Student Awards & Honors
Michelle Kofron Receives Robert E. Davies Student Travel Award to Attend the Annual Orthopedic Research Society Meeting
Michelle Kofron, a Ph.D. candidate in Biomedical Engineering, has received an AWIS-PHL (Association for Women in Science - Philadelphia Chapter) Robert E. Davies Student Travel Award to present a research paper at the Annual Orthopedic Research Society Meeting in Dallas, Texas. The Robert E. Davies Student Travel Award supports the attendance of a female graduate student at a national meeting of the scientific society appropriate to the discipline in which she will be presenting her own research. AWIS-PHL makes one award each year in the amount of $500.00, to be applied to the costs of transportation, registration, housing, and meals for the student. The Robert E. Davies Student Travel Award was established in 1993 by AWIS-PHL in memory of Professor Robert E. Davies, whose life was characterized by his untiring efforts toward the entry and advancement of women in science.
Four Undergraduate Student Teams Win Phase I of the 2002 Drexel Business Plan Competition
Phase I of the 2002 Drexel Business Plan Competition has been completed, with four out of the five winning teams comprised of undergraduate students from BIOMED:
THERiMAGE - "The definition of targeted therapeutic imaging." Team members: Dalia El-Sherif, Paul Bidez, Eric Troop, and Raymond Ro. A novel therapeutic imaging drug for the detection and treatment of cancer. This drug will better identify a tumor, as well as target the delivery of anti-cancer drugs directly to the tumor, thereby increasing efficiency and reducing cost and side effects.
eMotions, Inc. - "Let the machine be in your shoes." Team members: Marek Swoboda and Joe Sorial. eMotions, Inc. specializes in producing emotion sensors that can detect fear and excitement. These sensors are equipped with an interface capable of transferring sensor readings to an electronic device such as a computer or a computer game console. This idea will allow development of a new generation of devices with "emotional feedback," such as computer games, computers, and robots.
Biodegradable Closures for Drug Delivery and a Disposable Administration Device. Team members: Hemali Patel, Todd Rohn, Diane Lau, Charles Harakal, Gregory Tholey, Jim Murphy, and Rachael Horn. The team developed a biodegradable closure for controlled drug delivery and a disposable device with which to administer the closure. This device is designed to facilitate a surgical procedure known as bile duct anastomosis.
Practical Audio Solutions. Team member: Andrew Darling. Practical Audio Solutions would assemble voice-to-text software and wearable computer displays to provide voice recognition for the hearing impaired to a degree superior to lip-reading.
Special thanks go to Robert Mascioli, the Director of the Laurence A. Baiada Center, and to Dr. Robert Loring, an entrepreneur and a BIOMED alumnus, for the guidance and support that they have so generously provided our students. The entrepreneurial spirit of our students and faculty play a leading role in the transfer of biomedical technologies into winning, productive enterprises.
Justin Lathia Wins Society of Pharmaceutical Engineers Poster Contest
Justin Lathia, a senior in BIOMED, won first place honors in the International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineers (ISPE) Delaware Valley Poster contest. In October 2001, he went on to represent the Delaware Valley region at the ISPE International Conference, where he also won first place in the poster contest. Justin earned a prize of $1,000 with this award, as well as the opportunity to publish his project in the society's journal, Pharmaceutical Engineering.
Graduate Research Team Awarded Travel Grant from the National Science Foundation
The BIOMED team of graduate research students Valerie Kuzmick, John Lafferty, April Serfass, Doug Szperka, and Benjamin Zale, which was led by Dr. Karen Moxon, Assistant Professor in BIOMED; Dr. Prawat Nagvajara, Associate Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering and BIOMED; and Dr. Jeremy Johnson, Associate Professor in Computer Science and BIOMED, won an Excellence in Neural Engineering Travel Award at the 23rd Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, which was held this year in Istanbul, Turkey. The team's paper entitled "Real-Time Seizure Detection System Using Multiple Single-Neuron Recordings" earned the team members a collective $700 travel expense.
Ross Bowen Receives Whitaker Travel Grant to Attend the Progress in Motor Control III Meeting
Ross Bowen, a Ph.D. candidate in Biomedical Engineering, has been awarded a $375 Whitaker Travel Grant to present a paper at the Progress in Motor Control (PMC) III meeting in Montreal, Canada. The theme of PMC III, "From Basic Science to Applications," reflects both the need for scientists to formulate basic science ideas in terms that have a practical application for rehabilitation and robotics, and at the same time, the need for applied or clinical scientists to identify specific areas in which basic scientific knowledge about motor control may have direct relevance.
Barbara Salami Awarded $5,000 IEEE Student Branch Leadership Scholarship
Barbara Salami, a junior in BIOMED, was awarded a $5,000 IEEE Student Branch Leadership Scholarship for the 2001-02 academic year. In its letter to the Section's Executive Committee, the Scholarship Selection Committee wrote, "even in her absence, the Chapter continues to grow and the programs she initiated continue to thrive. We find Ms. Salami to be an exemplary candidate and believe she sets the standard for future recipients of this important scholarship."
Valerie Kuzmick and April Serfass Place Third in Senior Design Competition
Valerie Kuzmick and April Serfass, senior undergraduate students in BIOMED, along with BIOMED senior undergraduates John Lafferty, Doug Szperka, and Benjamin Zale, presented their senior design project at Drexel's College of Engineering Senior Design Competition. Their presentation entitled "Epileptic Seizure Detection System" won the Third Place Award and a $500 prize.
James Furmato Honored for Teaching Assistant Excellence
James Furmato, a Ph.D./D.P.M. candidate in Biomedical Science, was one of the winners of the Teaching Assistant Excellence Award for Academic Year 2000-2001. These awards are presented annually to honor the contributions that our teaching assistants have made to quality education at Drexel.
Hemali Patel Receives Dean J. Peterson Ryder Award
Hemali Patel, a junior in BIOMED, received the Dean J. Peterson Ryder Award for Seniors at the Fourth Annual Awards Banquet held in Grand Hall. The award was established to recognize students who are involved in co-curricular activities while maintaining a high academic record in an engineering discipline. Vice President of Student Life Anthony Caneris presented Patel with a plaque and a check for $500.
Paul Bidez Receives NASA Grant for Graduate Research in Tissue Engineering
Paul Bidez, a Ph.D. candidate in Biomedical Engineering, was awarded $22,000 per year for up to three years (the full amount available) from the Graduate Student Researchers Program (GSRP) of NASA at the Johnson Space Center. He is conducting research on generating functional cardiac tissue utilizing NASA-derived bioreactor biotechnology in conjunction with stem cell biology and polymer scaffolds made from electrically conductive nanofibers. The GSRP is designed to cultivate additional research ties between NASA and the academic community, as well as broaden the base of students pursuing advanced degrees in science and engineering.
Mukul Talaty Receives Two Competitive Travel Grants
Mukul Talaty, a Ph.D. candidate in Biomedical Engineering and a Research Engineer at Moss Rehabilitation Hospital, was awarded a competitive travel grant of $1,000 to present a paper at the XVIIIth Congress of the International Society of Biomechanics (ISB), to be held July 8-13, 2001 in Zurich, Switzerland. Mukul also received a similar award of $615 to attend the Sixth Annual Gait and Clinical Movement Analysis (GCMA) Meeting in Sacramento California, April 25-28, 2001. The GCMA awards are funded through a grant from The Whitaker Foundation.
