Carnegie Mellon University

2018 News

  1. Daniel Suma was selected by the College of Engineering to receive the Bradford and Diane Smith Graduate Fellowship in recognition of his outstanding work as PhD student at the College of Engineering and potential for future success. Daniel received his BS in chemical engineering from the University of Notre Dame, and MS in biomedical engineering from the University of Minnesota. Daniel’s PhD research involves developing noninvasive brain-computer interface.
  2. Xiaodan (Rachel) Niu was selected by the College of Engineering to receive the Liang Ji-Dian Graduate Fellowship in recognition of her outstanding work as PhD student at CIT and potential for future success. Rachel received her BS in biomedical engineering from the University of Rochester, and MS in biomedical engineering from the University of Minnesota. Rachel’s PhD research involves investigation of mechanisms of ultrasound neuromodulation. 
  3. Prof. Aryn Gittis has been named a recipient of the Janett Rosenberg Trubatch Career Development Award from the Society for Neuroscience. Prof. Gittis’ work focuses on teasing apart the complex neural circuitry of the basal ganglia, an area of the brain that plays a role in movement, learning, motivation and reward. Her work uses new technologies, including optogenetics, to determine how changes and breakdowns in these circuits result in movement disorders like Parkinson’s disease. Check out the details.
  4. In this study, BME PhD student Brian Jeon, advised by Profs. Kuhlman and Chase, investigated how neurons in the visual system tune to visual features of a stimulus over time.  Using two-photon microscopy, Brian tracked neurons in the primary visual cortex of a mouse over several weeks while the mouse viewed different images of oriented bars.  Although the individual protein components that make up a neuron are stable for only hours or days, Brian found that the overall tuning of the neuron to visual stimuli remained stable for weeks.  This suggests that stable perception is actively maintained through fixed tuning properties of neurons. See further details.
  5. Former PhD student Dr. Jian Zhang has been selected by the journal Molecular Biology of the Cell as the 2018 Paper of the Year Awardee for his paper entitled “Centrosome defines the rear of cells during mesenchymal migration”. The study, conducted in the lab of Prof. Yu-li Wang, challenges a widely held view that centrosome defines the front of a migrating cell.
  6. PhD candidate David Li, with his advisor Prof. Yu-li Wang, published a paper in Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. entitled “Coordination of Cell Migration Mediated by Site-Dependent Cell-Cell Contact”. The paper described the discovery of cellular contact following, the ability of migrating cells to follow the tail of a neighbor upon contact. The finding complements the long-held understanding of contact inhibition, where head-on collisions cause cells to migrate away from each other.
  7. Prof. Kathryn Whitehead has been awarded a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s New Innovator award. The award is part of the NIH’s High-Risk, High-Reward Research program, which supports ideas that have the potential for great impact in areas relevant to the NIH mission. With this award, Prof. Whitehead will genetically engineer the human cells in breastmilk for infant disease therapy — something no one has ever done before. Check out the details.
  8. Prof. Tom Mitchell named CMU’s Interim Dean of School of Computer Science. Prof. Mitchell is the E. Fredkin University Professor of Machine Learning and Computer Science, and also a Professor of Biomedical Engineering, who has pioneered machine learning and AI in the world. Prof. Mitchell was the founding Department Head of Machine Learning and pioneered computational modeling to predict brain activation patterns associated with nouns. He is a Member of National Academy of Engineering. Click here for details. 
  9. Prof. Ge Yang and Prof. Jessica Zhang recent were awarded an NSF research grant to study how materials are transported in complex neurite networks of neurons. The investigators are examining critical questions in neuroscience using engineering approaches: How do neurons interact? How do they communicate with each other? How do they function properly?  Using novel engineering models, methods, and software, Yang and Zhang are studying how essential materials, such as chemical signals and cell parts made in the nucleus, are transported within the complex geometry of neurons and creating simulations that represent this transport system. See further details here
  10. Biomedical Engineering Department is proud to share its excitement about the 2018 Carnegie Mellon Forum on Biomedical Engineering held on September 21, 2018. We had about 300 participants from CMU, University of Pittsburgh and 21 other institutions attended this year’s Forum. The Forum consisted of the keynote and plenary lectures presented by the national leaders and up to 100 poster presentations from authors affiliated with 33 institutions. Next year’s Forum will be held on September 20, 2019. Save the date! 
  11. Prof. Bin He has been elected as the Chair of the International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering, which consists of ~150 individuals in the world who have made significant contributions to the BME field. The academy is affiliated with the International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering (IFMBE).
  12. Prof. Jana Kainerstorfer invited to speak at 2019 German-American Frontiers of Engineering Symposium, organized by the US National Academy of Engineering in collaboration with the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.
  13. Dr. Aryn Gittis, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences and Biomedical Engineering, was named a finalist for the Science & PINS Prize for Neuromodulation for her discovery of new therapeutic targets for Parkinson’s disease. Check out the details.
  14. BME Prof. Byron Yu and his collaborator from the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Matthew Smith, were awarded an R01 grant entitled "Modulating Neural Population Interactions between Cortical Areas" from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). It's a 5 year grant to study how visual cortex and frontal cortex interact during vision and perception.
  15. BME Prof. Xi (Charlie) Ren and his group are moving the field of organ engineering forward by combining developmental biology with organ engineering. One day his technology could help thousands of patients with end-stage lung disease breathe easier. Click here for details.
