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2015 News Archives


Catherine K. Kuo receives Award for Innovation in Research

December 21, 2015

ckk awardCatherine K. Kuo (Associate Professor, Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Orthopaedics) received an Award for Innovation in Research at the Go:Life in Orthopaedics Conference in Gothenburg, Sweden in December. Her talk, “Embryonically Inspired Approaches to Regenerate Soft Tissues”, described her innovative research program to regenerate tendons in a manner that recapitulates embryonic tendon development and scarless healing. She described how she engineers 3-dimensional tissue models to study the mechanobiology of embryonic tendon formation, and uses the new information to develop novel tendon regeneration approaches informed by the embryonic processes.


Gdowski Recognized by IEEE for Leadership Efforts

December 17, 2015

gdowskiProfessor Greg Gdowski, the Rochester IEEE Section Chair, has received an IEEE award for Regional Professional Leadership from IEEE USA for demonstrated leadership efforts in advancing the professional aims of IEEE in Region 1, specifically in revitalizing the Rochester Section and the photonics community. 


Soufan Helps Injured Syrian Refugees through Physical Therapy Clinic

December 15, 2015



Mender Named Academic All-American for Second Consecutive Year

December 7, 2015

menderBiomedical Engineering senior Matt Mender has been elected to the 2015 CoSIDA Academic All-America Division III Football Team by members of the College Sports Information Directors of America.


Graduate student to compete in Falling Walls Lab finale

November 10, 2015

Ryan Trombetta will present his pitch about 3-D-printed bone grafts containing antibiotics to an international audience next week at the Falling Walls Lab finale in Berlin, Germany.


Fernandes receives Donald M. and Janet C. Barnard Fellowship

November 5, 2015

Congratulations to BME PhD candidate Ninoshka Fernandes, who has received a Donald M. and Janet C. Barnard Fellowship from the College of Arts, Science and Engineering. These fellowships recognize outstanding achievement by PhD students in engineering and science, as evidenced through their coursework and their dissertation research work. The Fellowship provides a $2K stipend top-off of the student’s existing stipend, as well as a tuition award.


Benoit and Quataert Partner with CatAssays through Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grant

November 2, 2015

Biomedical Engineering Professor Danielle Benoit and URMC colleague Professor Sally Quataert are collaborating with CatAssays on a research project titled, “Novel Ultrasensitive Cancer Biomarker Assay Platform Utilizing Palladium Catalyzed High-Gain Chemical Amplification.”


Bowen Recognized Among Top Freshmen

October 29, 2015

Congratulations to Ryan Bowen, Class of 2018, who was awarded the Iota Book Award last night in Rush Rhees Library. This honor recognizes the top students among the previous year’s freshmen. Criteria include: 1) scholarly achievement, 2) humanistic values, 3) co-curricular activity, and 4) leadership potential.


Choe and Benoit Awarded NSF grant to develop safe, noninvasive imaging methods to monitor bone graft healing

October 29, 2015

BME Professors Regine Choe (Principal Investigator) and Danielle Benoit (Co-Investigator) have been awarded an NSF Grant for their collaborative research project entitled, “Diffuse Optical and Correlation Tomography for Monitoring of Bone-Graft Headling.” The overall goal of this proposal is to develop new and safe imaging methods that use red and infrared light to monitor and image the re-growth of blood vessels in healing bones. These methods are based on diffuse optical tomography (DOT) and diffuse correlation tomography (DCT) as scientific research tools to provide non-invasive, deep-tissue longitudinal monitoring of vascularization of engineered tissues. Techniques that non-invasively monitor and longitudinally assess the vascularization process could significantly accelerate the tissue-engineering field, which will lead to new methods for healing damaged tissues. By providing efficient ways to assess vascularization, this methodology will impact the speed of clinical translation of new tissue-engineering technologies, saving time and reducing development costs. 


Edward Brown Uses Self-Made Laser Microscope for Breast Cancer Research

October 26, 2015

edbrownEdward Brown's research is a mixture of photonics, microscopes and a little nudge from his mom.


University of Rochester Makes Best Biomedical Engineering Schools List According to Student Reviews

October 22, 2015

We're honored to have landed a spot on the Graduate Programs Fall 2015 Rankings of Top Biomedical Engineering Graduate Programs! This list highlights the best graduate programs in the country in a variety of fields based solely on ratings and reviews from current or recent graduate students posted on It encompasses reviews posted by more than 75,000 students participating in over 1,600 graduate programs nationwide.