Emil Radulescu's Paper on Hydrophone Spatial Averaging Accepted for IEEE Publication
The manuscript entitled "Hydrophone Spatial Averaging Corrections from 1-40 MHz," by Emil Radulescu, Dr. Peter Lewin, and Dr. Andrzej Nowicki, was accepted for publication in the IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control. Emil Radulescu, a Ph.D. candidate in Biomedical Engineering, was a driving force behind the manuscript, since the topic is relevant to his Ph.D. research.
Dalia El-Sherif and Jonathan Tomas Receive IEEE Student Competition Awards
Two BIOMED students received student competition awards for their research projects in the graduate student category at the 27th IEEE Annual Northeast Bioengineering Conference:
Dalia El-Sherif (Faculty advisor: Dr. Margaret Wheatley) - Second place: "Development of Biodegradable PLGA Microspheres for Use as Ultrasound Contrast Agents."
Jonathan Tomas (Faculty advisors: Dr. Michele Marcolongo and Dr. Anthony Lowman) - Third place: "Hydrogel Intervertebral Disc Implant."
Barbara Salami Accepts Outstanding IEEE Student Member Award
Barbara Salami, a junior in BIOMED, received the Alan L. Kirsch Outstanding IEEE Student Member Award for her contributions to IEEE activities in the Philadelphia Section, as well as for demonstration of professional involvement and leadership. Combining efforts with Hemali Patel, also a junior in BIOMED, the Drexel University IEEE Student Chapter was awarded the IEEE Section Membership Growth Award for 2000 in Region Two. The 2001 IEEE Philadelphia Section Awards and Recognitions Banquet was held at the Philadelphia Marriott Hotel.
Janell Carter Chosen to Attend the Introduction to Biomedical Research Program
Janell Carter, a junior in BIOMED, was selected to attend the Introduction to Biomedical Research Program (IBRP) in February 2001 in Bethesda, Maryland. This program is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and includes scientific lectures on the latest "state of the science" issues, as well as one-on-one discussions with research scientists from NIH.
Faculty Awards & Honors
Dr. Don McEachron Receives Student Choice Award for BIOMED Professor of the Year 2002
Dr. Don McEachron, Research Professor in BIOMED, was one of twelve Drexel faculty members who received this year's Drexel University Student Choice Award for Professor of the Year 2002. This award acknowledges Dr. McEachron's unwavering dedication to our students, as well as his tireless efforts to develop and enrich the BIOMED curriculum. He is heartily congratulated for this wonderful recognition by the students themselves. Dr. McEachron and the other award recipients were honored at the Second Annual Faculty Awards Banquet, which was held on Tuesday, February 5, 2002 at the University Club in Drexel's MacAlister Hall.
Dr. Karen Moxon Chairs Whitaker Funded 28th Annual Northeast Bioengineering Conference
Dr. Karen Moxon will chair the 28th Annual Northeast Bioengineering Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, which is to be held April 20-21, 2002 at Drexel University. This conference will receive funding from the Whitaker Foundation in the amount of $9,000, which is approximately three times greater than the amount of previous Whitaker funding for this conference. The explicit goal of this funding is to upgrade the attendance and the quality of the regional conference, including financial support for its invited speakers.
Fourteen Professors To Receive Funding from the Nanotechnology Institute
Fourteen Drexel University faculty members have been recommended for funding by the Nanotechnology Institute (NTI), for a total funding of $1,079,354, including $152,000 for equipment. The recommended recipients are: Dr. Nily Dan, Assistant Professor in Chemical Engineering (Drug Delivery Team - $77,406); Dr. Anthony Lowman, Assistant Professor in Chemical Engineering (Drug Delivery Team - $81,250); Dr. Yuri Gogotsi, Professor in Materials Engineering (Cellular - $68,580); Dr. Raj Mutharasan, Professor in Chemical Engineering (Cellular Probe - $30,000 / Pilot study); Dr. Bahram Nabet, Associate Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering (Cellular Probe - $30,000 / Pilot study); Dr. Wan Y. Shih, Research Associate Professor in Materials Engineering (Biosensor - $30,000 / Pilot study); Dr. Frank Ko, Professor in BIOMED and Materials Engineering (Tissue Engineering - $72,534 / $62,000 Equipment); Dr. John Dinardo, Professor in Physics (Cellular Probe - $63,306); Dr. Yen Wei, Professor in Chemistry (Tissue Engineering - $76,848); Dr. Allan Smith, Professor in Chemistry (Biosensor - $62,715); Dr. Guoliang Yang, Assistant Professor in Physics (Cellular Probe - $87,939); Dr. Peter Lelkes, Professor in BIOMED (Tissue Engineering - $88,855); Dr. Richard Lec, Professor in BIOMED and Electrical and Computer Engineering (Biosensor - $86,273 / $55,000 Equipment); Dr. Margaret Wheatley, Professor in BIOMED and Chemical Engineering (Drug Delivery $71,648 / $35,000equipment).
Dr. Young Cho Plays Major Role in Development of Blood Viscosity Measurement Device
For more than 15 years, Dr. Young Cho, Professor in Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics, and Dr. Kenneth R. Kensey, President and CEO of Rheologics, Inc., have collaborated on research to develop a better methodology for measuring whole blood viscosity. Dr. Cho is an internationally recognized expert in fluid mechanics who currently serves as Rheologics' fluid dynamics consultant. Dr. Cho and Dr. Kensey, a scientist-cardiologist with an entrepreneurial flair, have spent more than a dozen years developing a "scanning capillary viscometer," which is a device for measuring blood viscosity. If blood viscosity can be accurately measured, the appropriate drugs can be developed to reduce it, thereby helping to prevent heart attacks and strokes in humans. The instrument is currently being tested and FDA approval is expected within a year or so.
Dr. Banu Onaral Co-chairs Workshop on Biomedical Signal and System Analysis
Dr. Banu Onaral, H.H. Sun Professor and Director of BIOMED at Drexel University, organized and co-chaired a workshop on Biomedical Signal and System Analysis. The workshop took place at the 23rd Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society in Istanbul Turkey, October 25-28, 2001.
Drs. Banu Onaral and Kambiz Pourrezaei Featured in Nanotechnology Article in The Institute
Dr. Kambiz Pourrezaei, Professor in BIOMED and Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Research Director of the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science, and Health Systems, and Dr. Banu Onaral, Professor and Director of the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science, and Health Systems, were recently interviewed by the editor of The Institute, a monthly publication of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) that is distributed worldwide to over 300,000 members of the IEEE. The front-page feature article in the August 2001 edition entitled "Nanotech: The New Frontier In Biomedicine" quoted Dr. Pourrezaei and Dr. Onaral on the emerging biomedical applications of nanotechnology. To read the article online, please visit: www.spectrum.ieee.org/INST/aug2001/fnano.html
Dr. Cato Laurencin Designated As Leading African-American Physician
Dr. Cato Laurencin, Helen I. Moorehead Professor in Chemical Engineering and BIOMED, has been designated by Black Enterprise Magazine as one of the nation's leading African-American physicians. The magazine's August 2001 issue presented its inaugural list of the top 101 African-American physicians in the nation, along with their profiles. Dr. Laurencin has spent most of his career at Drexel and MCP Hahnemann Universities.
