PhD student achievements

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 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. 

January 8, 2016

BME PhD student researchers Xindong Song and Yueqi Guo uncover evidence that pitch perception evolved in primate

BME graduate student Xindong Song

Xindong Song

The ability to perceive the sound quality known as “pitch” can no longer be listed as unique to humans. Research published online in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, entitled “Complex pitch perception mechanisms are shared by humans and a New World monkey,” infers that aspects of pitch perception may have evolved more than 40 million years — enabling the songlike vocalization by the marmoset monkey. The paper appeared on the cover of PNAS, Issue No. 3, January 19, 2016.

BME graduate student Xindong Song

The Johns Hopkins research authors include BME graduate students Xindong Song (lead author) and Yueqi Guo, BME Research Associate Michael Osmanski, and Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Xiaoqin Wang.

Building on Dr. Wang’s previous research previous research that revealed regions in the marmoset brain responded to pitch in a way similar to that the human brain, the research team focused on finding behavioral evidence of pitch perception. Through a series of hearing tests, with waterspout licks as a readout, Wang’s team, led by graduate student Xindong Song, determined that marmosets share the three specialized features of pitch perception once thought to be unique to humans. Learn more 

November 5, 2015

Graduate student David Herzfeld’s research published in Nature

David HerzfeldEncoding of action by the Purkinje cells of the cerebellum, a research paper by David Herzfeld, was published in Nature, October 15, 2015. In this work, David has solved a long-standing puzzle regarding how the primary cells in the cerebellum, called Purkinje cells, encode movements of the body. The work also received a News and Views article in the same issue of the journal, describing the results as "Decrypting a brain enigma."

Other authors on the paper included Yoshiko Kojima, Robi Soetedjo, and BME Professor Reza Shadmehr.

October 21, 2015

BME doctoral student Kunal Parikh honored with Roche/ARCS Scholar Award

Kunal ParikhParikh, a PhD candidate in biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins University, has been presented with a Roche/ARCS Scholar Award at a reception at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC. This is the second year that he has received the award.

An entrepreneur as well as a scientist, Kunal Parikh has spent years developing drug-delivery platforms to improve patient treatment. He plans to spend the next year pursuing patents for these technologies; submitting his research for publication in scholarly journals; visiting hospitals and manufacturing plants to conduct implementation research; and continuing to lead and mentor the team of scientists, engineers, and clinicians who work alongside him.

His research focuses on developing technologies that improve the delivery of vaccines and medicine in the body. This approach includes creating technology capable of sustained drug release to parts of the body and a platform for effective and safe gene delivery that could be used to treat or prevent infectious diseases.

The Roche/ARCS Scholar Award, a three-year award funded by the Roche and ARCS foundations, grants nonrestricted funds to support the next generation of life science students. Read the full article. 

September 23, 2015

Four BME graduate students named 2016 Siebel Scholars

The Department of Biomedical Engineering congratulates the newly-named 2016 Scholars: Hao Dang, Shadi Eshghi, David Herzfeld and Dong Shin. The 90 Class of 2016 Siebel Scholars will join a vibrant community of global leaders who collaborate, communicate, and institute meaningful change. Today, more than 1,000 Siebel Scholars are active in the program that promotes leadership, academic achievement, and the collaborative search for solutions to the world’s most critical issues.

The Siebel Scholars program was established by the Siebel Foundation in 2000 through grants to 16 universities in the United States, China, France, Italy, and Japan. Each year, top graduate students from 25 partner programs are honored as Siebel Scholars and receive a $35,000 award for their final year of studies. 

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May 18, 2015

ICM postdoc Hermenegild Arevalo wins Young Investigator Award at Boston scientific meeting

Hermenegild J. Arevalo, a postdoctoral Fellow in the Natalia Trayanova’s Computational Cardiology Laboratory, has won a 2015 Young Investigator Award at the Heart Rhythm Scientific Sessions in Boston. Arevalo was given this award for his clinical research, “Virtual Electrophysiological Study Improves Risk Prediction of Adverse Cardiac Events in Post-Infarction Patients.”

Trayanova commented: “This is a breathtaking achievement, in a meeting of 12,000 people. Hermenegild was first selected as one of the 6 finalist in the Young Investigator Award, which represent 1.6% of the submissions for the award. Hermenegild then delivered a perfect presentation with amazing slides. What is particularly astonishing is that he is the winner in the clinical category, based on our first translation of cardiac simulations to the clinic, using a cohort of 32 patients. I have never been more proud!”

April 21, 2015

BME MD-PhD John Issa honored with inaugural David Yue Award

John Issa, BME MD-PhD student, was awarded the inaugural David Yue Award at the 2015 Johns Hopkins Young Investigators Annual Celebration. For his research project, John mapped the auditory system in the brain to see which neurons in the brain lit up when an animal processed sounds from its environment. He set up a way to watch individual neurons fire in a mouse that was awake. The David Yue Award was named after his late mentor who passed away unexpectedly in December.

Said John of his mentor: “He was not only a great scientist and a passionate teacher, but also someone who cared immensely about his students and their success. . . . For that reason, there is some solace in receiving this award, knowing that no one was as happy and proud to see their students do well as David Yue.” John will graduate in May from the M.D.-Ph.D. program and will continue working on his research at Johns Hopkins in the lab of co-advisor Eric Young.

April 17, 2015

Postdoc Arevalo wins Merit Award in poster competition at cardiac arrhythmia mechanisms conference

Hermenegild Arevalo, a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Natalia Trayanova, Murray B. Sachs Professor of Biomedical Engineering and the Institute for Computational Medicine, received a merit award in the poster competition at the 2015 Gordon Research Conference on Cardiac Arrhythmia Mechanisms held in Lucca (Barga), Italy in March. Hermenegild’s poster was entitled “Virtual electrophysiological study improves risk prediction of adverse cardiac events in post-infarction patients.”

Hermenegild’s research aims to translate computational tools into clinically utility. His approach utilizes simulations with patient-specific computer models to predict the susceptibility of patients to lethal arrhythmias. This methodology provides a non-invasive, safe, and accurate way to identify patients that could benefit from prophylactic implantable cardioverter defibrillators.

April 8, 2015

ICM postdoctoral fellow Eran Ukwatta places 1st in scientific poster competition

Eran Ukwatta, a second year postdoc in Dr. Natalia Trayanova’s Computational Cardiology Laboratory, won first prize for scientific poster at the 13th Imaging Network Ontario Symposium held in Ontario, Canada March 30–31, 2015. Eran’s poster, entitled “Image-based Personalized Analysis and Modeling of Cardiac Structure and Function: A Robust Method for Automatic Left-Ventricular Infarct Segmentation” was awarded based on scientific quality, structure and organization of the presentation.

Eran’s research is driven by the emerging need for robust image processing methodologies for patient-specific analysis and modeling of cardiovascular structure and function from medical images. Ukwatta’s presentation detailed development of an algorithm to segment infarct regions of a diseased heart from magnetic resonance imaging for personalized modelling of cardiac electrophysiology.

The Department of Biomedical Engineering congratulates Eran on this achievement.