Awards and achievements

March 22, 2016

Grad student Damini Agarwal awarded Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship

Damini AgarwalDamini Agarwal has been selected as a recipient of the Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship. Agarwal will receive a $10,000 scholarship and is invited to attend the Google Scholars’ Retreat on June 2016 at the Google Headquarters in Mountain View, CA.  Her professor, Nitish Thakor, commented, “Damini was a top student in my Medical Instrumentation class. She took initiative to develop the “BlinkIT” technology — a communication device for quadriplegics as a class project. She has taken it forward in many innovative ways, and now has been rewarded for this creative work by Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship.”

The Department congratulates Damini and wishes her continued success with her project.

March 17, 2016

BME PhD student David R. Wilson receives award from ASGCT

David R. Wilson has been honored with a 2016 Meritorious Abstract Travel Award from the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy (ASGCT). This was awarded based on the merit of David’s submitted abstract, "Development of a pH Sensor to Probe Endosomal Buffering of Polymeric Nanoparticles Effective for Gene Delivery." David will present his work at the ASGCT 19th Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, May 4–7, 2016.

The American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy advances knowledge, awareness, and education leading to the discovery and clinical application of gene and cell therapies to alleviate human disease.

The Department of Biomedical Engineering congratulates David on this award.

PhD student Randall Meyer awarded $15,000 ARCS scholarship

Congratulations to Randall Meyer who has been named a 2016-2017 ARCS Foundation Scholarship recipient. This is a graduate award of $15,000 for education-related expenses and research activities. Randall is also invited to present his research at the 2016 ARCS annual awards reception at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC.

The ARCS Foundation is a national organization dedicated to supporting the best and brightest U.S. graduate and undergraduate scholars by providing financial awards in science, engineering and medical research.

March 15, 2016

Undergrad Daphne Schlesinger receives PURA fellowship

Daphne Schlesinge BME sophomore Daphne Schlesinger has been awarded a Provost Undergraduate Research Award (PURA) for the 2015–16 academic year. The award will provide a $2,500 fellowship to support Schlesinger’s research, which will be dispersed under her sponsor, Dr. Jordan Green.

Schlesinger’s research project seeks to develop microscale polymer needles for improved drug and vaccine administration.

Daphne will participate next spring in the PURA poster session and recognition ceremony.

Johns Hopkins Biomedical Engineering congratulates Daphne on receiving a PURA fellowship award and wishes the researchers continued success.

March 8, 2016

Twelve BME teams chosen as 2016 JH Business Plan finalists

The Johns Hopkins University Business Plan Competition provides an opportunity for students from around the county to take a novel idea or innovative technology and develop a business plan based around it. This year there was a big showing from Johns Hopkins Biomedical Engineering among the finalists. The department applauds all competition finalists and looks forward to April 1th presentations and winner selections.

Undergraduate Track: Medical Technology & Life Sciences Category

  • EchoSpine – Using Dynamic Guidance to Aid Clinicians during Lumbar Punctures
  • eXoid – Decreasing New Initiates to Prescription Opioid Abuse
  • Flapp – Improving Local Tissue Flap Design during Facial Reconstructive Surgery
  • Plaqate – Improving Safety of Atherectomy Procedures
  • SureShunt – Reducing Revisions for Shunt Catheters
  • Tremtex – Noninvasive home treatment device for Parkinson’s Disease

Graduate Track: Medical Technology & Life Sciences Category

  • Eclipse – Percutaneous Tricuspid Annuloplasty System
  • Salient ENT – Targeted Treatment Delivery for Chronic Sinusitis
  • Mercury Patch – Targeting Monitoring of Pressure Ulcer Risk
  • uCure – A Minimally Invasive Treatment for Urethral Strictures

Social Enterprise Category Finalists

  • NeoSED – Early Detection of Neonatal Sepsis
  • NeoVate – Improving Facility Based Neonatal Vital Signs Monitoring and Risk Identification

March 4, 2016

BME undergraduate Erica Schwarz named recipient of a PURA fellowship

BME junior Erica Schwarz has been selected to receive a Provost’s Undergraduate Research Award for academic year 2015–16. Her research project was chosen by a faculty selection committee from a large group of outstanding proposals. The award will provide a $2,500 fellowship to support Schwarz’s research which will be dispersed under her sponsor, Natalia Trayonova.

Erica’s research project seeks to develop a non-invasive method of finding optimal ablation targets for patients with left atrial flutter (LAFL).