Researchers Assigned United States Patent Number 6,204,669 B1
US Patent number 6,204,669 B1, regarding the "Detection of Defects in Protective Barriers," was assigned to Drexel University on March 20, 2001. The inventors include: Richard B. Beard, Ph.D., Drexel (emeritus); Kambiz Pourrezaei, Ph.D., Drexel; Shengke Zeng, Ph.D., Drexel (graduate); Frederick Prout, MSBE; Drexel (graduate); Frank M. Kepics, BSEE, Drexel (staff); Jin Park MSBE, Drexel (Ph.D. student); Allen Rothwarf, Ph.D., Drexel (deceased); Siddharth Deliwala, MSBE, Drexel (graduate); Robert Schmukler, Ph.D., Drexel. Affiliation: School of Biomedical Engineering, Science, and Health Systems; Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Dr. Peter Lewin Receives Drexel University Distinguished Professor Award
Dr. Peter Lewin, Professor in BIOMED and Electrical and Computer Engineering, was one of two Drexel faculty members who received this year's Drexel University Distinguished Professor Award. The award includes a cash prize of $15,000 per year for five years. Dr. Lewin has published research papers of important significance that have frequently been cited by other researchers. He has been awarded several patents in the field of ultrasound and over the years has received $3 million in research funding. He was recently appointed to the prestigious Franklin Institute Committee on Science and the Arts and is an internationally recognized scholar with many awards, including Fellow of IEEE. Dr. Robert Gilmore, Professor in Physics and Atmospheric Sciences, was the other recipient of this year's award.
Drs. Banu Onaral and Yasha Kresh Receive Funding for Biocomplexity Project
The Biocomplexity demonstration project has well begun and is under the direction of Dr. Yasha Kresh, Professor of Cardiothoracic Control at MCP Hahnemann University, and Dr. Banu Onaral, H.H. Sun Professor and Director of BIOMED at Drexel University. With total sponsor funding in the amount of $613,570 from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Air Force Research Laboratory, the project aims to implement a 'telemic' remote-control high-resolution digital microscopy system for visualizing and monitoring the complex dynamics of live-cell network assembly and function. The system enables a shared (client-server mode) observatory for studying the evolution and adaptation of tissue organization by remotely accessing and controlling the experimental preparation using the very high speed/next generation Internet networking technology and interfaces that are under development by the Pegasus project.
The Cellular Observatory phase, which demonstrates the concept of a distributed 'collaboratory' (i.e., 'virtual') and multidisciplinary research environment without walls, has recently been completed. For information on the next phase of the project, please visit: www.biomed.drexel.edu
Dr. Mahmoud El-Sherif Appointed to National Republican Congressional Committee
Dr. Mahmoud El-Sherif, Research Professor in BIOMED, Materials Engineering, and Electrical and Computer Engineering, was nominated in December to serve on the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC). The NRCC is comprised of non-elected officials who provide a wide range of policy recommendations to the U.S. Congress. At upcoming NRCC meetings, El-Sherif will propose ideas for enhancing technology development, increasing international trade and transfer of technology, and expanding technology transfer between academia and industry. He will also serve on the economics and business sub-committee of the NRCC.
Dr. Huan-Xiang Zhou Makes Significant Advancement in Predicting a Protein's 3-D Structure
Dr. Huan-Xiang Zhou, Associate Professor of Physics and BIOMED, has achieved a new level of success in the area of protein structure prediction, earning a position in the top 10 among more than 160 entrants at the CASP4 international competition at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Dr. Zhou's achievement is an important step toward structural biology's aim of finding a way to predict a protein's 3-D structure while knowing only the sequence of its constituents. As a result of his success, Dr. Zhou has been invited to speak at the annual conference devoted to this competition.
Dr. Dov Jaron Elected President of the International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering
Dr. Dov Jaron, Professor in BIOMED and Electrical Engineering, has been elected President of the International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering (IFMBE). His term as President is from 2000- 2003. The IFMBE is a federation of biomedical engineering organizations representing 44 countries from North and South America, Western and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, South Africa, and Asia.
Dr. Karen Moxon's Book Examining Neural Prosthetic Devices Is Released by CRC Press
Dr. Karen Moxon, Assistant Professor in BIOMED, and Dr. John K. Chapin of the Department of Neurobiology at the State University of New York Health Sciences Center released their book, "Neural Prostheses for Restoration of Sensory and Motor Function." According to a press release from CRC Press, "The book examines several different types of neural prosthetic devices, as well as recent advances in cutting edge research for novel devices to restore sensory and motor function in patients with neural damage. It provides up-to-date information on neural prosthetic techniques and applications - specifically, in relation to the sensory and motor systems of the brain." For more information or to purchase the book, please visit:
Dr. Banu Onaral Completes Term As President of the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society
Dr. Banu Onaral, H.H. Sun Professor and Director of BIOMED at Drexel University, served as President-Elect and President of the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS) of the Institute of Electrical and Computer Engineers (IEEE) in 1998 and 1999 and is now Past-President. The IEEE-EMBS is the largest member-based technical society of biomedical engineers in the world.
Major Research Awards & Initiatives
Dr. Steven Kurtz and the Implant Research Center Receive Howmedica Seed Funding to Develop Implant Retrieval Program for Artificial Knees
Dr. Steven Kurtz, Research Associate Professor in BIOMED, and the Implant Research Center (IRC) received research seed funding from Howmedica to develop an implant retrieval program for artificial knees. This is a one-year award. Using the IRC's successful hip retrieval program as a guide, the goal of this project is to turn the implant retrieval program for artificial knees into an NIH funded initiative in 2002. This project will be a collaboration of Drexel University, the Rothman Institute at Thomas Jefferson University, and Case Western Reserve University.
Office of Naval Research Funds Optical Brain Imaging Sensor Project
The "Optical Brain Imaging Sensor for Improved Operator Awareness" project has been funded by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) to research and develop a near infrared (NIR) based functional optical brain imaging sensor. The first year funding for the project is $1.3 million. Dr. Banu Onaral and Dr. Kambiz Pourrezaei are leading the project in partnership with Dr. Britton Chance of the University of Pennsylvania. Other Drexel faculty leaders include Dr. Ata Akin, Dr. Fernand Cohen, Dr. Afshin Daryoush, and Dr. Birsen Yazici. Dr. Nader Engheta and Dr. Shoko Nioka are participating from the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Scott Bunce from MCP Hahnemann University, Dr. James Kolodzey from the University of Delaware, Dr. Warren Warren from Princeton University, Dr. Robi Polikar from Rowan University, Dr. Harel Rosen from St. Peter's University Hospital, Dr. Arye Rosen from Sarnoff Corporation, Dr. Maria T. Schultheis from the Kessler Institute of Rehabilitation, Dr. Kamelia Alavi from Technology and Medicine, Inc., and Dr. Apperson Johnson from Quantum Leap Innovations, Inc.
