2009 News Archives




BME Department makes a record showing at the Biomedical Engineering Society - Student Chapter wins Meritorious Achievement Award

October 10, 2009

Dozens of UR students and faculty attended the Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh, PA from October 7-10. Our group gave 12 oral presentations and presented 17 posters demonstrating work in many areas of the department's research, including imaging, orthopaedics, tissue engineering, neuroengineering, nanotechnology, and cellular mechanics. The work was presented by faculty, graduate students and undergraduates, and also included examples of both translational research and educational outreach programs. The department also hosted an exhibit booth to meet with prospective students and faculty.

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New Collaboration between the Helguera (RIT), Dalecki, and Hocking Labs

October 1, 2009

A new collaboration, funded by the NIH, brings together the expertise of Professor Maria Helguera (Center for Imaging Sciences, RIT), Professor Diane Dalecki (BME, UR), and Professor Denise Hocking (Pharmacology & Physiology, UR). The collaborative effort focuses on developing novel, ultrasound tissue characterization techniques for engineered tissues. This work is part of a larger project, led by Drs. Dalecki and Hocking and funded by the NIH, that aims to develop ultrasound-based technologies for the field of tissue engineering.

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Dr. Edward Brown Receives an NIH Director's New Innovator Award

September 30, 2009

Dr. Edward Brown has received an NIH Director's New Innovator Award to support a 5 year/$1.5M study that seeks to understand the cells and signals responsible for collagen organization in tumor-draining lymph nodes (TDLNs). This study exploits an optical phenomenon called Second Harmonic Generation (SHG) which allows for the microscopic imaging of ordered collagen fibers within living tissue. Tumor cells can exploit these ordered fibers during metastasis, and Dr. Brown hopes to determine the cells and signals which influence the SHG+ fibers in order to disrupt their production and inhibit metastasis via theTDLN, which is a primary route. He will also explore the ability of SHG imaging of TDLNbiopsies to predict metastatic ability, to aid in customization of postoperative therapy. This project continues work that has been previously funded by a D.o.D. Era of Hope Scholar Award and a Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences Award, and complements a recently awarded D.o.D. Era of Hope Scholar Research Award.

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BME Graduate Sarah Lancianese wins Young Investigator Award

September 14, 2009

Recent graduate Sarah Lancianese received a Young Investigator Award at the 2009 World Congress on Osteoarthritis in Montreal, Quebec. She presented her work on the use of biomechanical models to understand risks for knee osteoarthritis in a plenary session including the 6 highest rated abstracts from young investigators. This abstract represented the final chapter of her PhD dissertation which she defended in July, 2009. The overall project, supervised by BME Associate Professor Amy L. Lerner, investigated the combined effects of obesity, limb alignment and bone mechanical properties on the knee joint. Dr. Lancianese is now a design engineer at Wright Medical, Inc. in Memphis TN.

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Carol Raeman - 20 Years with the RCBU!

June 30, 2009

This month the RCBU recognizes Carol Raeman's 20 years of employment at the University of Rochester! Carol is currently a Technical Associate I working in the laboratory of Professor Diane Dalecki in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Carol started her employment with the University in 1989 working with Professor Ed Carstensen in the Department of Electrical Engineering. During her early years of employment, Carol played a key technical role in many studies on the biological effects of lithotripter fields. Only one year after her initial hire, Carol was already a co-author on 5 papers dealing with the bioeffects of lithotripter fields and pulsed ultrasound on the kidney, chick embryo, and lung. As her career progressed, Carol contributed to many significant studies on the effects of ultrasound on tissues containing contrast agents, the mechanisms for ultrasound-induced lung damage, effects of ultrasound on the heart and neural tissue, and the interaction of very low frequency underwater sound with biological tissues. Recent areas of Carol's work include applications of ultrasound in wound healing and cell and tissue engineering. Carol is highly skilled in both our biological and acoustic techniques, and contributes to the design and completion of a wide variety of research projects in our lab. Her experience, ingenuity, technical ability, and collaborative skills make her an enormously valuable member of our laboratory team. She has made outstanding contributions to the field of biomedical ultrasound over the years and we are very fortunate that she is a member of our lab. said Dr. Diane Dalecki.