BME Professors Hani Awad and Danielle Benoit Receive $2 million NIH Grant

October 20, 2015

Hani Awad, Ph.D. (BME and Orthopaedics) and Danielle Benoit, Ph.D. (BME) have received a $2 million grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) for their project titled “Engineering Scarless Repair of Flexor Tendon Injuries.” The goal of this 5-year multi-PI project is to advance the understanding of the mechanism of scar formation in flexor tendons of the hand, whose scar-mediated healing often leads to adhesions and loss of hand function. The project identifies a therapeutic target and maps out its mechanism of involvement in scar formation, and investigate the efficacy of a novel nanoparticle-mediated drug delivery approach to mitigate its effects in a preclinical model of flexor tendon repairs. Successful completion of this project, which elegantly integrates biology, biomechanics, and biomaterials, will have a profound impact on the field, especially since there are presently no pharmacologic or biologic treatments for the prevention or resolution of tendon adhesions.


Catherine K. Kuo Joins Faculty

October 5, 2015

Catherine K. Kuo arrives from Tufts University, where she had been an assistant professor of biomedical engineering since 2008, as well as from MIT, where she had been a visiting scientist in chemical engineering since 2011. 


Danielle Benoit named CMBE Young Innovator

September 3, 2015

Congratulations to Danielle Benoit, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, who has been recognized as one of 11 CMBE Young Innovators for 2015 by the Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering journal. The award highlights the best and brightest young faculty working in the area of cellular and molecular bioengineering. Danielle and the other 2015 CMBE Young Innovators will present their research and be recognized at the annual Biomedical Engineering Society meeting in October in Tampa, Florida. Learn more about this year's CMBE Young Innovators. 


New patent issued for Professor Hocking

August 26, 2015

The patent titled “Chimeric Fibronectin Matrix Mimetics and Uses Thereof” (US 9,072,706) has recently been assigned to the University of Rochester with inventors Denise Hocking, Ph.D. (Pharmacology and Physiology, BME, RCBU) and Daniel Roy, Ph.D. (BME PhD 2012 alumnus). The patent relates to a series of recombinant fibronectin peptide mimetics developed to promote wound repair. The technology falls under a new and exciting class of therapies known as wound biologics. The primary commercial application for this technology is to promote healing of hard-to-heal or chronic wounds, including diabetic, venous, and pressure ulcers, which impose a significant health care burden worldwide. Encouraging results from recent studies indicate that topical application of these fibronectin peptide mimetics to full-thickness excisional wounds in diabetic mice accelerates wound closure and promotes granulation tissue deposition, remodeling, and re-vascularization. Denise Hocking is an Associate Professor of Pharmacolog and physiology and of Biomedical Engineering. Daniel Roy is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the US Army Institute of Surgical Research in San Antonio, TX.


Eric Comeau Awarded AHA Fellowship

August 15, 2015

Eric Comeau is the recipient of an American Heart Association Pre-Doctoral Fellowship. The fellowship will support Eric’s project titled “Ultrasound standing wave field technologies for cell patterning and microvessel network formation in vitro and in situ”. Through this project, Eric will advance new ultrasound technologies for tissue engineering applications. Eric is a graduate student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and is co-mentored by Professor Diane Dalecki (BME) and Professor Denise Hocking (Pharmacology and PhysiologyBME). Eric is also a student member of the Rochester Center for Biomedical Ultrasound (RCBU).


Biomedical Optics: A University-wide collaboration

August 14, 2015

Regine Choe, assistant professor of biomedical engineering; Stacie Zwolski, a senior in biomedical engineering (standing in foreground); and Ashley Proctor, lab technician acting as patient, demonstrate the use of a hemodynamic optical device with a hand-held probe as a noninvasive way to monitor breast cancer therapy. The device combines a diffuse correlation spectroscopy (DCS) and a diffuse optical spectroscopy (DOS). DCS is a near-infrared optical method that quantifies deep tissue micro-vascular blood flow, and DOS provides total hemoglobin concentration and blood oxygen saturation. These hemodynamic parameters are significantly different between tumor and normal tissues, and their changes may indicate the effectiveness of cancer therapies."  (CREDIT: Photo by J. Adam Fenster/University of Rochester)


Jong-Hoon Nam Awarded a NIH grant that could total $1.8 million over the next five years.

