Carnegie Mellon University

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US News ranking

In the recently released U.S. News & World Report (USNWR) rankings report, the Carnegie Mellon Biomedical Engineering Department is ranked a top 17 program for graduate-level biomedical engineering in the U.S. The Department is part of the top-4 ranked College of Engineering, and saw a jump in its USNWR rankings for a second year in a row, a testament to the department’s commitment to innovation and excellence in its graduate education and research.


Profs. Christopher Bettinger, Kris Dahl, and Jessica Zhang have been elected to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE)’s College of Fellows, Class of 2020. The fellowship is an honorific designation, and fellows are expected to contribute to AIMBE’s critical mission to advance excellence and advocate for the medical and biological engineering fields. Check out the details.


BME PhD students, Anna Kalmykov and Daniel San Roman (advised by Prof. Tzahi Cohen-Karni), won 1st and 3rd place respectively at this year's McGowan Scientific Retreat held on March 9th and 10th. Anna’s poster titled "Organ-on-e-chip: Three Dimensional Self-Rolled Biosensor Array for Electrical Interrogations of Electrogenic Spheroids" competed in the Tissue Engineering category. Daniel’s poster titled "Functionalized Out-of-Plane Graphene Microelectrode Arrays for Sensitive Biomolecule Sensing" competed in the Medical Devices category.


BME PhD student, Piyumi Wijesekara Kankanange (advised by Prof. Charlie Ren), won a 2nd place at the Regenerative Medicine Technology Pitch Competition at this year's McGowan Scientific Retreat held on March 9th and 10th. The title of her technology is ‘Engineering Swimming Airway Organoids for Airway Disease Diagnosis and Therapeutic Screening’.

rebecca taylor

Prof. Rebecca Taylor received National Science Foundation CAREER Award to support her research on nanostructures made using an artificially synthesized DNA-mimicking polymer. The goal of the project is to understand how complex nanostructures can be built with a synthetic DNA-mimic and how the solvent and chemical modifications relate to the resulting form of the structures. See further details.


Prof. Jana Kainerstorfer has delivered a plenary talk at this year’s SPIE Photonics West Conference which took place on February 1-6, 2020 in San Francisco, CA. Prof. Kainerstorfer presented her research in the Neurotechnologies Plenary Session on noninvasive monitoring of intracranial pressure and neurovascular coupling. Annually the conference is attended by more than 22,000 people being the premier event for the photonics and laser communities. Professionals from all over the world come to hear cutting-edge research, find the latest products and services, and network with thousands of other like-minded individuals. Check out the details.

phd students

Congratulations to BME PhD students, Jacqueline Scott (advised by Prof. Keith Cook) and Wai Hoe Ng (advised by Prof. Charlie Ren) who won 1st place in clinical and 2nd place in basic categories respectively at the American Heart Association’s 28th Annual Fellows Research Day (FRD) that took place on January 17, 2020. FRD is a conference designed to allow young investigators the experience of presenting their own work to their peers in a professional environment. The event highlights the importance of cardiovascular related research and encourages beginning scientists to pursue these types of careers.

student awards

Congratulations to three BME students for being selected as the recipients of a Presidential Fellowships (Jaci Bliley and Zhengxiang Cai) and a Neil and Jo Bushnell Fellowship in Engineering (Anna Kalmykov) by the College of Engineering at Carnegie Mellon. Your awards reflect your outstanding work in Biomedical Engineering. Good luck with your future accomplishments!

(left to right Jaci Bliley, Zhengxiang Cai, Anna Kalmykov)


Prof. Robert Murphy has been elevated to fellow status in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the world's largest technical professional organization. Fellow status is a distinction reserved for select members who have demonstrated extraordinary accomplishments in an IEEE field of interest. The IEEE cited Murphy "for contributions to machine learning algorithms for biological images." See further details.


CMU Alumni, Doug Bernstein (BME/MechE) and Jamie Quinterno (Business and History), founders of PECA Labs, named Forbes 30 under 30 for 2020. The company manufactures cardiovascular devices for children with heart defects that can be adjusted without invasive surgery, instead of requiring multiple open-heart surgeries over the years to replace devices as children grow. Check out the details.


Prof. Aryn Gittis has been awarded a grant from The Michael J. Fox Foundation to advance her research on new treatment methods for Parkinson’s disease. Under the grant, Gittis will collaborate with the University of Minnesota’s Jing Wang to test electrical stimulation protocols. Check out the details


BME faculty Prof. Marlene Behrmann has been awarded the Fred Kavli Distinguished Career Contributions award.The Fred Kavli Distinguished Career award honors senior cognitive neuroscientists for their distinguished career, leadership and mentoring in the field of cognitive neuroscience. This award is sponsored by the Kavli Foundation. Behrmann will deliver the Fred Kavli Distinguished Career Contributions Lecture on Saturday, March 14, 2020 in Boston, Mass. See further details.


BME Prof. Elizabeth Wayne gives her Brief but Spectacular talk on the power of images in science and life. In her career, this means not only innovating new ways of showing people what happens in the body, but also, being a minority woman in the sciences with the importance of representation and remaining a role model for others.  Check out the details.


BME PhD student Saigopalakrishna "Sai" Yerneni, co-advised by Profs. Phil Campbell and Lee Weiss is the recipient of 2019 Biofabrication Young Investigator Award presented annually by the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine. This competitive award is designed to recognize outstanding achievements by one individual of the biofabrication community (internationally) who are in the early stages of career. Sai will receive the award at the International Society for Biofabrication 2019 Annual Meeting during October 20-22nd in Columbus, Ohio.


