Smith awarded NIH Pathway to Independence Award (R00) from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

bradford-smith-head-shotDr. Bradford Smith, Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioengineering was awarded $747,000 over three years to study The Importance of Inhomogeneity in the Pathogenesis of Lung Injury (NIH R00 HL128944). This work is motivated by Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a condition that causes more deaths per year than breast or prostate cancer. Treatment for ARDS is based around supportive mechanical ventilation, but this can cause ventilator-induced lung injury (VILI) and worsen outcomes. The major obstacle to developing personalized mechanical ventilation strategies that prevent VILI is an incomplete understanding of the microscale fluid-mechanical forces responsible for injury. In the proposed research, Dr. Smith will investigate the role of alveolar interdependence in the parenchymal stress balance and VILI pathogenesis. A detailed understanding of the stresses and strains that cause VILI will improve the treatment of ARDS and thus reduce mortality for a significant number of people.

Qualcomm CTA Bioengineering Junior Investigator/Fellowship Program: Assistive Technology for Disability and Aging

The purpose of this $50,000 Foundation grant is to inaugurate the CTA/Qualcomm Assistive Technology Fellowship/Young Investigator program within the Department of Bioengineering, University of Colorado, to build research capacity, knowledge utilization and dissemination and industry partnerships leading to technology transfer. Dr. Cathy Bodine will serve as the Principle Investigator and Dr. Levin Sliker will serve as the inaugural Fellow.

Short-term results include the establishment of a CTA/Qualcomm Fellow/Young Investigator program at the University of Colorado, Department of Bioengineering focused on Assistive Technology for persons with disabilities and seniors; development and execution of a research agenda by the Fellow; and the development and launch of an Industry Advisory Council to facilitate knowledge transfer.

The long-term results include knowledge dissemination, utilization, and potential technology transfer to industry.  Access by both parties to state-of-the-art information related to improved device design and ongoing and developing technology needs for seniors and persons with disabilities will lead to increased access to needed technologies and to opportunities for new discoveries.

Building reciprocal relationships between industry and university researchers has the potential to create a pipeline for students from internships and employment to opportunities for joint research and development work in the future.

Three engineering students receive UROP mini grants

This fall, the Office of Undergraduate Experiences offered a second 2016 round of Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) grants.  UROP is a competitive program designed to financially support undergraduate research, most broadly understood as including all creative and other scholarly activities.  The goal of UROP is to provide an opportunity to extend learning outside the traditional classroom, laboratory, or studio.

Three students from the college received one of these mini grants. Congratulations to Aimee Lam, bioengineering; Jackson Osborn, electrical engineering; and Adam Rauff, bioengineering.

CEM program wins AGC award for Excellence in Education

On October 28, faculty and students from the Construction Engineering and Management program attended the AGC Colorado Industry Gala and ACE awards, and received the award for Excellence in Education.

This event is the state’s biggest commercial building construction event of the year, bringing together general contractors, specialty contractors, architects, owners, and professional firms supporting the industry, key leaders and staff from related associations, legislators and other industry supporters for a night of networking, recognition, and celebration.

Congratulations!

ELEC senior design team receives $5k EPRI-GRIDED grant

An electrical engineering senior design team—Carolina Guerrero-Rocha, Jackson Osborn and team advisor Jaedo Park—has received a $5,000 grant through the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) Center for Grid Engineering Education (GRIDED) – http://grided.epri.com/. The University of Colorado Denver was made eligible for this program through efforts by associate professor Fernando Mancilla-David. Guerrero-Rocha and Osborn’s project is titled “Power Potty,” and has the goal of using microbial fuel cells to generate power from waste in developing countries.

Congratulations!

Bioengineering Undergraduates Awarded ARCS Scholarships

Three bioengineering undergraduate students, Jacob Altholz, Samantha Muse, and Rachelle Walter, were awarded ARCS scholarships this semester. ARCS is dedicated to “Advancing Science in America,” and annually awards scholarships through university departments of science and engineering. The BIOE students were selected by the ARCS Foundation Colorado Chapter’s scholarship committee for being the highest performing students as well as having the highest rankings by the committee. These rankings are based on the student’s transcript, resume, and application essay. The students and their accomplishments were celebrated during the Chapter’s annual luncheon on the Anschutz Medical Campus on Wednesday, November 2.

Congratulations again to Jacob, Samantha, and Rachelle!

CVEN student Stephanie Espinoza and the benefits of the Boots to Suits program

f1-1-article1_closeup_bob_stephStephanie Espinoza is a senior in civil engineering and an Army veteran. Through the university’s Boots to Suits professional development program, she was matched with mentor Bob Armstrong, an Air Force veteran and vice president of the global water resources engineering firm MWH now part of Stantec. They meet regularly, and Armstrong work in wastewater piqued Espinoza’s interest.

Read the entire story.

Pitch Night, Another Great Success for BMES!

To meet the diverse interests of both our undergraduate and graduate students BMES hosts events to facilitate collaboration between industry partners, medical professionals, and researchers. pitchnight3_oct2016We often find that there are many unmet needs and concepts that require the expertise of a bioengineer, however, many of these opportunities are missed. Pitch Night offers a platform for potential PI’s to recruit students for projects and research opportunities.  In these five minute pitches, presenters pitched ideas in basic science, translational/clinical medicine, and device engineering. We’ve found that our students are able to learn more about cutting edge research and industry opportunities as well as the variety of research happening on this campus. In doing so we are able to help match our students with opportunities that interest them and meet the needs of potential PI’s.  The goal is to match graduate students with projects, provide research opportunities to upperclass undergraduates, and reveal potential avenues of study freshman and sophomores.

CU Anschutz and CU Boulder scientists receive NIH OT2OD023852 award

Weir Headshot 142x212.jpgRichard Weir, Associate Research Professor in the Department of Bioengineering, and colleagues receive funding to develop an Optical Probe capable of Activating/Reporting on axon activity in nerves of parasympathetic nervous system.  Current neuro-modulation approaches for the vagus nerve (aka parasympathetic nervous system) are generally all or nothing events that cause simultaneous changes in heart rate, for example, along with changes in pancreatic function. Our goal for this project is to develop a novel compact Optogenetic based Optical Probe capable of optically neuromodulating individual afferent and/or efferent axons within nerves of the parasympathetic, or peripheral, nervous system. We seek to read-in or read-out from these nerves with the goal of modulating the organs or brain circuits innervated by them.

Our central premise is that we can use optics to communicate with axons in a nerve. For optical approaches to work we need to convert action potentials into an optical signal. This can be done using reporter proteins or by some other means that is ancillary to action potential generation. Because nerves do not naturally express optical proteins, we will work with transgenic mice that express these proteins and use these mice to refine our system before making it available for other researchers to use. We are proposing to couple an optical fiber with an electrowetting lens head to allow remote interrogation of the vagus nerve with a bench top (i.e. portable) laser system. Integration of miniature (1mm diameter) scale electrowetting electrically tunable optics with an optical fiber-based imaging system will enable two-photon fluorescence imaging of neuron activity by readout of a fluorescent indicator.

We will work with collaborators in the field of pancreatic research to test, refine and demonstrate our ability to activate/report from in-vitro mouse vagus nerves and to see if we can control and/or sense pancreatic responses in the absence of other responses, such as a change in heart rate, using targeted neuro-modulation of specific axons in the vagus in in-vivo transgenic mice experiments.