead IBE
Dr. Guigen Zhang was elected president-elect of the Institute of Biological Engineering for the 2016-2017 term. His tenure as IBE president will be the 2017-2018 term. 1/4/16

Zhang Named Executive Editor of Biomaterials Forum
In January 2016, Dr. Guigen Zhang assumed the editorship of the official newsletter of the Society For Biomaterials. Founded in 1974, the Society is an interdisciplinary, international group dedicated to advancements in biomaterials science. 1/4/16

Kayla Gainey Wilson, Tyler Ovington, and Alex Devon developed Glucosense as part of a Creative Inquiry class with Dr. Delphine Dean to improve health care in Tanzania. A low-cost method to test blood sugar, Glucosense has continually brought recognition to its designers. Now, the group is among the US winners of the James Dyson Foundation competition, which provides awards to help engineers realize their potential.

The international society for optics and photonics, SPIE, elected Dr. David Kwartowitz, Senior Member in advance of its August 2015, meeting.

2015 International Symposium on Organic Electronics and Bioelectronics

Venturewell E Team Program Stage I
Aptus Bioreactors, a program proposal headed by Dr. Dan Simionescu, has been accepted into Stage 1 by Venturewell. This award includes funding to attend a three-day workshop on how to better articulate the opportunity for the proposed innovation in the marketplace use of funds to support further development of the project/product.

NSF Epicenter 
Clemson University was selected by the National Science Foundation-funded National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter) to join the Pathways to Innovation Program. Dr. John DesJardins led the proposal submission. He is a co-team leader and co-PI for the program.

SFB Student Award for Outstanding Research
Lindsey Sanders, a student of Dr. Jiro Nagatomi, was selected to receive a 2015 Student Award for Outstanding Research [Ph.D. category] from the Society For Biomaterials. The award is given to student researchers who have shown outstanding achievement in biomaterials research.

More News

National Academy of Inventors
Angela Alexander-Bryant has been selected as an Honorary Student Member of the MUSC Chapter of the National Academy of Inventors.  The honor is based upon work she presented in obtaining the 2014 MUSC Perry Halushka Research Day Innovation Award.

National Institute of General Medical Sciences
Dr. Naren Vyavahare's team was recognized for developing nanoparticles that attach only to damaged fibers to deliver drugs to damaged blood vessels.

MUSC Research Day 2014 Award Winner
Angela Alexander-Bryant, a Ph.D. candidate and mentee of Dr. Andrew Jakymiw in the College of Dental Medicine at MUSC, won 1st place in the Innovations Award category at Student Research Day at the Medical University of South Carolina. The annual event is open to students, postdoctoral residents, and fellows who participated during the year in MUSC research programs.

Sigma Xi Recognizes Superior Poster Presentations
Traveling with a group of students accompanied by mentor Dr. Jorge Rodriguez, undergraduate Taylor Gambon was awarded Superior Student Presenter in Engineering at the Scientific Research Society’s 2014 International Research Conference. Taylor, who is advised by Dr. John DesJardins, also took the Students Choice Award, second place.

The President’s Office of Science and Technology Policy
Proclaiming November as National Entrepreneurship Month,  President Barack Obama noted, “This month, we recognize the grit and determination of American inventors and innovators and their many contributions to our Nation, and we reaffirm our commitment to support these entrepreneurs as they develop the products, services, and ideas of tomorrow.” The Office of Science and Technology Policy conducted interviews with some of last year’s University Innovation Fellows, among them Bre Przestrzelski, a student of Dr. John DesJardins.”

Advanced Functional Materials
An image created by Dr. Frank Alexis is the frontispiece of Advanced Functional Materials Volume 24 Issue 37. The illustration accompanied his group‘s article on the use of X-ray excited luminescent nanoparticles to quantitatively measure intracellular drug release.

Finalists for 2014 Collegiate Inventors Competition
Undergraduate students Ryan Gedney, Charles Laughlin, Nicholas Marais, and Taylor Pate form a team that was chosen as one of seven finalists for the competition, which honors the latest in student creativity and innovation. The team, mentored by Dr. John DesJardins, was recognized for developing Insita Pro, an arthroscopic surgical tool to enhance repair of the rotator cuff.