Atrial flutter is a type of rhythm abnormality in the heart that causes the atria to beat faster and become out of sync with the ventricles. This condition is associated with a high risk of thromboembolic events and can also cause pain, dizziness, and fainting. Treatment with drugs and other less invasive therapies are only minimally effective which makes ablation (scarring of atrial tissue implicated in the abnormal rhythm) an ideal treatment. However, finding targets for LAFL ablation with current methodologies (entrainment and activation mapping) is difficult and invasive, resulting in lengthy procedures. This creates a significant need for an alternative method of finding ablation targets.

Schwarz is investigating the possibility of using patient-specific models and graph theory to find ablation targets. Initial proof-of-concept for this method of prediction was completed in the Fall 2015 by Erica and others on the research team. This upcoming spring Erica will expand the study to include more patients in order to create a protocol robust enough for clinical use. When completed, this study could radically improve the treatment methodology of LAFL.

Trayanova commented, “Erica is a fundamental part of our atrial team, and she has made significant contributions every step of the way. She is incredibly bright, talented, and hard working. She is a one of the reasons why we are making fast progress on the project.” Erica is also co-author on two manuscript and numerous published abstracts.

Erica will participate next spring in the PURA poster session and recognition ceremony.

Johns Hopkins Biomedical Engineering congratulates Erica on receiving a PURA fellowship award and wishes the researchers continued success improving treatment methodology of left atrial flutter.

March 1, 2016

Sureerat “Ja” Reaungamornrat named SPIE 2016 Young Scientist

MIND Demons MRI-CT RegistrationJa Reaungamornrat has been given the SPIE Medical Imaging Young Scientist Award. Ja was selected to receive this award based on the merits of the conference paper: "MIND Demons for MR-to-CT Deformable Image Registration in Image-Guided Spine Surgery. The 3D image registration method uses the MIND metric to compare the similarity between two images and the Demons algorithm to drive the deformable alignment Translation of the method to clinical use could facilitate safer surgery with increased precision and confidence in targeting.

Jeffrey H. Siewerdsen is Ja’s PhD advisor and co-author of the research paper. Siewerdsen is a professor of Biomedical Engineering and has a secondary appointment in Johns Hopkins Computer Science where Ja is a graduate student. Johns Hopkins Biomedical Engineering congratulates Ja on receiving this very competitive award. Learn more. 

February 29, 2016

On the cover: Science Signaling publishes BME team’s calcium signals research

Science Signaling CoverResearch produced in part by a team at Johns Hopkins Biomedical Engineering was published in volume 9, issue 416 of Science Signaling — see editorial: New connections: Interpreting calcium signals. The research was also selected for the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Science Signaling cover, and as the Editors Choice. Researchers from Johns Hopkins Biomedical Engineering included: lead author and former PhD student David Noren, along with Professor Aleksander Popel, former BME professor Andre Levchenko, and BME graduate student Sung Hoon Lee. View the research paper abstract at “Endothelial cells decode VEGF-mediated Ca2+ signaling patterns to produce distinct functional responses

February 24, 2016

PhD student David Herzfeld to be honored at 2016 Young Investigators’ Day

David HerzfeldThe Young Investigators’ Day Committee has selected BME PhD student David Herzfeld to receive the Martin and Carol Macht Award. This award is part of the 38th annual Young Investigators’ Day, where 20 graduate students and post-doctoral fellows will be honored for their research.

Herzfeld’s research describes how Purkinje cells in the cerebellum predict the speed and direction of upcoming eye movements. The researchers used a novel approach — looking at how a population of Purkinje cells change their activity in concert, rather than focusing on an individual cell. The research was done in the Laboratory for Computational Motor Control under the guidance of the paper’s co-author Reza Shadmehr, Professor and PhD Program Director of Biomedical Engineering.

The Department of Biomedical Engineering congratulates David on his excellent work and research contributions. 

February 18, 2016

Jordan Green honored as Extraordinary Early-Career Scientist by President Obama

Dr. Jordan GreenJordan Green, associate professor of biomedical engineering, ophthalmology, oncology, neurosurgery, and materials science & engineering, has been named a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers. This award is the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. Awardees are selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, or community outreach. The esteemed group of 105 researchers will receive their awards in Washington, DC this spring. The Department of Biomedical Engineering congratulates Dr. Green for being chosen to recieve this great honor. White House press release.