July 20, 2015

A cross section of the organ of Corti at upper left shows the proximity of outer and inner hair cells to the tectorial and basilar membranes. The other diagrams show hair cells modulating power dissipation within the inner ear for optimal amplification and tuning of sounds.  Asst. Prof. Jong-Hoon Nam hopes to clarify how the dissipation of this energy – an “underappreciated but crucial aspect”— occurs, to illustrate the overall balancing act that occurs within the cochlea.
A cross section of the organ of Corti at upper left shows the proximity of outer and inner hair cells to the tectorial and basilar membranes. The other diagrams show hair cells modulating power dissipation within the inner ear for optimal amplification and tuning of sounds. Asst. Prof. Jong-Hoon Nam hopes to clarify how the dissipation of this energy – an “underappreciated but crucial aspect”— occurs, to illustrate the overall balancing act that occurs within the cochlea.


Laurel Carney Awarded the 2015 William and Christine Hartmann Prize in Auditory Neuroscience

June 2, 2015

Laurel H. Carney of the University of Rochester, has been awarded the William and Christine Hartmann Prize in Auditory Neuroscience by the Acoustical Society of America (ASA). The award was presented at the 169th meeting of the ASA on 20 May 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


Ryan Trombetta, a second year BME doctoral student in Dr. Hani Awad’s lab is bound for Berlin!

May 22, 2015

Ryan Trombetta, a second year BME doctoral student in Dr. Hani Awad’s lab, took first place in the University’s first Falling Walls Competition. In the Falling Walls Competition, competitors have three minutes and three slides to present their ideas about a new breakthrough idea or technology that will have broad societal impact. Ryan 's winning pitch described how 3D-printed bone grafts containing antibiotics and biofilm dispersal agents could simplify and improve the treatment of osteomyelitis, a bacterial bone infection that is a common complication of surgeries to repair bone fractures or replace joints. Having won our local competition, Ryan will represent the University at the international competition to be held in Berlin November 8th and 9th, the anniversary of the falling of the Berlin Wall.


Professors Dalecki and Hocking Research Wins Best Paper Award at SPIE-DSS

May 6, 2015

The latest research by Professor Diane Dalecki (BME, RCBU) and Professor Denise C. Hocking (Pharmacology & Physiology, BME, RCBU) was recognized with the Best Paper Award at the Micro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications Conference of the SPIE Defense + Security Symposium held recently in Baltimore, Maryland. Their invited paper titled “Guiding Tissue Regeneration with Ultrasound In Vitro and In Vivo” detailed three biomedical ultrasound technologies under development in their laboratories to stimulate tissue formation and regeneration. Co-authors of the paper included Sally Child, Carol Raeman, and BME graduate students Eric Comeau and Laura Hobbs. One technology under development employs forces within an ultrasound standing wave field to provide a noninvasive approach to spatially pattern endothelial cells and thereby guide the development of complex microvessel networks. A second technology uses ultrasound to site-specifically control the microstructure of collagen fibers within engineered hydrogels to direct cell function. The third line of research focuses on developing ultrasound as a therapeutic approach to enhance tissue regeneration in chronic wounds. These ultrasound technologies offer new solutions to key challenges currently facing the fields of tissue engineering, biomaterials fabrication, and regenerative medicine.


Melinda Vander Horst presents at NCUR

April 29, 2015

Melinda Vander Horst (BME Class 2015) presented her recent research at the 29th Annual National Undergraduate Research Conference (NCUR) held at Eastern Washington University in April. NCUR is an interdisciplinary conference where undergraduate students representing universities from around the world present their research and creative works. Melinda presented her poster, titled Development of a dual transducer system for ultrasound standing wave field-induced particle banding, with co-authors Eric Comeau (BME graduate student), Denise C. Hocking (Pharmacology & Physiology), and Diane Dalecki (BME). Melinda is a Xerox Undergraduate Research Fellow working with Professors Dalecki and Hocking on new ultrasound technologies for tissue engineering.


BME Professor Steve McAleavey Awarded PumpPrimer II Grant

April 29, 2015

BME Professor Steve McAleavey has been awarded a University of Rochester PumpPrimer II grant for his research project titled “Towards Diagnostic Ultrasonic Imaging of Tissue Non-Linearity: Strain Dependence of Shear Wave Velocity in Liver and Breast Tissue.” 


BME Undergrads Receive President's Choice Award

April 20, 2015

BME juniors Marlen Mahendraratnam and Allison Stiller received the President's Choice award at the Undergraduate Research Exposition for their project "Experimental Analysis of Superlooping in Polymer Line and its Application to Mathematical Models of DNA." Their faculty mentor is Stephen Burns, Professor of Mechanical Engineering. Congratulations!