TEDx Talk a National "Weekly Editor's Pick"
Dr. John DesJardins’s TEDx talk, Medical Implant Innovation, was chosen by TEDx editors for recognition on the national organization’s website. Using a device he and then-student Eric Lucas designed, Dr. DesJardins described a future in which patients adjust prostheses to fit activities at work and play. The talk was presented at a TEDxGreenville conference in April 2014.

Diabetes Technology Society Bronze Prize for First-Authored Student Abstract
For her abstract, Glucosense: a Low-Cost Glucometer System for Resource-Poor Settings, Kayla Gainey, a student of Dr. Delphine Dean, will be recognized at the 14th DTS Annual Meeting, November 6-8, 2014. In addition to receiving travel, a monetary award, and other considerations, Kayla was asked to submit an original article to the September 2015 issue of the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology.

National Science Foundation University Innovation Fellows hold Southeastern Regional Meetup
This meeting on October 3-4, 2014, will convene 60-80 Fellows for workshops and experiences that equip students with entrepreneurial skills. Fellow Breanne Przestrzelski, a student of Dr. John DesJardins, is co-leader of the event.

Nature Biotechnology: Top Translational Junior Faculty in 2013
His six patents place  Dr. Frank Alexis third on the list of five “top translational junior faculty in 2013.” The novel drug-delivery strategies he develops decrease toxicity by delivering drugs directly to the part of the body where they are needed.

SC Launch Funds Two Startups based on Bioengineering Technology
Dr. Alexey Vertegel, Associate Professor and CEO of VRM Labs, is commercializing a novel Clemson technology for manufacturing cost-effective natural food preservatives for applications in pet food and animal feed industries. Dr. Naren Vyavahare, Hunter Endowed Chair, and co-founder of ConnecTiss LLC is developing a cosmeceutical product to prevent elastin degeneration to reduce signs of aging.

American Heart Association
The association’s Mid-Atlantic Affiliate awarded Dr. Bruce Gao its Winter 2014 Grant-in-Aid to study dynamic interaction of basement-membrane components with cardiomyocytes.

Engineering World Health
For the second year running, the Clemson University Chapter of Engineering World Health sent a winning design entry to EWH’s national competition to encourage the development of technical solutions that contribute to improved health care in developing countries. Tyler Ovington, Wilson Chan, Tyler Matt, and Jason Pierce were awarded 2nd place for their design, CryoCover: Low-Cost Neonatal Hypothermia Therapy. The students are supported by faculty and student mentors in the bioengineering design program.

NSF-Stanford-NCIIA Fellow
Breanne Przestrzelski, a Ph.D. candidate in Dr. John DesJardins lab, is a Fellow of the National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter), which is funded by the National Science Foundation as a partnership between Stanford University and the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance.

Clemson University was awarded $11 million to expand SCBioCRAFT, the only bioengineering center funded by the NIH Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence program. PI Dr. Naren Vyavahare continues as center director.

Dr. Bruce Gao was awarded the R01, which is given for health-related research and development, for his proposal "Microfabricated coculture model: Myocyte rescue by TNT-transferred mitochondria."

First Place, UT El Paso LIMBS Design Competition
Undergraduate students Sarah Stafford and Katelyn Rye and Dr. Delphine Dean and John DesJardins won the UT El Paso LIMBS design competition for their work on neck braces for use in developing countries. The students’ mentor for this project, developed through Creative Inquiry, was Dr. Jorge Rodriguez.

Department Leads Team in Tanzania
Led by Drs. Delphine Dean and John DesJardins a team of Clemson University students spent two weeks in Tanzania as part of Clemson’s unique Creative Inquiry (CI) program, combining interdisciplinary undergraduate research with engaged learning. The team continues to design and create a number of medical products, ranging from a neonatal heating device for hospitals to an affordable glucose monitor for poor villages.

Rajan Gangadharan, a student of Dr. Guigen Zhang was awarded a National Science Foundation-sponsored travel award to attend the annual conference of the IBE.