This project is part of the Biomedical Optics initiative, which aims to develop safe, affordable, non-invasive, portable, and minimally intrusive functional imaging devices and systems based on biophotonics. This work builds on Dr. Britton Chance's pioneering research in near infrared functional optical imaging. Dr. Chance has pioneered the field of tissue characterization through optical techniques since the 1980s. The initiative is a multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional effort founded on the synergistic partnership between Drexel University, the University of Pennsylvania, MCP Hahnemann University, University of Delaware, Princeton University, Rowan University, and St. Peter's University Hospital. Quantum Leap Innovations, Inc., Sarnoff Corporation, and Technology and Medicine, Inc. are the corporate partners of the initiative. This award is the most recent of major research projects in Biomedical Optics with funding in excess of $1 million. Primary sponsors of the initiative are the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the ONR. Other agencies, including DARPA, have seed funded the project in planning for future phases. The biomedical optics team has also made plans to develop and deploy this emerging technology in various promising application areas, including human performance in the military, in education and training, and in health care (e.g. breast cancer detection, brain monitoring of pediatric and geriatric patients, neurology, mental disorders, neuro-rehabilitation, anesthesiology, critical care, and telemedicine) in collaboration with our clinical partners, in particular, our main medical partner MCP Hahnemann University.
Dr. Ilya Rybak Receives ONR Grant To Study Neurophysiology of Locomotion and Neuro-robotics
Dr. Ilya Rybak, Research Professor in BIOMED and Neurobiology at MCP Hahnemann University, has been awarded a grant of $170,000 by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) over two years for his project titled "Development of Biomimetic CPG-Based Neural Controller for Bipedal Robot Locomotion." This effort is part of the Neuroengineering initiative undertaken jointly with the Neurobiology and Neurology Departments at MCP Hahnemann University. The work will further the investigation of the linked areas of the neurophysiology of locomotion and neuro-robotics with regard to transferring brain-inspired information processing concepts into the technological arena, and in particular, the robotics of autonomous legged locomotion. The process of extending current techniques for controlling machines directly from the brain will yield information that is critical for the development of autonomous machines, as well as for evaluating neural control of navigation and biosensor applications.
Drs. Wei Sun and Alan Lau Receive Grant from Therics Corporation To Study Tissue Replacement Structures
Dr. Wei Sun (Principal Investigator), Assistant Professor in BIOMED and Mechanical Engineering, and Dr. Alan Lau (Co-Investigator), Professor in BIOMED and Mechanical Engineering, have been awarded a $253,000 grant over three-years by the Therics Corporation for their research entitled "Biopharmaceutical and Anatomical Tissue Replacement Structures: Process Modeling and Simulation." The objective of the project is to develop the knowledge and technology based processes for modeling, analysis, and simulation of novel biopharmaceutical products and anatomical tissue replacements. The near term and long term research activities include: 1) optimal modeling process for three-dimensional reconstruction of CAD-based solid model and/or anatomic model from the CT/MRI data for anatomical tissue representation, geometric manipulation, structural analysis, and free-form fabrication; 2) finite element analysis approach to simulate the anatomical structural properties, material properties, load-bearing behavior of the designed tissue scaffolds and bone replacements; and 3) heterogeneous modeling of bone tissue structures and process algorithm for a model-based, multi-materials deposition.
Dr. Margaret Wheatley Awarded NIH Grant To Research Contrast Agents in Diagnostic Ultrasound
Dr. Margaret Wheatley, Professor in BIOMED and Chemical Engineering, has been awarded a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant of $800,000 over four years for her project entitled "Development of a Novel Contrast Agent for Diagnostic Ultrasound." Surfactant stabilized microbubbles are used to increase the contrast of medical ultrasound images to allow physicians to diagnose microscopic cancerous lesions in soft tissue. This research project will further the investigation regarding the attachment of antibodies to the bubbles to target specific sites, such as tumors and atherosclerotic plaque, and to distinguish malignant tissue growth from that which is benign.
Drs. Peter Lewin and Mohana Shankar Receive NIH Grant To Research Calibration Methods of Ultrasound Hydrophone
Dr. Peter Lewin, Professor in BIOMED and Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Dr. Mohana Shankar, Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering, have been awarded an NIH grant entitled "Ultrasound Hydrophone and Its Calibration up to 100 MHz." The total funding for this three-year grant is $705,000. Miniature piezoelectric polymer ultrasonic hydrophone probes are indispensable for acoustic field characterizations and are usually calibrated at discrete frequencies only. Such calibration is inadequate, as it fails to detect possible rapid variations in the sensitivity of the probes. We have already developed unique probe calibration methods that plot sensitivity as a virtually continuous function of frequency up to 60 MHz. This research aims to extend these calibration methods to 100 MHz.
Dr. Cato Laurencin Receives NSF Grant for Bioreactor Based Bone Tissue Engineering
Dr. Cato Laurencin, Helen I. Moorehead Professor in Chemical Engineering and BIOMED, has been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation through the Directorate of Engineering, Division of Bioengineering and Environmental Systems. The title of his project is "Bioreactor Based Bone Tissue Engineering" and the award is for $800,000 over four years. Each year in the US, almost half a million surgical procedures are performed that require bone substitutes (e.g., autografts, allografts, and synthetic materials). These bone substitutes have many associated problems. For example, autografting is expensive and can have significant donor site morbidity, and synthetic materials wear and do not behave like true bone. Our goal is to provide an alternative solution by creating tissue engineered bone using a bioractor device, whose rotating vessel maintains cells in continual free-fall similar to that experienced by astronauts in the microgravity of space. Inside, the tissue is continuously bathed in oxygen, nutrients, and other substances necessary for growth. This ensures that the fluid rotates without shear forces that would destroy the cells. This project should allow Drexel's School of Biomedical Engineering to continue its pre-eminent position in the area of bioreactor-based bone tissue engineering.
Drs. Steven Kurtz and Michele Marcolongo Receive NIH Grant To Conduct Hip Implant Research
Dr. Steven Kurtz, Research Associate Professor in BIOMED, and Michele Marcolongo, Assistant Professor in Materials Engineering and BIOMED, received a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for their project "Mechanics and Performance of Traceable UHMWPE Hip Implants." This award is $1 million over three years (PI: Steven Kurtz, Research Associate Professor in BIOMED; Co-PIs: Michele Marcolongo, Assistant Professor in BIOMED and Materials Engineering, and Av Edidin, Research Associate Professor in BIOMED; Co-collaborators: William Hozack, MD, from the Rothman Institute / Thomas Jefferson University; Clare Rimnac, Ph.D., Victor Goldberg MD, and Matt Kraay MD, all from Case Western Reserve University). This project is one of the Implant Research Center (IRC) research activities. The IRC is a multi-center collaboration between Drexel University, Thomas Jefferson University, and Case Western Reserve University. This research is part of a major effort to understand the relationship of processing, structure, and properties of polyethylene hip components in relation to clinical parameters such as wear, range of motion, and pain.
