Undergraduates apply knowledge to real-world questions during VCU Engineering summer research program

2022 summer REU students
From left to right: (Front row) Aislin West, Isabelle Pummill, Eirian Crocker, Ella Ramamurthy, Ellie Sabalewski, Andrea Sedano (Back row) Brooks Pollard, Kwame Markin, Caroline Rucker and Obitutodike Obnnabugwu

This summer, several students took part in VCU Engineering’s National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) curriculum. The 10-week program runs from May to August and provides engineering students an opportunity to apply their knowledge to real-world research questions. Near the end of the summer, an REU Symposium hosted by Ram Gupta, Ph.D., associate dean for research and graduate affairs, allowed participants to present their research findings to peers and VCU faculty.

Thank you to the students below who presented at the REU Symposium.

Eirian Crocker
PS-ZM1 improves some volumetric injury outcomes despite presence of AGE-modified decellularized muscle matrix
Mentor: Michael McClure, Ph.D.

Obitutodike Nnabugwu
Investigating TGFβ-1 + LAP interactions and activation
Mentor: Christopher Lemmon, Ph.D.

Ella Ramamurthy
Investigating traction forces of breast cancer K14+ leader cells in tumor organoids
Mentor: Priscilla Hwang, Ph.D.

Ellie Sabalewski
The effects of semaphorin 3A on osseointegration in a botox-induced muscle paralysis compromised model
Mentors: Barbara D. Boyan, Ph.D. and D. Joshua Cohen, M.D.

Andrea Sedano
Role of M-CSF and FAK in macrophage response to stiffness
Mentor: Rene Olivares-Navarrete, Ph.D.

Aislin West
miRNA-based therapeutics for the treatment of arthrofibrosis
Mentor: D. Joshua Cohen, M.D.

Congratulations to the students below who completed VCU Engineering’s NSF-funded REU program, and thank you to the mentors who made the experience possible.

Mechanobiology at VCU
Biomedical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering

Mentors: Barbara D. Boyan, Ph.D.; D. Joshua Cohen, M.D.; Henry Donahue, Ph.D.; Rebecca Heise, Ph.D.; Priscilla Hwang, Ph.D. ; Christopher Lemmon, Ph.D.; Michael McClure, Ph.D.; Rene Olivares-Navarrete, Ph.D.; Joao Soares, Ph.D.; John Speich, Ph.D.
Students: Eirian Crocker, Kwame Markin, Obitutodike Obnnabugwu, Brooks Pollard, Isabelle Pummill, Ella Ramamurthy, Caroline Rucker, Ellie Sabalewski, Andrea Sedano, Aislin West

End-User Programming of Cyber-Physical Systems
Computer Science

Mentors: Kosta Damevski, Ph.D.; Bridget McInnes, Ph.D.; David C. Shepherd, Ph.D.
Students: Christopher Egersdoerfer, Joshua Foster, Simone Levy, Cora Lewis, Aparna Roy, Dawit Tekeste, Rebecca Trinh, Rachel William

Pharmaceutical Engineering

Mentors: Sandro da Rocha, Ph.D.; Thomas Roper, Ph.D.
Students: Adam Chin, Morgan Cooper, Hallie Hutsell, Jenille Jade, Mariam Obaji, Luis Onofre, Cimone Richardson, Gonzalez Roario, Keena Small, Rafael Jocelyn Trapp, Malak Yasin 

Biomedical Engineering

Mentor: Priscilla Hwang, Ph.D.
Student: Trey Redman

Chemical and Life Science Engineering

Mentor: Frank Gupton, Ph.D.
Students: Nick Stephan, Gwendolyn Verity

Mentor: Christina Tang, Ph.D.
Student: Lazaro Camero Ruiz

Computer Engineering

Mentor: David C. Shepherd, Ph.D.
Students: Chandler Barfield, Haley Currence, David Ferrufino, Gabriella Graziani, Boden Kahn, Miles Poliela, Logan Schorr

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Mentor: Vitaliy Avrutin, Ph.D.
Student: You Li

Irregular Bladder Shapes Identified with Ultrasound in a Subgroup of Women with Overactive Bladder

Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering
Mentor: John Speich, Ph.D.
Student: Abraham Alattar

Photos from the August REU Symposium are available on VCU Engineer’s Flickr.