American Heart Association
The association’s Mid-Atlantic Affiliate awarded Dr. Bruce Gao and Ann Foley its Winter 2014 Grant-in-Aid. Dr. Gao will study dynamic interaction of basement-membrane components with cardiomyocytes. Dr. Foley will study the differentiation of pacemaker cells within the heart and in vitro.

Upstate Biomedical Technology
A Clemson University department that helped pioneer the use of engineering principles to understand and treat disease is celebrating 50 years of awarding graduate degrees while helping prime the Upstate for what could be a boom in the medical-technology industry.

National IDeA Symposium of Biomedical Research Excellence
At the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of General Medical Sciences Fifth Biennial symposium, both faculty and students received travel awards. Dr. Jeoung Soo Lee’s presentation was selected as a highlighted poster. Dr. Lee and Nasim Nosoudi, a student in Dr. Naren Vyavahare's lab, received Young Investigator travel awards. The following received Student travel awards: Siyu Ma, a Ph.D. student in Dr. Bruce Gao’s lab, and Laura McCallum and Anna Lu Carter, a Ph.D. student and an undergraduate in Dr. Aggie Simionescu’s lab.

EurekaFest at Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Kayla Gainey and Alex Devon, students of Dr. Delphine Dean presented to over 200 high school student in Invent teams. In addition, they were given a public showcase to demonstrate and discuss their GlucoSense invention.

Dylan Richards, a student in Dr. Ying Mei’s lab, has been awarded a T32 predoctoral training grant the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The grant, which will support training to improve cardiovascular therapies, is renewable.

EnterPrize Competition
Alison Lamb, an alumna with a BS in bioengineering and an MBA, was a top-five finisher in the EnterPrize Award competition for her presentation and business plan. The project began in the lab of Dr. Karen Burg.

Algernon Sydney Sullivan Student Award
Elliot Mappus, a graduate student in Dr. Delphine Dean’s lab, received the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Student Award and a BS in bioengineering at graduation. The award is given for service to campus and community. Elliot, who worked with researchers at Clemson and the Medical University of South Carolina, studies neuroscience. He has been active as a residence hall senator, a Calhoun Honors mentor, an advocate for Habitat for Humanity, and a volunteer with the Barrier Islands Free Medical Clinic on Johns Island. Mappus is a supplemental instructor in organic chemistry.

American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology
Glenn Hepfer, a student in Dr. Hai Yao’s lab, was awarded best paper presentation in CORNEA Crosslinking at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. Glenn also presented a paper at and received a travel award for the 2014 Annual Meeting for the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. His research focus is the treatment for keratoconus, a disease in which a weakened cornea protrudes into a conical shape, reducing visual acuity.

Society For Biomaterials International Business Plan Competition
Suzanne Tabbaa, doctoral bioengineering student in Dr. Karen Burg’s lab and Clemson University Research Foundation intern, won the second place judges' award and the first place audience award in the Society For Biomaterials International Business Plan Competition held at the Society’s Annual Meeting. Her plan described translation to market of a breast cancer diagnostic developed at Clemson. Suzanne has been admitted to Clemson’s MBAe program.

Goldwater Scholarships for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering
Kate Showers, a junior working with Drs. Delphine Dean and David Kwartowitz, was one of two Clemson students awarded the scholarship, which recognizes a strong interest in research and a high level of scholarship. Kate is conducting research on pressure sensors that will work with ultrasound to characterize soft tissue injuries to improve outcomes of surgery.

Nanyang Technological University
Devante Horne and Bailey Walker, students of Dr. Frank Alexis were selected to receive the Summer Research Internship Fellowship by the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. This university-wide research program was initiated to stimulate a culture of research for overseas undergraduates. Participants in this program will develop research interests, a strong sense of cross-cultural intelligence, a  network of friends, and a better understanding of Singapore.

International Association for Dental Research
Dr. Frank Alexis and his collaborator, Dr. Keith Kirkwood, Professor and Chair, Department of Craniofacial Biology at the Medical University of South Carolina, were awarded the IADR’s GlaxoSmithKline Innovation in Oral Care Award. The award is provided to recipients to advance oral care programs directed toward the development of innovative and novel compounds, biomaterials, or devices that can be used ultimately at the public health level.