Drs. Marta Villarraga and Peter Cripton Receive Seed Funding from the Synos Foundation and the Cervical Spine Research Foundation To Develop a Spine Implant Retrieval Program
Dr. Marta Villarraga, Research Associate Professor in BIOMED, and Dr. Peter Cripton, Research Associate Professor in BIOMED, received seed funding from the Scientific Board of the Synos Foundation for the Advancement of Orthopedic Surgery for their project "Evaluation of Retrieved Spine Implants." The funding is for one year and is in the amount of $27,500 (PI: Alexander Vaccaro, MD, Rothman Institute; Co-PIs: Drs. Marta Villarraga and Peter Cripton, both from Drexel University). Drs. Marta and Cripton received similar one-year seed funding for the same program from the Cervical Spine Research Foundation. They will be working on turning this program into an NIH funded initiative and have plans on developing a grant during 2002. The research is coordinated through the Implant Research Center (IRC), a new collaborative initiative of Drexel University's School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems and the Rothman Institute of Thomas Jefferson University (please see "BIOMED and Materials Engineering Jointly Form the Implant Research Center," also in this section). The research focus of the IRC is on implantable medical devices. This project allows expansion of the implant retrieval program beyond hip and knee implants to include spinal implants and adjacent tissue.
Drs. Cato Laurencin, Mohamed Attawia, and Frank Ko Receive National Medical Technology Testbed Grant for Tissue Engineering Research
Dr. Cato Laurencin, Helen I. Moorehead Professor in Chemical Engineering and BIOMED, Dr. Mohamed Attawia, Research Associate Professor in BIOMED and Chemical Engineering, and Dr. Frank Ko, Professor in BIOMED and Materials Engineering, received a National Medical Technology Testbed (NMTB) grant of $260,000 for their project titled "A Novel Nanofiber Based Drug Delivery System for Wound Healing." In addition, Dr. Laurencin and Dr. Attawia received another NMTB grant in the amount of $225,000 for a project titled "Gene Therapy for Bone Regeneration: The Delivery of MBP-2 Producing Cells Using 3-Dimensional, Biodegradable Matrix." This latter research furthers the investigation into stimulating new bone growth via a biodegradable matrix loaded with gene therapy vectors and cellular growth factors. Such a matrix will grow human bone capable of replacing crushed bones that occur in accidents or fractured bone that will not heal correctly. It can even be used to replace facial bones destroyed by disease or surgery or through birth defects. The novel approach involves using cloned genes and smart grafts to foster bone re-growth in the area of injury. The gene cloning produces a natural growth factor that allows bone cells to sprout where only dead tissue had been previously.
Dr. Steven Wrenn Receives Whitaker Foundation Young Investigator Award To Study Prevention of Gallstones in Humans
Dr. Steven Wrenn, Assistant Professor in BIOMED and Chemical Engineering, was selected for a Whitaker Foundation Young Investigator Award in the amount of $240,000 over three years. These award competitions are held three times per year and are designed to help promising new investigators establish their research careers. Dr. Wrenn's research is entitled "An Engineering Approach to the Prevention of Gallstones in Humans." The start date for the project is July 1, 2001. For the complete abstract, please visit: www.whitaker.org/abstracts/apr01/wrenn.html
Seven Synergy Grants Awarded to BIOMED Faculty
Ten teams were awarded grants out of the 19 proposals submitted for this year's synergy grants. Seven of the ten recipient teams were from BIOMED and are listed below. For information regarding all of the teams and their research endeavors, visit the web site: www.research.drexel.edu/researchday/synergyawards.asp
"Use of Neurotrophic Factors to Improve the Biocompatibility of Ceramic-based Multiple Electrode Arrays: Histochemical Assessment." PI: Dr. Karen Moxon, Assistant Professor in BIOMED; Co-PI: Dr. Shao-Pii Onn, Assistant Professor in Neurobiology and Anatomy at MCP Hahnemann University.
"Autoflourescence-enhanced Endoscopy of the Aerodigestive Tract." PI: Dr. Milan Amin, Ear, Nose and Throat, MCP Hahnemann University; Co-PI: Dr. Ata Akin, Research Assistant Professor in BIOMED.
"Myocardial Tissue Engineering and Tissue Regeneration Using Electrically Conductive Polymeric Scaffolds." PI: Dr. Peter Lelkes, Professor in BIOMED; Co-PI: Dr. Yasha Kresh, Professor in Cardiothoracic Surgery, MCP Hahnemann University.
"Integrating a New measure of Brain Hemodynamics with EEG." PI: Dr. Scott Bunce, Psychiatry, MCP Hahnemann University; Co-PI: Dr. Ata Akin, Research Assistant Professor in BIOMED.
"Associating Hydrogels as Artificial Articular Cartilage." PI: Dr. Anthony Lowman, Assistant Professor in BIOMED and Chemical Engineering; Co-PI: Dr. Andrew Karduna, Associate Professor in BIOMED and Rehabilitation Sciences at MCP Hahnemann University.
"Model Dialysis Access Flow and Thrombosis." PI: Dr. David Wooton, Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics, Drexel University; Co-PI: Dr. Ziauddin Ahmed, Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, MCP Hahnemann University.
"The Biocompatibility of Nanopeptides: Implications for In Vivo use." PI: Dr. Cato Laurencin, Helen I. Moorehead Professor in Chemical Engineering and BIOMED; Co-PI: Dr. Donna Murasko, Microbiology Immunology, MCP Hahnemann University.
Dr. Jaydev Desai American Receives Grant from the American Heart Association To Research Robotic Cardiac Surgery
Dr. Jaydev Desai, Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering and BIOMED, received the Beginning Grant-in-Aid Award from the American Heart Association for the project titled "Computer Assisted Robotic Cardiac Surgery." The grant is for $100,000 over three years and is primarily given to young investigators. Dr. Yasha Kresh, Professor and Research Director of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, and Dr. Andrew Wechsler, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery from MCP Hahnemann University, are the Collaborating Investigators on this project. The goal of this project is to develop the enabling science and technology for performing a coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) procedure on a beating heart without the use of mechanical stabilizers or cardiopulmonary bypass. The CABG procedure brings forth several research challenges that will be addressed in this project. Some of these challenges include tracking a non-stationary target using visual servoing techniques and combining them with haptic feedback. This research will eventually lead to an information-enhanced display and will augment the current capabilities of the cardiac surgeon.
Rybak Receives Grant from DOD and NSF for Neuroengineering Initiative
Dr. Ilya Rybak, Research Professor in BIOMED and Neurobiology at MCP Hahnemann University, has been awarded $300,000 over three years for his project titled "Modeling the Brainstem Neural Mechanisms for the Respiratory Pattern Generation." This project is being funded by the Department of Defense and the National Science Foundation to study neural control of breathing as a system for computational modeling of cross-level integration of cellular, network, and neural system mechanisms. The overall objective is to build a united, multi-level model of neural control of respiration within a uniform framework to incorporate existing data and current hypotheses on respiratory control. The Neuroengineering Initiative is a collaborative program between the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems and the faculty of the Neurobiology and Anatomy Department at MCP Hahnemann University and focuses on neural control and neuroinformatics.