  16. Prof. Yu-li Wang has been elected as a member Academician of Life Sciences in the Academia Sinica, the national academy established in China in 1928 and relocated to Taiwan in 1949.  The honorary lifetime privilege is held by around 280 leading researchers in the areas of Mathematics and Physical Sciences, Engineering Sciences, Life Sciences, and Humanities and Social Sciences. Click here to learn more.
  17. Ph.D. student Qinle Ba, advised by Prof. Ge Yang, published an article in the journal Cell Reports titled “Whole-cell scale dynamic organization of lysosomes revealed by spatial statistical analysis”. Findings in her study reveal how lysosomes are dynamically organized across the entire intracellular space and provide insights into how cells organize their organelles and mediate their interactions. See further details here.
  18. BME Prof. Tzahi Cohen-Karni has been named a 2018 Young Innovator in Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering. As part of the award, Cohen-Karni and his team published a research paper “Graphene microelectrode arrays for electrical and optical measurements of human stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes” in the Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering journal. Click this link to learn details.
  19. BME Prof. Phil Campbell has been selected as the 2018 College of Engineering Benjamin Richard Teare Teaching Award winner for his excellence in teaching. His ability to teach students to both understand and apply physiology to solve real-world medical problems have impacted not only biomedical engineering students, but many other students from across the CMU campus for the last 17 years.
  20. BME Prof. Chris Bettinger and his group designed a novel biomaterial to fabricate neural probes that mimic the mechanical properties of tissues in the nervous system. Bioinspired hydrogel-based neural probes can record from tissue without damage or movement, which means that it’s now possible to record a stronger and more accurate signal from neurons firing in the brain. (read the article)
  21. Last Sunday BME held Diploma Ceremony. We're so proud of all the graduates! All of us in Carnegie Mellon will be watching with pride as you make an impact on the world. Congratulations and good luck in your future endeavors! Check out more pictures on BME’s Facebook page.
  22. BME students presented in the University-wide symposium for undergraduate research where engineering students from all departments unveil posters, presentations, and demos on their research. Click here for more details.
  23. Biomedical Engineering Prof. Chris Bettinger and collaborators published an article in Science, entitled “Polymeric peptide pigments with sequence-encoded properties”, where the researchers helped contribute to the discovery that subtle changes in the peptide sequence could produce synthetic melanin pigments that chemically and physically mimic the properties of natural melanin pigments. (read the article)
  24. CMU College of Engineering launched a major education facility - Tech Spark, which is the cornerstone of CIT's maker ecosystem, an integrated set of resources including simulation cluster, 3D printers, rapid prototyping equipment, electronic fabrication facilities, etc.
  25. The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) has announced the induction of Keith Cook, Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University to its College of Fellows. Dr. Cook was nominated and elected by peers and members of the College of Fellows for significant contributions to the development of artificial lungs.
  26. Researchers in Prof. Adam Feinberg's lab have developed a low-cost 3-D bioprinter by modifying a standard desktop 3-D printer, releasing the breakthrough designs as open source. They have also published a paper in HardwareX that contains complete instructions for printing and installing the syringe-based, large volume extruder to modify any typical, commercial plastic printer. (read the article).
  27. Prof. Jana Kainerstorfer, her Ph.D. student Alexander Ruesch, and collaborators from the University of Pittsburgh have been developing a non-invasive way for doctors to monitor intracranial pressure using an approach based on near-infrared spectroscopy. (read the article)
  28. BME Department Head Dr. Bin He is developing a novel method of treating brain disorders by using ultrasonic waves and EEG imaging to noninvasively trigger electrical signals in the brain. To perform this research, Dr. He recently was awarded with a $2.4M NIH BRAIN Initiative Grant to develop this technology. (read the article)
  29. BME Profs. Steven Chase and Byron Yu published a paper in Nature Neuroscience, "Learning by neural reassociation", where they used a brain-computer interface to understand how neural activity reorganizes to support learning. They find that the brain repurposes existing neural activity patterns to perform new tasks. Their findings help explain how learning can proceed so quickly -- and why it is sometimes incomplete. This is another work by departmental faculty to delineate the mechanisms of brain using neuroengineering technology. (read the article)
  30. BME Ph.D. student Sahil Rastogi, advised by Prof. Tzahi Cohen-Karni, won the first place for the best poster award in the Tissue Engineering category at McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine Annual Retreat. The topic of Sahil’s poster was "Graphene-based Biocompatible and Transparent Micro-Electrode Arrays for Simultaneous Electrical and Optical Measurements of Electrogenic Cells".
  31. BME Ph.D. student Sara Abdollahi, advised by Prof. Adam Feinberg, and other Carnegie Mellon researchers have developed a novel approach to optimizing soft material 3-D printing. The method combines expert judgment with an optimization algorithm to enable high-fidelity printing of soft materials and devices. (read the article)
  32. As of February 1, new Department Head of Biomedical Engineering Dr. Bin He began his appointment. Dr. He succeeds Yu-li Wang, the R. Mehrabian Professor of Biomedical Engineering, who has served as Department Head since 2008. Dr. Bin He is an internationally renowned scholar, and has made leadership contributions to biomedical engineering research and graduate education. (read the article)