Our lab has been very lucky to have fantastic undergraduate researchers that contribute significantly to our research progress every academic year. This year was no different with six undergraduate students from Bioengineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and the Integrated Degree in Engineering, Arts and Sciences (IDEAS) program. Here, we highlight their key achievements and next steps. Congratulations to our talented undergraduate students!
Natalie Condon made significant progress developing polymer-based membranes for corneal replacement. Key contributions: establishing methods to functionalize and characterize these unique biomaterials and presenting her work at the 2021 Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL. Natalie is graduating with a B.S. in Bioengineering in May 2022 and will be working in the medical device industry.
Yaa Donkor developed strategies to cross-link polymer-based membranes to increase their stability without affecting their optical properties. Key contributions: cross-linking increased mechanical properties without decreasing transparency. This summer, Yaa will be a Security Intern at Movable Ink.
Fenet Demissie focused on synthesizing growth factor mimetic peptides for osteochondral tissue engineering. Key contributions: modifying peptides with bioorthogonal groups and fluorophores. This summer, Fenet will be interning at McMaster-Carr in Chicago.
Daphna Fertil synthesized enzyme-degradable peptide-polymer conjugates for craniofacial regeneration in collaboration with the Grayson Lab at Johns Hopkins. Key contributions: synthesized peptides and conjugates at nearly gram scale and presented her work at the 2021 Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL. Daphna is graduating with a B.S. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from Lafayette College in May 2022. She is headed to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as a postbaccalaureate researcher with Dr. Kaitlyn Sadtler.
Tyler French focused on solvent-cast 3D printing with blends of high and low molecular weight polymers. Key contributions: established ink formulations and printing parameters to fabricate PCL scaffolds with the same architectures but different mechanical properties and presented his work at the 2022 David and Lorraine Freed Undergraduate Research Symposium. Tyler will be interning with MPR Associates in Alexandria, VA in their Health and Life Sciences department.
Sareena developed techniques to characterize and analyze hair porosity for her company FoliQ. As founder and CEO of FoliQ, her key achievements include establishing high-throughput analysis methods using MATLAB. Sareena is graduating with a B.S. in Bioengineering in May 2022 and will be focusing on FoliQ full-time.
Orlaith Kennedy joined our group in January 2022 with primary supervisor Prof. Tomas Gonzalez-Fernandez from the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG). Her project focused on characterizing mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) response to inflammatory cytokines. Key contributions: culturing MSC pellets and initiating Design of Experiments (DOE) methods to identify key factors influencing cell response. Orlaith will be graduating with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering (BME) and interning in the engineering department at Randox Laboratories this summer. She will return to NUIG in Fall 2022 to complete her Master’s degree in BME.