Drexel and Wantagh, Inc. Sign Intellectual Property Agreement for Heart Monitoring Device
A license agreement and a sponsored research contract were signed between Drexel University and Wantagh, Inc., Bristol PA, regarding the Impedance Cardiography and Heart Monitoring Device developed by Dr. Xiang Wang and Dr. Hun H. Sun (US Patent numbers 5,309,917, 5,423,326, and 5,443,073 in 1995). The intellectual property for this device will now be assigned by Drexel University to Wantagh, Inc., along with the exclusive rights for the manufacturing and marketing of the IQ System. The IQ System is a new, non-invasive hemodynamic monitoring system, which can measure up to 12 cardiac parameters, including cardiac output (CO), cardiac index (CI), and stroke volume (SV). This safe and affordable technology will replace the current invasive technique, namely the dye dilution method that is now used in hospitals around the world.
The State of Pennsylvania Funds the Establishment of the Nanotechnology Institute
The Nanotechnology Institute has been established with $10.5 million in seed funding from the Pennsylvania Technology Investment Authority (PTIA) over three years. Dr. Kambiz Pourrezaei, Professor in BIOMED and Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Dr. David Luzzi Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, will lead this initiative in collaboration with Dr. Barry F. Stein of the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/SEP) and in partnership with regional medical institutions and the biomedical industry. A major impetus of the Institute will be to explore nanotechnologies that can be deployed in biomedical and pharmaceutical applications. Main research and development thrust areas include nano-biosensors, drug delivery, cellular tissue engineering, and nanoprobes.
Drs. Kambiz Pourrezaei and Ata Akin Receive Funding from ONR To Study Tissue Characterization and LIDAR Technology
Dr. Kambiz Pourrezaei, Professor in BIOMED and Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Dr. Ata Akin, Research Assistant Professor in BIOMED and Electrical and Computer Engineering, have been funded by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) to study Tissue Characterization by Functional Optical Imaging Using LIDAR Technology. The sponsor funding for this phase is $1 million over three years. Dr. Akin and Dr. Pourrezaei have also recently received from Optical Devices, Inc. a subcontract funded by an NIH / SBIR Phase I grant to analyze the feasibility of developing a real-time hand-held near infrared breast cancer imager. In future work, the team envisions the development of portable and possibly hand-held diagnostic systems to replace invasive biopsies with safe, non-invasive optical biopsy procedures.
Dr. Leonid Hrebien Awarded Research Contract in Bioinformatics As Part of Alliance Between Drexel and GlaxoSmithKline
Dr. Leonid Hrebien, Associate Professor in BIOMED and Electrical and Computer Engineering, has been awarded a $500,000 contract titled "Alliance for Data analysis Between GlaxoSmithKline and Drexel University" for three years and eight months. Dr. Hrebien and his team will explore novel methods of data analysis to study gene and protein expression (genomics and proteiomics) data. Dr. Hrebien holds the distinction of being the first engineering faculty member at Drexel to capitalize on the compelling promise of information engineering offered by the post-genomics era and for taking the initiative to establish productive corporate ties with GlaxoSmithKline, a major regional bioinformatics player in drug discovery.
BIOMED and Materials Engineering Jointly Form the Implant Research Center
The Implant Research Center (IRC) has been formed as a result of a joint initiative between the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science, and Health Systems and the Department of Materials Engineering. This center will offer renewed insight to the surgical and engineering communities for improving the longevity of implant technologies. The IRC is the cornerstone of the strategic alliance with medical partners MCP Hahnemann and Thomas Jefferson Universities, as well as two corporate partners, Exponent, Inc., and Stryker Howmedica Osteonics Corporation. Presently the center has three main research initiatives in implant research: total hip replacements, total knee replacements, and spine implants. The main thrust of the research involves analyzing hip, knee, and spine implants after they have been removed from the human body with the goal of better understanding failure mechanisms and identifying improvements for future biomaterials and designs.
The IRC is committed to developing new implant technologies for the hip, knee, and spine. Dr. Steven Kurtz, Research Associate Professor in BIOMED, is collaborating in this endeavor with Dr. Av Edidin, Research Associate Professor in BIOMED, Dr. Michele Marcolongo, Assistant Professor in BIOMED and Materials Engineering, Dr. Marta Villarraga, Research Associate Professor in BIOMED, and Dr. Peter Cripton, Research Associate Professor in BIOMED (please see "Drs. Steven Kurtz and Michele Marcolongo Receive NIH Grant for Hip Implant Research" and "Drs. Marta Villarraga and Peter Cripton Receive Grant from the Synos Foundation for Spine Implant Research," also in this section). The IRC is also mentoring two senior design team projects, both in the area of hip replacements. The goal of one project is to design a new revision hip implant with novel instrumentation, while that of the second is to develop an implant odometer. An implant odometer is an implantable device that will track how many loading cycles to which an implant is subjected in the body. For more information about the IRC, please visit: www.biomed.drexel.edu
Dr. Andrew Karduna Receives Whitaker Research Grant in Shoulder Biomechanics
Dr. Andrew Karduna, Associate Professor in BIOMED and Rehabilitation Sciences at MCP Hahnemann University, received a Whitaker Research Grant for his research project entitled "Consequences of Altered Scapular Orientation Associated with Shoulder Impingement Syndrome." The grant is for $238,000 over three years. Co-Investigators: Dr. N. Pratt and Dr. P. McClure. Although there are clearly underlying biological factors involved in rotator cuff tears, abnormal mechanical forces may lead to a progression from impingement syndrome, or tendinitis, to the tears themselves. Successful treatment of impingement syndrome may help impede the development of rotator cuff tears. The research therefore aims to determine the influence of scapular orientation on subacromial space biomechanics and to determine the link between muscle moment arms and scapular orientation.
Drs. Michele Marcolongo, Andrew Karduna, and Tony Lowman Receive NSF Grant for Biomaterials Research
Dr. Michele Marcolongo, Assistant Professor in BIOMED and Materials Engineering, Dr. Tony Lowman, Assistant Professor in BIOMED and Chemical Engineering, and Dr. Andrew Karduna, Associate Professor in BIOMED and Rehabilitation Sciences at MCP Hahnemann University, have been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for their project, "Functional Restoration of the Nucleus Pulposus of the Intervertebral Disc Using Hydrogel Polymer Blends." This grant is for $270,000 over three years and follows a Drexel synergy grant that they had received previously. The objective of this work is to evaluate different copolymer compositions to determine optimal properties of mechanical integrity and in vitro stability. The next step will be to fabricate prototypes and insert them into cadaveric models using arthroscopic techniques. These implant/spine segment composites will be mechanically tested in bending and torsion and the performance compared to intact spinal segments. This study is an excellent demonstration of how small seed grants can lead to a major accomplishment and subsequent external support. Drs. Marcolongo, Karduna, and Lowman have filed a patent application on this study as well.