Read more... Dentists May Soon Prescribe Nanoparticles to Fight Biofilms

April 9, 2015

danielle benoitResearchers have created a way for nanoparticles to deliver an antibacterial agent directly to dental plaque, according to a new study. Their discovery could lead to better treatments for caries and other biofilm-related diseases. Pictured: Danielle Benoit, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, University of Rochester.


Emma Grygotis Wins Outstanding Presentation Award

March 30, 2015

Emma Grygotis was the recipient of an Outstanding Student Presentation Award at the 2015 Therapeutic Ultrasound Winter School held in Les Houches, France at the École de Physique des Houches.


Diane Dalecki Elected Vice Chair AIUM Bioeffects Committee

March 30, 2015

Diane Dalecki (BME) has been elected Vice Chair of the Bioeffects Committee of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM). Professor Dalecki is a Fellow of the AIUM, and Director of the Rochester Center for Biomedical Ultrasound (RCBU).


Professor Mark Buckley Receives Furth Award

March 16, 2015

BME Professor Mark Buckley has recieved support from the University of Rochester's Valerie and Frank Furth Fund for his proposal "The Role of Mechanics in Disease and Disease Therapies." 

The Furth Fund promotes natural and biological science research by funding young scientists in Arts, Sciences, & Engineering or the Medical Center. Each year, one award in the amount of $10,000 is granted to support post-doctoral and graduate students and/or to fund equipment purchases.


BME Students Receive Honorable Mention at SPIE Conference

March 5, 2015

BME students Anas Abidin and Xixi Wang received Honorable Mention in the Best Poster Award Category at the SPIE Medical Imaging Conference held from February 21-26 in Orlando, Florida for their poster titled “Investigating the use of mutual information and non-metric clustering for functional connectivity analysis on resting-state functional MRI”. The other co-authors of the poster are Mahesh B. Nagarajan, Adora M. D’Souza, Susan K. Hobbs, and Axel Wismüller. 


Danielle Benoit Receives NSF Faculty Early Career Award

February 11, 2015

Danielle Benoit has received an NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award for her proposal "Polymer therapeutics for bone regeneration: next-generation osteoporosis treatments."


Benoit Lab Manuscript Published in ACS Nano

February 9, 2015

The Benoit Lab's manuscript titled "pH-activated Nanoparticles for Controlled Topical Delivery of Farnesol to Disrupt Oral Biofilm Virulence" was recently published in ACS Nano. The authors of this work are Benjamin Horev, Marlise Klein, Geelsu Hwang, Yong Li, Dongyeop Kim, Hyun Koo, and Danielle Benoit.


Another URMC Milestone: FDA Approves High-Tech Breast Imaging System

February 5, 2015

After more than a decade of development and data-gathering -- including breast scans on nearly 700 women and 79 patents issued -- the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a breast-cancer imaging system invented by a University of Rochester Medical Center professor.


Grant Will Help Move UR Innovations From Bench-Top to Bedside

February 3, 2015

BME Professor Jim McGrath has recieved I-Corps funding for his project entitled "Portable Hemodialysis" which aims to develop a portable hemodialysis system for acute renal replacement therapy that clears toxins at rates required for human treatments. The McGrath lab will develop a multichip dialysis prototype that clears urea (acute kidney failure) and ammonia (acute liver failure) from blood at a rate (10 mL/min) typical of standard dialysis machines.


Introducing Thomas Howard, New Secondary Faculty Member in BME

January 16, 2015

Dr. Thomas Howard has joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Department of Computer Science as an Assistant Professor with a secondary appointment in Biomedical Engineering. 


Professor Awad and Professor McGrath Inducted into AIMBE College of Fellows

January 14, 2015

Department of Biomedical Engineering Professors Dr. Hani Awad and Dr. James McGrath were recently inducted as American Institute for Medical and Biological Engieering (AIMBE) Fellows for their significant contributions to the biomedical engineering community.


Andrew Shubin Awarded Grant from National Cancer Institute

January 13, 2015

Andrew Shubin, a graduate student in Danielle Benoit’s lab, was awarded an F30 grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for his project titled “Poly(ethylene glycol) Hydrogels for Salivary Gland Regeneration.”


New Study Probes Link Between HIV Drugs and Vascular Disease

January 13, 2015

BME Graduate Faculty member Marvin Doyley, Ph.D., is a part of a multidisciplinary team that was recently awarded a $3.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to better understand why individuals who receive anti-retroviral treatment for HIV are at greater risk for heart disease and stroke.