Jacot lab, research featured in NSF video

The National Science Foundation has produced a video on associate professor of bioengineering Jeffrey Jacot’s research and work being done at Children’s Hospital Colorado. The video, titled Bioengineering infant heart patches with the baby’s own heart cells, is posted on the NSF YouTube site, the NSF Science360 News Service, as well as NSF social media platforms.

Watch the video here.

CU Denver Today: First bioengineering undergraduates are prepared for the future

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“We were all in it together.”

That’s how Jacob Altholz, a recent CU Denver graduate, remembers his experience in the undergraduate bioengineering program, which is part of the College of Engineering and Applied Science with upper division courses taught on CU Anschutz Medical Campus. Jacob and 14 of his classmates are the first group of students to graduate from the program, which is the first of its kind in Colorado.

His fellow classmate, Rachelle Walter, also remembers how much she enjoyed learning how to work together. The program created a cohesive environment that allowed students to work closely with one another and make friendships to last a lifetime.

Read about their experiences in the CU Denver Today story.

Three students receive prestigious ARCS scholarships

Three College of Engineering and Applied Science students have been awarded 2017 ARCS scholarships: Aaron Buchanan, bioengineering; Scott Spurgeon, mechanical engineering; and Rachelle Walter, bioengineering. These scholarships are awarded by the Colorado Chapter of the Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Foundation, which has partnerships with all four University of Colorado campuses, Colorado State University and Colorado School of Mines.

ARCS began in 1958 with a group of women volunteers who understood the importance of scholarship funding in supporting science students who want to make a difference. In September 1958, ARCS Foundation’s goal was officially announced to “. . . raise money for scholarships and fellowships (now known as Scholar Awards) . . . for the support of both undergraduate and graduate students.” Today, ARCS Foundation has 1,300 members in 15 chapters across the United States and has supported more than 9,600 graduate students in a variety of science fields with awards totaling almost $100 million.

ARCS scholarship recipients go through a very competitive selection process, and are selected based on their excellent academic performance and research experience. Buchanan and Walter are first-year graduate students; Spurgeon is a second-year undergraduate student.

Congratulations to Aaron, Scott and Rachelle!

Bioengineering hosts first-ever BOLT program

This August the department of Bioengineering hosted its first ever Bioengineering Opportunities and Leadership Training (BOLT) for high school students. 25 students from around the metro area participated in the week’s activities, which ranged from building an optical heart rate monitor and learning about tissue engineering to visiting the Children’s Hospital Gait Lab and Center for Surgical Innovation. The objective of the camp was to expose students to the many different facets of bioengineering and to get them excited about what a career as a biomedical engineer could look like. At the conclusion of the week students presented their rough prototypes of new designs for medical devices that could help a pediatrician before enjoying an ice cream social with the students and faculty of the BIOE Department.

Kheyfets receives Research Career Development Award (K25) from NHLBI/NIH

Pulmonary Hypertension is a progressive disease that ultimately leads to right heart failure. This K25 award looks at the mechanical and biochemical interaction between the right and left heart, during the progression of this cardio-pulmonary disease. Both sides of the heart are both moving “pumps” that are physically connected to one another. The study utilizes magnetic resonance imaging, computational modeling, and gene expression analysis of animal tissue to establish two key concepts: (1) declining right heart function during pulmonary hypertension can be improved by targeting the left heart; and (2) the left heart can be targeted through genes that control the contraction speed of the left heart muscle. If this approach proves to be successful, it could lead to novel therapies for treating right heart failure in children with pulmonary hypertension.

 

BMES Coulter College 2017 Training Program Follow-up

CoulterCollege2017Kailey Beck, Matt Kiselevach, Vinh Pham and Mackenzie Wilderman traveled with Senior Design Instructor Casey Howard to Coulter College in Atlanta, Georgia at the beginning of August. Coulter College is a workshop (a crash-course of sorts) focused on teaching students how to develop commercially viable device solutions to unmet needs. This year students prepared a summer homework assignment and all the students were excited to work together in a team to represent CU Denver. When the workshop started however, everyone learned that teams would be scrambled and each Coulter College team would be made up of students from 4 different institutions from around the country and that each team would be advised by a faculty member from yet a different institution. 

The CU Denver students all focused on developing solutions in the same ‘need area’ which was: helping alleviate issues with access to healthcare for individuals with disabilities in low resource settings. The student teams worked tirelessly for 3 days to develop and refine concepts and business models. The concepts evolved through conversations with experts, clinicians and industrial designers. The students also learned about topics such as Intellectual Property, medical device reimbursement, funding and business models, clinical trials, and regulatory pathways.

The teams gave a concept pitch on day 2 and a final 8 minute venture-style pitch on the concluding day of the conference. Prizes were awarded in each need area. All of the CU students and teams came up with interesting solutions tackling various issues including pressure sores and beyond. Mackenzie Wilderman and her team won both pitch contests in their ‘need area’.

This experience should provide a great foundation to help the students in their capstone design experience this academic year.

Benninger and Yakacki awarded tenure

The University of Colorado Board of Regents approved tenure appointments for two College of Engineering and Applied Science faculty:

  • Richard Benninger, bioengineering
  • Christopher Yakacki, mechanical engineering

In addition, the Regents approved the appointment of Martin Dunn as the new college dean (effective January 1, 2018), who will also join the mechanical engineering department.

Congratulations on this achievement.