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Mathews Jacob awarded the prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER award

June 26, 2009

The five-year award provides funding for the research project titled Efficient Image Sparsifying Operators: Theory, Algorithms and Applications. The goal of the project is to develop efficient operators/transforms to compress multidimensional image data. Such schemes are widely used in JPEG compression schemes to transmit images over the web and to acquire data from devices such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at a much faster rate. Dr. Jacob is especially interested in applying this method to advance MR spectroscopic imaging, thus making it clinically feasible to detect disease-induced changes to the chemical composition, along with the anatomical variations. The translation of this technology to cancer therapy is the main focus of his project titled Model-based MR Spectroscopic Imaging for Brain Cancer Treatment Planning, which is funded by the Clinical and Translational Science Institute at the University of Rochester. The NSF funding will also allow Dr. Jacob to develop and refine a new Biomedical Image Processing course for biomedical engineering students and offer research opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students.

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Dr. Awad Receives a NIH Grant Award

June 18, 2009

Dr. Hani Awad has received funding from the NIH to support a 5 year study that seeks to develop a tissue engineering-based solution to debilitating adhesions that are frequently encountered with flexor tendon reconstructive surgery. The funded research will evaluate the interplay between pro- and anti-scarring factors to identify therapeutic targets for this problem. The studies will also investigate the efficacy of using allografts and gene therapy in eradicating adhesions and restoring the joint's range of motion. The new grant will expand this area of research, which has been previously funded by grants from the Orthopaedic Research Education Foundation (OREF) and the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation (MTF).

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Carlos Sevilla Awarded NIH Pre-doctoral Fellowship

June 16, 2009

Carlos Sevilla was awarded a prestigious NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Individual Pre-doctoral Fellowship. This three-year award will provide funding for Carlos' thesis research project, titled ,Promoting Chronic Wound Healing with Ultrasound and Fibronectin. In his research, Carlos is investigating the ability of ultrasound to produce conformational changes in the extracellular matrix protein fibronectin that, in turn, stimulate cellular processes important for accelerating soft tissue wound repair. Carlos is a third year graduate student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and his thesis research is co-advised by Dr. Denise Hocking and Dr. Diane Dalecki. Carlos is also a student member of the Rochester Center for Biomedical Ultrasound (RCBU). Carlos' research is part of a larger, multidisciplinary project, led by Drs. Dalecki and Hocking and funded by the NIH, that aims to develop the use of ultrasound for chronic wound therapy.

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Professor Amy Lerner wins Professor of the Year Honors

April 13, 2009

Professor Amy Lerner of the Department of Biomedical Engineering won top honors as Professor of the Year in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. This honor is based on student nominations and election, and so reflects the high quality and dedication she brings to her teaching from a student's perspective. Dr. Lerner teaches Biosolid Mechanics as well as the capstone Senior Design course required of all Biomedical Engineering majors. Congratulations, Amy!

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Tom Gaborski takes lab-to-market as VP of Life Sciences at SiMPore Inc.

April 1, 2009

Recent Ph.D. graduate Tom Gaborski is realizing his dream of entrepreneurship as VP of Life Sciences at UR spinoff, SiMPore, Inc. Tom helped found SiMPore Inc. in 2007 while he was a graduate student in the Ph.D. program. The company actually grew out of a chance experiment conducted by Tom and Chris Striemer, who was then a Ph.D. candidate in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Chris had inadvertently made the world's thinnest nanoporous membrane while developing new materials for silicon-based lasers. Tom and Chris designed and conducted experiments to test if the nanoscale pores could be used to separate proteins of different sizes and charges and discovered that they did so very efficiently. The commercial potential of this discovery was immediately obvious to Tom.

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UR BME Faculty, Students and Alumni at the 2009 Orthopaedic Research Society Annual Meeting

February 25, 2009

The UR Biomedical Engineering Program was well represented at this year's Annual Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society in Las Vegas, Nevada. In addition to several podium and poster presentations by current members of the BME department, it was great to connect with many alumni of the program, who have gone on to graduate degrees, positions in industry, or post-doctoral fellowships. For example, presenting their work at this year's ORS were UG alums Suzanne Ferreri ('01), Tunde Babalola ('02), Jason Long ('03), Dan Xia Chen ('05), Andrea Pallante ('05), Jedd Sereysky ('05), Nick Drury ('06) and Carrie Voycheck ('06). Their presentations included studies of cartilage tissue engineering, tendon properties, finite element modeling, and the effects of ultrasound.

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New Bone Cement May Prevent Amputations

January 27, 2009

Old technologies, bone cement and a well known antibiotic, may effectively fight an emerging infection in soldiers with compound bone fractures, according to a study published online today in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research. Not common in the United States and not potentially fatal, A. baumannii OM had been largely ignored until recently by physicians and the pharmaceutical industry, which focuses on life-threatening infections that affect millions, not hundreds. Then military outbreaks of the infection started among American soldiers returning from Iraq in 2003, with the number of A. baumannii OM infections seen in field hospitals, and in stateside facilities receiving injured soldiers, growing.

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