Carnegie Mellon University
May 21, 2019

Erin Kavanagh Named Fulbright Scholar

By Heidi Opdyke

Jocelyn Duffy

Recently graduated senior Erin Kavanagh is on of six Carnegie Mellon University students to win a Fulbright award this year.

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." Winners are selected based on a number of factors, including their proposal, called a "Statement of Grant Purpose," academic record and personal qualifications.

Kavanagh, will be conducting research on artificial lung devices in Germany, a pioneer in creating medical devices. She's had previous experience in Germany through studying abroad and said the Fulbright will allow her to learn about different research methods.

"Germany as a country does not support in-vivo testing, and as a result is much more specialized with in-vitro testing for medical devices," said Kavanagh, referring to procedures performed within a living organism. "I hope to bring knowledge from in-vivo testing in my current lab to the lab in Germany, and learn valuable skills from them about perfecting in-vitro testing of medical devices."

At Carnegie Mellon, Kavanagh has been involved with research in Keith Cook's lab in the Biomedical Engineering Department, which is working to develop artificial lung devices. She said she attributes much of her success to the passion and support from professors, the advice of her adviser and mentorship of her research group.

"CMU has always offered amazing opportunities to perform research," said Kavanagh, who has received support for Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships, Small Undergraduate Research Grants and opportunities to research and study abroad from the International Relations Office.

After completing the Fulbright, Kavanagh said she plans to pursue an advanced degree related to the medical field.