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Volume 2, Issue 1 - January 2005

Welcome to the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems Newsletter. Here you will find a periodic collection of news and event highlights pertaining to our School.

Newsletter Archive
 Volume 3, Issue 1 (January 2006) 
 Volume 2, Issue 2 (June 2005) 
 Volume 2, Issue 1 (January 2005) 
 Volume 1, Issue 2 (September 2004) 
 Volume 1, Issue 1 (March 2004) 

Current Highlights


Student Accomplishments

Zachary Forbes (Advisor: Kenneth A. Barbee), Stephanie Horvat (Advisor: Michael Bouchard), and Linda Zhu (Advisors: Michael Weingarten and Elisabeth Papazoglou), all graduate students in BIOMED, were each recipients of a Grants for Research Impact at Drexel (GRID) Critical Research Fellowship for their joint project titled "Nanoencapsulated Live Influenza Virus Vaccine Development." This award is to support graduate students whose participation in a research program could be instrumental to its success, but whose support to work on the program is jeopardized by a funding hiatus.

Lauren Ciccarelli, a 2004 Drexel biomedical engineering graduate who is working on her post-graduate degree at the University, was featured in the November 30, 2004 article titled "Material Gains" in Nature.com. The article cited Lauren's appointment to the Philadelphia-based engineering and consulting firm Exponent. To read the article, please visit the web site at the link below:
[http://www.nature.com/news/2004/041122/full/nj7016-532a.html].

Kelleny Oum, graduate student in BIOMED (Advisor: Margaret Wheatley), won the Second Place award at the Biomedical Engineering Alliance and Consortium (BEACON) Conference Symposium on "Bionanotechnology: The World of the Small in Medicine," held October 28, 2004 in Hartford, CT. Out of more than 30 posters submitted by medical students, scientists, business people, and designers covering a variety of biomedical engineering topics, Kelleny Oum won the $300 Second Place award for her poster titled "Ultrasound Contrast Agent Targeted to Malignancies: Optimizing Attachment."

Odelia Mualem Burstein, graduate student in BIOMED (Advisor: Margaret Wheatley), received a travel scholarship funded by The Whitaker Foundation to present her poster titled "Drug Loaded Ultrasound Contrast Agents" at the Seventh Annual New Jersey Symposium on Biomaterials Science Student Poster Competition, held October 20 22, 2004, in New Brunswick, NJ.

Jennifer Vega, undergraduate student in BIOMED (Advisor: Dr. Margaret Wheatley), won third prize in the Outstanding Undergraduate Poster category at the College of Medicine's annual research day, Discovery 2004, for her project titled "Hollow Polymeric Microcapsules Produced with Encapsulated Ammonium Carbamate for Use as Targeted Ultrasound Contrast Agent." This year's event was held on October 6, 2004 on the Queen Lane Medical Campus and showcased basic science and clinical research performed by DuCOM's graduate and medical students, clinicians, and post-doctoral fellows. High school students and undergraduates from local universities also attended and presented their research.


Faculty Accomplishmnts

Dr. Yasha Kresh , Professor in BIOMED and the College of Medicine, served as an Expert P41 Grant Reviewer (Complexity Science and Systems Biology), and a Site-Review Panelist, National Center for Research Resources (NCRR). NCRR, a component of the National Institutes of Health, supports primary research to create and develop critical shared resources, models, and technologies. NCRR funding also provides biomedical researchers with access to diverse shared instrumentation, technologies, basic and clinical research facilities, animal models, genetic stocks, and biomaterials.

Dr. Arye Rosen, Academy Professor of Biomedical and Electrical Engineering, and Dr. Samuel Neff, Associate Professor of Neurosurgery, St. Christopher's Hospital for Children and their team were awarded an NIH grant for their project titled "Permanently Implantable, Intracranial Pressure Sensor." The first year funding is $171,138 and covers the period from December 15, 2004 November 30, 2005.

Dr. Ken Barbee, Associate Professor in BIOMED and Dr. Steve Wrenn (PI), Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, and Dr. Thomas Tulenko at Thomas Jefferson University have received an RO1 grant from NIH for their joint project titled "Cholesterol Nanodomain Formation in Lipid Membranes." The grant is in the amount of $1,054,535 for a period of 5 years.

Drs. Ryszard Lec, Banu Onaral [PI], and Kambiz Pourrezaei, all from the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, and the rest of the joint research team consisting of Dr. Raj Mutharasan (Chemical Engineering), Drs. Wan Shih and Wei-heng Shih (Materials Engineering), and Dr. Richard Rest (Microbiology) and the rest of their team have received funding from the Federal Transit Administration / Department of Transportation for their joint project titled "Piezoelectric Biosensors for Anthrax Detection." The funding is $1.5M over one and half years.

Dr. Banu Onaral, H.H. Sun Professor of Biomedical and Electrical Engineering and Director of the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems met with the joint Drexel University / College of Medicine Board of Trustees on Tuesday, December 14, 2004 at to discuss the present and future state of Biomedical Technology Research & Development at the School. Dr. Onaral also met with and delivered a similar presentation to Dr. Pradip Banerjee, President and CEO of the University City Science Center and Dr. RoseAnn Rosenthal, President and CEO of the Ben Franklin Technology Partners.