BME students Jiaming Cao and Rachel Niu named two of six Carnegie Mellon Neuroscience Institute Presidential Fellows. Jiaming is co-advised by Profs. Jana Kainerstorfer and Pulkit Grover, and Rachel is advised by Prof. Bin He. The Carnegie Mellon Neuroscience Institute Presidential Fellowship provides support to six outstanding graduate students, giving students and their faculty mentors critical financial security and flexibility that allows them to develop impactful research and enjoy an enlightening educational experience.


BME PhD student Erica Comber and her advisor Prof. Keith Cook published a first-of-its-kind paper that outlines several ways one could fabricate tissue-based lungs from scratch for lung disease patients. The paper discusses current biofabrication methods that could be applied to these lungs, current progress toward differentiated pulmonary stem cells, and how to design a functional, manufacturable lung. See further details


BME Prof. Jana Kainerstorfer received the 2019 College of Engineering George Tallman Ladd Award in recognition of research, professional accomplishments, and potential. Her research is focused on developing imaging methods for improving early diagnosis and treatment of disease. Current projects include development of a hand held device for breast cancer imaging as well as cerebral hemodynamic monitoring in traumatic brain injury.


BME Trustee Professor and Department Head, Dr. Bin He received the 2019 IEEE EMBS William J. Morlock Award for significant contributions to bioelectrical technology and neuroengineering by developing innovative electromagnetic sensing, electromagnetic imaging, and neural interfacing.


Erin Kavanagh (BME Minor, Class of 2019) has received a 2019 Fulbright Award. The U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs sponsors the Fulbright U.S. Student Program to "increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.” At Carnegie Mellon, Erin has been involved with research in Prof. Keith Cook's lab, which is working to develop artificial lung devices. Through the Fulbright Award program, Erin will be continuing her artificial lung research in Germany. Check out the details.


Three BME faculty, Drs. Grover, Chamanzar, and Kainerstorfer, co-lead a DARPA project to develop a novel non-invasive neural interface that can be used as a wearable device. This neural interface will be capable of both recording and stimulating the brain’s dynamic activity with high temporal and spatial resolution. See further details.

barb shinn-cunningham

BME faculty Prof. Barb Shinn-Cunningham has been named the 2019 recipient of the Helmholtz Rayleigh Interdisciplinary Silver Medal in Psychological and Physiological Acoustics and Speech Communication "for understanding the cognitive and neural bases of speech perception in complex acoustic environments." The Silver Medal is presented to individuals for contributions to the advancement of science, engineering, or human welfare through the application of acoustic principles, or through research accomplishment in acoustics. Check out the details.


BME faculty Prof. Marlene Behrmann has been elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences, joining the world's most accomplished scholars, scientists, writers, artists and civic leaders. The American Academy is one of the country's oldest learned societies and independent policy research centers, convening leaders from the academic, business and government sectors to respond to the challenges facing the nation and the world. See further details.


Profs. Rosalyn Abbott and Rebecca Taylor have been named 2018-2019 Wimmer Faculty Fellows. The fellowships are designed for junior faculty members interested in enhancing their teaching through concentrated work designing and exploring a new pedagogical approach.


BME MS student Khulood Al Ali and her team won the 3rd place (200 participants and 74 finalists) in the DreamNeom competition which is a collaboration between Misk & NEOM, that brings together Misk fellows to tackle the challenges faced by NEOM with innovative solutions.

Teddy Cai

ChemE/BME student Teddy Cai has been selected to participate in the National Institutes of Health Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program. The program is based on the British system, in which students perform doctoral research without required formal courses other than those students choose to take in relationship to their own interests. Students selected for admission to the program have already developed a passion for science through engagement in summer, job related, or undergraduate research programs.


BME Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow Sossena Wood and her research are featured in NBC News. New online video “Discovering You: Engineering Your World” highlights the careers of engineers in a variety of sectors and offers insights to the next generation of students. Sossena is working on noninvasive multi-modal neuroimaging. This research will focus on understanding the impacts of neuronal coupling in patients with neurological damage and/or diseases.

Byron Yu

Prof. Byron Yu and his postdoc João Semedo found that communication between brain areas occurs through an information bottleneck, which they've termed a "communication subspace." Understanding these communication subspaces could have many implications for understanding how the coordination between brain areas gives rise to brain function. Check out the details.

Adam Feinberg

Prof. Adam Feinberg has been elected to the Leadership Advisory Committee for the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI). The LAC advises BioFabUSA related to policies and strategic guidance concerning technology and research priorities, objectives, and content of research programs, policies and strategic guidance concerning the education and workforce development programs, and the strategic direction of BioFabUSA.

Sai Yereni

BME PhD student Saigopalakrishna "Sai" Yerneni, co-advised by Profs. Phil Campbell and Lee Weiss, is the recipient of a competitive 2019 Young Investigator Award and Scholarship from the International Society for Extracellular Vesicles (ISEV) for his work on extracellular vesicles in host-pathogen interactions. As a part of the award, he will be giving a talk at the ISEV 2019 annual meeting in Kyoto, Japan. 

Cohen-Karni and Whitehead

Congratulations to Profs. Itzhaq Cohen-Karni and Kathryn Whitehead, who have been awarded the 2019 Dean’s Early Career Fellowships for cutting-edge innovations in their fields and outstanding contributions to the college and university. Dean’s Early Career Fellowships are awarded to untenured faculty members who have been nominated by their department heads and then selected to receive the fellowship after review and discussion of the nomination package by the CIT Review Committee.

Pulkit Grover

A team led by Pulkit Grover, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Biomedical Engineering, created more reliable and efficient deep neural networks called PolyDot coding to reduce errors and increase processing speed. The work was supported by a grant from the NSF WiFiUS program, and NSF CAREER award. See further details.