Dr. Melinda Harman

College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences

Area of Research:
Biomaterials, Orthopaedics, Surgical Instruments, Translational Biomedical Engineering

301 Rhodes Engineering Research Center
Dr. Melinda Harman

Proposed role for the Scholar as an undergraduate researcher in the Mentor's lab.
As a tenured faculty member, I am committed to providing administrative oversight, research training, and professional mentoring for Clemson students. Over the past five years, I have provided research mentoring to 78 undergraduate students working in my laboratory and together we have published six peer-reviewed research manuscripts and 44 external presentations. The Beckman Scholar who joins my research team will be assigned the role of "undergraduate research assistant" and will be fully integrated into my translational biomedical research labs located at the Clemson University Biomedical Engineering Innovation Campus (CUBElnC) in Greenville, SC and the Rhodes Engineering Research Center in Clemson, SC. Student participants will be immersed in healthcare-related research in collaboration with our partner medical centers (Prisma Health in Greenville, the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, and Atrium Health in Charlotte). Depending on the skills and interests of the student participants, they will focus their research on: 1) biomaterials characterization techniques (e.g. assessment of material properties, surface roughness, and mechanical and chemical properties); 2) histological analysis to characterize implant-biomaterials interactions; 3) analysis of medical images (e.g. CT, radiographs); and 4) joint biomechanics using mechanical testing equipment and motion capture equipment.

Frequency and nature of the planned interactions between the Scholar and Mentor.
The Scholar will have regular interactions with me and will be partnered with a graduate student on my team to receive peer­mentoring and support, direct project supervision, and project-specific training on relevant laboratory equipment. Through mentored research, the Scholar will learn to: a) innovate using research and evidence-based analysis; b) gain in-depth fundamental knowledge for solving complex problems; c) articulate arguments using oral and written scientific communication skills; and d) apply their learning in real-world settings. This will be provided through their enrollment in BIOE 4150 (Research Principles & Concepts) and in my section of BIOE 4910 (Mentored Research in Bioengineering). These courses have defined course learning outcomes and structured assessments and require student participants to attend scheduled weekly interactions and commit time to research (3 hours/week per credit enrolled) throughout each semester. In addition, the Scholar will gain in-depth involvement in their assigned project and enable intensive data collection during a focused summer research commitment (10-15 hours per week for 6 weeks).

Specific plans the Mentor will employ.
I will mentor the Scholar in leadership skill development, including project planning and professional networking. I will encourage the Scholar to become a student member of the Clemson Bioengineering Society and attend the annual meeting of the Biomedical Engineering Society (or equivalent professional society). The Scholar will be mentored in written scientific communication to support co-authorship of a scientific conference abstract related to their project and submission of a manuscript to a suitable peer-reviewed journal. They will learn to use simple video productions software to gain digital literacy skills as a modern and effective means for communication to various audiences.

Active undergraduate researchers in Mentor's lab. 27

Total number of UGRS mentored to date: 78

The mission of RE-MED is to improve the safety and effectiveness of medical device technology by focusing on systematic assessments that foster biomedical innovation. RE-MED represents an intersection of medicine and technology on its three primary research platforms.
OrthoWatch integrates performance evaluations of orthopaedic implants with joint biomechanics, clinical outcomes and implant retrieval analysis.
MeshWatch integrates biomaterials characterization (e.g. chemical and mechanical properties) and histological analysis of surgical mesh with clinical outcomes of hernia repair.
GreenMD is an engineering research and training program focused on optimizing medical device designs for reuse or recycling and promoting medical device sustainability.