Dr. Banu Onaral, H.H. Sun Professor of Biomedical and Electrical Engineering and Director of the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, and a team of researchers have developed a hand-held device that women could use at home to detect breast cancer. The device was featured on November 30, 2004 in several national media, including the Los Angeles Times, New York Newsday, the Miami Herald, and ABC Network News. Dr. Banu Onaral was also featured by The Philadelphia Inquirer as one of the top ten people to watch in the Philadelphia region in 2005 and was the guest of Paula Marantz Cohen on DUTV's The Drexel InterView on Tuesday, January 18, 2005.

Dr. Margaret Wheatley, John M. Reid Professor in BIOMED, was the recipient of a Grants for Research Impact at Drexel (GRIP) Innovation Award for her project titled "Can Ultrasound Contrast Agents Operate Effectively in the Nano Range?" This award is given to support potentially high-reward research for which initial outside support might be difficult to obtain because of the high risk of methodology or hypothesis. The goal of the GRIP awards is to provide the maximum impact upon research at Drexel.

Dr. Margaret Wheatley, John M. Reid Professor in BIOMED, Dr. Elisabeth Papazoglou, Research Associate Professor in BIOMED, and Dr. Peter D. Katsikis, Professor in CoM, were recipients of a Grants for Research Impact at Drexel (GRIP) Synergy Award for their joint project titled "Nanoencapsulated Live Influenza Virus Vaccine Development." This award is given to promote new collaborative research between or among faculty members of different departments. The goal of the GRIP awards is to provide the maximum impact upon research at Drexel.

Dr. Peter Lelkes, Calhoun Chair Professor of Cellular Tissue Engineering in BIOMED, and Dr. Philip Lazarovici (School of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Hebrew University of Jerusalem) received the 2004 Louis and Bessie Stein Family Fellowship, which supports exchanges between Drexel and Israeli universities. This is the second time the pair of researchers has garnered the award. Their continuing project is titled "Engineering a Novel In-vitro Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB) Model for Drug Development and Screening."

Dr. Han C. Ryoo, Assistant Professor in BIOMED, has received SBIR Phase I funding for $100,000 by the Department of the Army (DOA) as a result of a joint research proposal to DOA with InfraScan, Inc. for their project titled "Simultaneous EEG Acquisition and Portable Near Infrared Spectroscopy for Recognition of Traumatic Brain Injury Severity and Outcome Assessments in Far-Forward Military Medical Care." InfraScan, Inc. is a recent spin off of the joint Drexel-Penn Optical Brain Monitoring team, founded to commercialize a hand-held optical hematoma detector. Dr. Ryoo was also a recent recipient of a research grant for $24,000 from Hutchinson Technology, Inc. for his project titled "Comparative Analysis of Oxygen Saturation Between Invasive and Non-Invasive Measures." The goal of this research is to advance the understanding of invasive versus non-invasive measures of oxygen saturation in the brain.

Drs. Han C. Ryoo, Assistant Professor in BIOMED, Leonid Hrebien, Associate Professor in BIOMED and ECE, Hun H. Sun, Professor Emeritus in BIOMED and ECE, and Barry S. Shender, Naval Air Warfare Center-Aircraft Division (NAWCAD), were published in the November 2004 issue of Medical Engineering & Physics for their joint article titled "Quantitative Analysis of Human Consciousness by Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS)."

Dr. Karen Moxon, Assistant Professor in BIOMED, was quoted in the September 22, 2004 issue of NanoBiotech News regarding her research on developing microelectrodes for chronic in-vivo recording of single neurons in the brain as part of a project to develop bio-controlled prosthetics. Dr. Moxon is collaborating on this project with Spire Corporation, which recently received a $400,000 Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (under the NIH Bioengineering Nanotechnology Initiative) to develop nano-porous silicon coatings to enhance the biocompatibility of silicon-based neural electrodes, which may someday be used for biological control of prosthetic devices. A successful Phase I, in which nano-structured silicon surfaces are to be used as neural growth scaffolds, could lead to a Phase II program of as much as $1.2 million.


Major Research Awards and Initiatives

The new Biomedical Technology Entrepreneurship website [WWW.BIOMED.DREXEL.EDU/ENTREPRENEURSHIP] was announced by the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems as part of its commitment to creating a culture of biomedical technology entrepreneurship within the School. The School fosters 'translational research' through a variety of means and resources, including a cadre of "Entrepreneurs in Residence" who facilitate transfer and commercialization of technologies under development in our laboratories. The School will hold its first annual Loring Biomedical Technology Entrepreneurship competition for biomedical engineering students in May 2005 to recognize and reward promising new ideas, concepts, and biomedical technologies developed by students.

InfraScan Inc, a recent spin off the joint Drexel-Penn Optical Brain Monitoring team, founded to commercialize a hand-held optical hematoma detector, was one of seven local life sciences companies selected by BioAdvance, operator of the Biotechnology Greenhouse of Southeastern Pennsylvania, to receive $500,000 in seed funding from BioAdvance's Greenhouse Fund. These funds will help accelerate the development and advance clinical testing of the detector. InfraScan was also selected by the US Navy to submit a proposal for Phase II SBIR funding, as a result of InfraScan's excellent progress during Phase I in developing working prototypes of the hematoma detector. InfraScan's CEO, Dr. Baruch Ben Dor, is a Research Associate Professor in BIOMED and a member of the Optical Brain Monitoring team.

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