NIH Center summer Clinical and Translational Research Course for Ph.D. Students 
George Fercana, a student of Drs. Aggie and Dan Simionescu were chosen to experience the following: How discoveries in basic science lead to applications in clinical and translational research; how clinical observations can elicit hypotheses that can be tested with basic science; the research resources, opportunities for research partnerships, and potential career opportunities for Ph.D. students with the NIH.

Lemelson-MIT National Collegiate Student Prize Competition Undergraduate Team “Cure It” Winners
Tyler Ovington, Alex Devon, and Kayla Gainey, Team Glucosense, are developing the GlucoSense glucometer system, which could impact the lives of millions of diabetics worldwide who cannot afford current commercial systems. Under the mentorship of advisors Dr. Delphine Dean and Dr. John DesJardins, and with the support of Creative Inquiry, the team mentors dozens of high school students in South Carolina on class assignments and science fair projects ranging from dental-chair designs for resource-poor settings to education programs for women in Tanzania.

2014 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships
Scott Cole, a senior, and Jonathan Matheny, a 2013 graduate now studying at Cornell University for his Ph.D., are 2014 awardees. Seniors Jessica Lau and Devleena Kole were awarded honorable mention. The NSF GRFP is the country's oldest fellowship program directly supporting graduate students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields. Fellows receive an annual stipend, opportunities for international research and professional development, and have the freedom to conduct their own research at any accredited U.S. institution of graduate research they choose.

National Institute of General Medical Sciences
Dr.  Naren Vyavahare’s team was recognized for developing nanoparticles that attach only to damaged fibers to deliver drugs to damaged blood vessels.

BMES Coulter College
A design team including undergraduates Elliot Mappus, Tyler Ovington, Alex Devon, and Natalie Patzin and graduate students Xin Xie and Breanne Przestrzelski was chosen to present at BMES Coulter College in New Orleans, LA. The college is a training program focused on the translation of biomedical innovations. Student design teams are guided by faculty and clinical experts through a highly dynamic process designed to help them better understand how innovations can meet clinical needs while providing tools and approaches used to evolve identified problems into novel solutions. The team is taught by Dr. Delphine Dean and co-instructor Dr. John DesJardins and advised by Dr. Thomas Pace, an orthopedic surgeon at Greenville Health System.

University Innovation Fellow
Breanne Przestrzelski, a student in Dr. John DesJardins's lab, was named a Fellow by the National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter), which is funded by the National Science Foundation as a partnership between Stanford University and the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance.

Pioneering Use of Engineering Principles to Treat Disease
The department is celebrating 50 years of awarding graduate degrees while helping prime the Upstate for what could be a boom in the medical-technology industry.

National Conference on Undergraduate Research
Nora Hlavac, a student in Dr. Delphine Dean's lab, was chosen from a group of 4,000 undergraduate students to present her paper at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research. NCUR's mission is to promote undergraduate research, scholarship and creative activity.

Upstate Biomedical Technology
CUBEInC research projects could lead to major breakthroughs in the biomedical technology field, and the Upstate could be at the center.

NASA Pathways Intern Employment Program
Trey Poole, a student in Dr. Frank Alexis’s lab, was awarded a fellowship by the NASA Pathways Intern Employment Program. He will work at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, FL.

American Council of Engineering Companies of South Carolina
Devante Horne, a student in Dr. Frank Alexis’s lab, was awarded an  ACECSC scholarship recognizing his academic achievement and career potential in engineering.

Science Translational Medicine
Dr. Frank Alexis is a lead author on a featured paper and inventor of oral delivery of nanoparticles coated with antibodies.
Joseph A. Miller Jr. Memorial Scholarship
Mr. Devante Horne, a junior in Dr. Frank Alexis’s lab, was awarded the Joseph A. Miller Jr. Memorial scholarship. A single scholarship is awarded annually to a minority student who represents Dr. Miller's legacy of academic excellence and selfless commitment to others.

