JaeAnn Dwulet and Dillon Jarrell, both bioengineering PhD candidates, have been awarded NIH F31 Predoctoral Fellowship Awards.
Dwulet, who is mentored by Associate Professor Richard Benninger, received an NIH F31 Bioinformatics Interdisciplinary Predoctoral Fellowship in Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases. This two-year award for $45,520, titled “How Human Beta Cell Heterogeneity Impacts Islet Function,” will use a combination of novel live-cell imaging techniques and computational modeling to investigate pancreatic islet function. It will examine how functional subpopulations of human beta cells contribute to insulin release and how these populations are affected in Type 2 diabetes.
The goal of this work is to determine which beta cell subpopulations are required for proper islet function and insulin release. If successful, this work can be used to improve treatment options, by directing treatments to retain these required subpopulations, ultimately improving the quality of life of patients with diabetes.
Jarrell, a fourth-year bioengineering PhD student, received an NIH F31 Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award. During the first three years of his research in the Jacot Laboratory for Pediatric Regenerative Medicine, Jarrell was fully funded through the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program. His work in hydrogel development and 3D cardiac tissue differentiations has led to two published reviews and three research manuscripts in submission or revision.
Under the new fellowship, he will continue work on his project entitled “A Translational Bioreactor for Construction of Off-the-Shelf, Patient-Specific Heart Tissue for the Permanent Correction of Congenital Heart Defects.” The Jacot Lab is striving to develop materials and tissues that can be used in the surgical correction of structural heart defects in infants. Within this overarching goal, Dillon is implementing in vitro tissue engineering strategies to create living, pluripotent stem cell-derived heart tissues that can be used clinically to repair full wall-thickness defects in the heart.
Many congratulations to you both.
At the CU Denver College of Engineering, Design and Computing, we focus on providing our students with a comprehensive engineering education at the undergraduate, graduate and professional level. Faculty conduct research that spans our five disciplines of civil, electrical and mechanical engineering, bioengineering, and computer science and engineering. The college collaborates with industry from around the state; our laboratories and research opportunities give students the hands-on experience they need to excel in the professional world.