Dr. Andrew Karduna Receives Grant from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health
Dr. Andrew Karduna, Associate Professor in BIOMED and Rehabilitation Sciences at MCP Hahnemann University, received a grant from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) for his project "The Biomechanics of Occupational Shoulder Injuries." The grant is for $50,000 over two years. The vast majority of people with shoulder impingement syndrome who are younger than 60 years of age relate their symptoms to occupational or athletic activities that involve frequent overhead use of the arm. The goal of this research project is to examine the relationships among repetitive arm motion, muscle fatigue, and shoulder kinematics in a laboratory setting.
Dr. Jaydev Desai Receives NSF Funding for Robotics Project
Dr. Jaydev Desai, Assistant Professor in BIOMED and Mechanical Engineering, received a Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) grant from the National Science Foundation for his project "Acquisition of a Robot Arm." This grant is for $158,177 over two years. Co-Principal Investigators: Dr. A. Shokoufandeh, Dr. H. G. Kwatny, Dr. C. Laurencin, and Dr. B.C. Chang. This grant will further the research and development of a novel robotic surgical assistant with applications to orthopedic surgery. The robot arm would be part of a system that can be used in the operating room for tasks such as holding the patient's limb and ease his or her maneuverability during a surgical procedure. The robotic device will eliminate the stresses caused to the surgeon and the first assistant by static holding and movement of the operated limb. This improved stability will lead to better patient care during surgery and will significantly improve treatment overall, since robots do not suffer from fatigue or boredom.
NIH Renews Funding Through June 2002 for Ultrasonic Tissue Characterization Project
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has renewed funding for the Program Project "Developing Ultrasonic Tissue Characterization Method," a joint research effort between Drexel and Thomas Jefferson Universities and one of the building-block projects of the Drexel-Jefferson Academic Alliance. This Program Project was originally initiated in October 1990 (funding dates: 9/30/91 - 6/30/02) and aims to enhance the ability of diagnostic ultrasound imaging to detect and to characterize tumors in humans. The new funding is for $3.5 million over four years. The Program Project Directors are Dr. J. Reid, and Dr. M. Shankar of Drexel University. Dr. B. Goldberg of Jefferson University serves as the Co-Project Director. Other faculty members who are participating, either as project leaders or co-leaders are: Dr. N. Bilgutay, Dr. F. Cohen, Dr. P. Lewin, Dr. B. Onaral, Dr. A. Petropulu, Dr. O. Tretiak, Dr. M. Wheatley, Dr. N. Herrmann, and Dr. P. Bloomfield, all from Drexel University; Dr. F. Forsberg from Jefferson University; and Dr. K. Donohue from the University of Kentucky.
Alliances & Partnerships
Drexel University Enters into Synergic Partnership with MCP Hahnemann University
In September 1998, Drexel University received an invitation to manage the MCP Hahnemann University. The agreement signed in November 1998 is an initial step toward collaboration in research and academic programs between the two institutions. In April 1999, Drexel University agreed to manage MCP Hahnemann University for two more years. Major collaborative efforts are focused on neuroengineering, cardiovascular engineering, cellular tissue engineering, complex physiological systems, minimally invasive surgery, biosensors, and bioinformatics. The Drexel-MCPHU Research Synergies Award Program was initiated in 1999. Out of 30 awards made in 1999, 2000, and 2001, 20 awards were granted to BIOMED faculty. The two institutions are contemplating a merger in the summer of 2002.
Biocomplexity Project Integrates Research at Drexel and MCP Hahnemann Universities
The Biocomplexity demonstration project has well begun and is under the direction of Dr. Yasha Kresh, Professor of Cardiothoracic Control at MCP Hahnemann University, and Dr. Banu Onaral, H.H. Sun Professor and Director of BIOMED at Drexel University. With total sponsor funding in the amount of $613,570 from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Air Force Research Laboratory, the project aims to implement a 'telemic' remote-control high-resolution digital microscopy system for visualizing and monitoring the complex dynamics of live-cell network assembly and function. The system enables a shared (client-server mode) observatory for studying the evolution and adaptation of tissue organization by remotely accessing and controlling the experimental preparation using the very high speed/next generation Internet networking technology and interfaces that are under development by the Pegasus project. The Cellular Observatory phase demonstrates the concept of a distributed 'collaboratory' (i.e., 'virtual') and multidisciplinary research environment without walls and has recently been completed. For information on the next phase of the project, please visit: www.biomed.drexel.edu
Drexel University and Coriell Institute for Medical Research Jointly Launch Bioinformatics Initiative
The Coriell Institute for Medical Research and Drexel University have jointly launched the Bioinformatics Initiative. The agreement to establish the Calhoun-Coriell Chair Professorship in Bioinformatics was finalized in February 1998. The search for a chair professor is continuing.
Drexel and Jefferson Universities Establish Academic Alliance and Collaborative Research
The Drexel-Jefferson Academic Alliance was formalized in October 1997 to diversify their joint research portfolio and to initiate joint academic programs. The Drexel-Jefferson Research Seed-Grant program for collaborative research received jointly submitted proposals from a total of 75 faculty members from Drexel and Jefferson Universities. Fourteen projects were funded in the first year of the program. Major collaborative efforts are focused on biomedical ultrasound, biomaterials and tissue engineering, biosensors and drug delivery.
Research Centers & Institutes
Dr. Peter Lewin Directs the Founding of the Ultrasound Research and Education Center
The Biomedical Ultrasound Research and Education Center was founded under the direction of Dr. Peter Lewin, Professor in BIOMED and Electrical and Computer Engineering. This center will play a strategic role in advancing biomedical ultrasound research. It will also provide the educational resources needed to train those students and researchers interested in participating in future ultrasound research and innovations, such as diagnostic ultrasound imaging, which is now used in almost all medical fields and is fast becoming the preferred imaging modality in a variety of clinical situations.
Dr. Cato Laurencin Leads the Formation of the Ben Franklin Technology Center of Excellence for Tissue Engineering
The Ben Franklin Technology Center of Excellence for Tissue Engineering has been formed under the leadership of Dr. Cato Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D, Helen I. Moorehead Professor in Chemical Engineering and BIOMED. He is assisted by associate directors Dr. Frank Ko, Professor in Materials Engineering and BIOMED, and Dr. Mohamed Attawia, Research Associate Professor in Chemical Engineering and at MCP Hahnemann University. The Tissue Engineering Center is dedicated to the development of a new family of absorbable polymeric scaffolds for use in musculoskeletal tissue regeneration. The center also works with the medical industry to develop materials for drug delivery, as well as advanced biomaterials systems.
Dr. Mahmoud El-Sherif Directs the Establishment of the Fiber Optics and Photonics Manufacturing Engineering Center
The Ben Franklin Center of Excellence in Fiber Optics and Photonics Manufacturing Engineering has been established under the direction of Dr. Mahmoud El-Sherif, Research Professor in Materials, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and BIOMED. Other centers under development include the Biomedical Optics, the Neurocontrol, and the Cellular Tissue Engineering Centers [tentative titles].