Symposium Endorsed by SFB
As part of its 50th-anniversary celebration, the department hosted leading researchers and industry representatives at the 2013 Clemson Biomaterials Symposium, Biomaterials — What’s Next? The annual event is endorsed by the Society For Biomaterials

University Innovation Fellow
Epicenter, a National Science Foundation-funded center managed by Stanford and NCIIA, has named Breanne Przestrzelski, a student in Dr. John DesJardins’s lab, a University Innovation Fellow. She joins a group of 60 engineering student leaders at 56 universities who work to catalyze entrepreneurial activity on their campuses.

Mr. Gregory Wright, a Ph.D. student in Dr. Hai Yao’s lab was awarded the training grant by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research to study the biomechanics of the human temporomandibular joint.

Mr. Jonathan Kuo, a Ph.D. student in Dr. Hai Yao’s lab was awarded the training grant by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research to study a temporomandibular-joint animal model.

NIH Roundtable on TMJ Biology
Dr. Hai Yao led the Roundtable, which was sponsored by several institutes of the National Institutes of Health. He was awarded a planning grant by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research to establish a multi-institutional TMJ research network.

Dare-to-Dream Medtech Design Challenge Finalist
A device designed by Eric Lucas, a doctoral student in Dr. John DesJardins’s lab, has been chosen as a top-10 finalist in a competition sponsored by the trade magazine Medical Device and Diagnostic Industry (MD+DI). Mr. Lucas’s device, The Engage Knee System, is a knee replacement that can be selectively locked in extension by patients with weakened knees and instability.

2013 Engineering World Health Design Competition
In this challenge to provide healthcare in developing countries, Kayla Gainey and Tyler Ovington, students of Dr. Delphine Dean, won second place for their low-cost glucometer design.

One More Time: Medical Device Recycling is Good Business
Clemson Bioengineering’s Medical Device Recycling and Reprocessing, led by Dr. Melinda Harman and her colleagues have been cited as a unique platform for public-private partnerships.

2013 Winifred Burks-Houck Women's leadership Awarded
Bria J. Dawson, Bioengineering Senior and PEER Mentor, has been selected as the undergraduate awardee for the 2013 Winifred Burks-Houck Women's leadership award sponsored by the Center for Enabling New Technologies Through Catalysis (CENTC). The Burks-Houck Women's Professional Leadership Award will be presented to Bria at the NOBCChE 40th Annual Conference in Indianapolis, IN on October 4, 2013. She was selected for this award on the basis of leadership experience, commitment to the community, and for academic success.

Dr. Delphine Dean was selected for the National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Award.

Goldwater Scholarships: Scott Cole one of two Clemson awardees
Cole, who works in Dr. Delphine Dean’s lab, developed a new method for synthesizing gold nanoparticles for applications in drug delivery and investigated how these nanoparticles impact cellular mechanical properties. His work has been accepted for publication by the American Chemical Society journal Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering.

Two Bioengineering Seniors Among Eight Clemson Students Presenting at ACC
Patrick Ovington and  Jacob Hammers, ACC International Academic Collaborative (ACCIAC) Fellow,  presented their research results at the eighth annual ACC Meeting of the Minds Undergraduate Research Conference at Wake Forest University. The students were accompanied by Delphine Dean, assistant professor of bioengineering, and Barbara Speziale, professor of biological sciences and director of the Creative Inquiry program.

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program
The NSF 2013 fellowships were awarded to two current and three former students, and a current student received an honorable mention: Awardees Nadine Luedicke and Hobey Tam are respectively students of Dr. Delphine Dean and Dr. Naren Vyavahare. Samuel Pollard, a student of Dr. Frank Alexis, received an honorable mention. Brittany Banik, Brendan Roach, and Molly Townsend are the three graduates who were awarded fellowships. The 2013 competition drew 13,000 applicants, from whom 2,000 awardees were selected.

Tau Beta Pi
Danielle Martin, a student in Creative Inquiry: Designing Medical Technology for the Developing World, taught by Drs. Delphine Dean and John DesJardins, has been named a 2013-2014 Tau Beta Pi graduate student fellow.