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 November 14, 2016

Getting to know graduate student Eric Comeau

This news item is part of a larger series of profiles featuring graduate students and postdoctoral research fellows within the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Rochester.

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Eric Comeau

Hometown: Canton, CT
Anticipated Graduation Year: 2016
Degree: PhD
Program: Biomedical Engineering

Why did you pick the University of Rochester?

The biggest factor that drew me to the U of R was its collaborative nature. Many students are co-advised, and there is no overt or covert competition among students or faculty. Everyone is willing to help regardless of research area, and that's not something I observed at any other university I visited when making my decision. 

What lab did you choose and why? 

I chose to be co-advised by Dr. Dalecki and Dr. Hocking. Their combined expertise in biomedical ultrasound and cell biology has given me the opportunity to undertake a very multi-disciplinary thesis project. The lab itself is also a tight-knit group of people, always willing to teach and help get to the bottom of any issue. 

What is your research project?

My research is focused on developing ultrasound-induced cell and particle patterning techniques for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications. In particular, I am using ultrasound standing wave fields to non-invasively pattern endothelial cells to control the formation and morphology of microvascular networks. I am also working towards translating ultrasound techniques to applications in vivo. 

What have you enjoyed most about your training so far? 

I have enjoyed getting to learn from experts in the fields of biomedical ultrasound as well as cell biology. It has been even more exciting combining the two fields to ask and answer some very interesting scientific questions. I've also been lucky to have great labmates to work around my entire time at the U of R. 

What are your plans for the future? Where would you like to be in 5-10 years? 

Ideally, I would like to work in either scientific regulation/policy or research & development after graduation. In 5-10 years, I'd like to be in a mid-to-large city on the East Coast, with a comfortable job, making a positive difference in the scientific community.

When should you start Networking for academic opportunities? How did you start?

I think it's a good idea to be social at academic conferences. Give out and take as many business cards as you can. You never know when a connection could lead to something great.