Dr. Kambiz Pourrezaei Plays Major Role in Establishment of Regional Nanotechnology Institute
Dr. Kambiz Pourrezaei has been a major player in the effort to establish a regional Nanotechnology Institute. Along with Dr. David Luzzi, Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Pourrezaei co-authored the proposal for this project, which received a $10.5 million grant over three years. The proposal was submitted to the Pennsylvania Technology Investment Authority (PTIA) in collaboration with Dr. Barry Stein, Executive Vice President of the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/SEP). The new Institute will bring tremendous opportunities to Drexel faculty and students from various colleges and departments across the University. A major impetus of the Institute will be to explore nanotechnologies that can be deployed in biomedical and pharmaceutical applications. Main research and development thrust areas include nano-biosensors, drug delivery, cellular tissue engineering, and nanoprobes.
Professorships & Faculty Searches
Dr. Beard Honored at BIOMED Ceremony with a Professorship in His Name
Dr. Richard Beard, Professor Emeritus of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Biomedical Engineering, was honored with a professorship in his name at the BIOMED Commencement and Recognition Ceremony on June 12, 1999. Dr. Peter Lewin, Professor in BIOMED and Electrical and Computer Engineering, has been appointed as the first R. B. Beard Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Dr. Jaron Named First Calhoun Distinguished Professor for Engineering in Medicine
Dr. Dov Jaron, Professor in BIOMED and Electrical Engineering, has been named the first Calhoun Distinguished Professor for Engineering in Medicine.
Dr. Onaral Named First H.H. Sun Professor of Biomedical and Electrical Engineering
Dr. Banu Onaral, Professor in BIOMED and Electrical and Computer Engineering, has been named the first H.H. Sun Professor of Biomedical and Electrical Engineering.
Coriell Institute for Medical Research and Drexel Jointly Endow Chair Professorship
The Coriell Institute for Medical Research and Drexel University have jointly endowed the Calhoun-Coriell Chair Professorship in Functional Bioinformatics and Computational Biomedicine. A joint search for a chair professor is continuing.
Dr. Lelkes Installed as First Calhoun Chair Professor in Cellular Tissue Engineering
The search for a chair professor for the Endowed Calhoun Chair Professorship in Cellular Tissue Engineering has concluded. Dr. Peter Lelkes has been installed as the first Calhoun Chair Professor in Cellular Tissue Engineering. The search for Calhoun Chair Professorships in Biosensors and Neuroengineering is ongoing.
Four New Faculty Members Welcomed to BIOMED
The search for four new faculty members has been finalized. Drs. Ryszard Lec, Fred Allen, Kenneth Barbee, and Karen Moxon have joined the BIOMED faculty. Dr. Lec is building the biosensors area and is establishing the Microsensor Research Laboratory, while Dr. Allen will lead the Orthopedic Tissue Engineering Laboratory. Dr. Barbee is developing the area of cellular cardiovascular engineering, and Dr. Moxon is building the Neurocontrol Laboratory. Her expertise is in neuroengineering.
Academic Programs & Enrollment
Undergraduate Biomedical Engineering Program Receives Favorable ABET Review
The undergraduate Biomedical Engineering (BME) program was favorably reviewed by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). This accreditation recommendation comes two years ahead of the graduation of the inaugural class of Biomedical Engineering majors and attests to the excellence and unique strengths of the curriculum that the BIOMED faculty has conceived and implemented. Dr. William Freedman and Dr. Donald McEachron, BIOMED Associate Directors, ably and effectively spearheaded the Biomedical Engineering self-study team. We express our sincere gratitude to them and to all the faculty, students, and staff who contributed to this successful outcome. Special thanks are also due to Dr. Richard Weggel, who has led the university-wide ABET review with wisdom, competence and patience, and to Dr. Nihat Bilgutay, who has always been a "Best Friend of Biomed," generously lending us advice and support throughout the self-study and the review process.
Undergraduate Biomedical Engineering Program at the Head of the Class
Among all incoming engineering classes at Drexel University, the BIOMED undergraduates outperformed collectively all other Drexel engineering undergraduates in terms of overall grade point averages and SAT scores. The high caliber of the incoming BIOMED undergraduate students has helped significantly in propelling the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science, and Health Systems to its recent level of success and accreditation.
Percentage of Women in Undergraduate BIOMED Program Equals Percentage in US Population
The incoming class of BIOMED undergraduate students included a larger number of women than men, resulting in a ratio of 51% female to 49% male. This female to male ratio is approximately equal to that of the general US population and is quite significant, since it substantially exceeds that of any other engineering undergraduate program at Drexel.
BIOMED Adds New Academic Programs and Experiences Large Increase in Enrollment
In addition to its existing MS and PhD level graduate programs in Biomedical Engineering and in Biomedical Science, the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems initiated a new undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree program in Biomedical Engineering jointly with the College of Engineering in the fall of 1998. The School of Biomedical Engineering welcomed 60 Biomedical Engineering undergraduates in the fall 1999 class. The current undergraduate enrollment in Biomedical Engineering is 205 students. A new undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree program in Health Systems and Technology has also been developed in partnership with the College of Evening and Professional Studies.
The faculty members of the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems are recognized by their peers as leaders in their profession. Many of them have been elected fellows, which is the highest rank bestowed by professional societies and organizations, typically corresponding to three per cent of their membership.
Dr. Bruce A. Eisenstein - Founding Fellow, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Dr. Frank Ferrone - Fellow, American Physical Society
Dr. Leonard Finegold - Fellow, American Physical Society
Dr. Richard Foulds - Fellow, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE); Fellow, Rehabilitation Engineering Society of North America (RESNA)
Dr. Eli Fromm - Fellow, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE); Founding Fellow, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE); Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
Dr. Leon Hrebien - Fellow, Aerospace Medical Association
Dr. Dov Jaron - Founding Fellow, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE); Fellow, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Dr. Frank Ko - Fellow, Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE)
Dr. Cato Laurencin - Fellow, American Institute for Medical & Biological Engineering (AIMBE)
Dr. Peter Lewin - Fellow, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE); Fellow, Acoustical Society of America; Fellow, American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine; Fellow, Polish Society of Ultrasound In Medicine
Dr. Donald McEachron - Fellow and Founding Member, International Behavioral Neuroscience Society
Dr. Banu Onaral - Founding Fellow, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE); Fellow, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE); Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
Dr. John ReidFounding Fellow, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE); Fellow, Acoustical Society of America; Fellow, American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering; Fellow, American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine
Dr. Arye Rosen - Fellow, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Dr. Oleh Tretiak - Fellow, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE)
Dr. Margaret Wheatley - Fellow, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE)
Memorial Funds & Gifts
Gertrude Graefenstein Memorial Fund
In memory of the life of Gertrude Graefenstein, her family has set up the Gertrude Graefenstein Memorial Fund to provide support for BIOMED students. Gert, who passed away on New Year's Eve (one day shy of her 86th birthday), was very special to many of us, as she mentored (and mothered) many of our students. Her family's gesture will ensure that she lives on and continues to be part of our community in spirit. Should you wish to contribute to the Gertrude Graefenstein Memorial Fund, please address your donation to:
Gertrude Graefenstein Memorial Fund
School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems
3141 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104