Volgenau School of Engineering
George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Bioengineering Undergraduate Research Yields Impressive Opportunities

July 12, 2014

Several students in the Department of Bioengineering have earned impressive summer and post graduation research opportunities. The department prides itself on pairing students with research faculty to put theory into practice early on and thus optimize the learning experience. 
 
Mohammed Ali will be working as an intern at the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, which is part of Children's National Hospital in Washington, D.C. While interning there, Mohammed will be assigned a research project along with an academic program focused on innovation management in a pediatric hospital environment. 
 
Nathan Jordan was awarded an INOVA research summer student grant through INOVA's Neuroscience department on the "Effectiveness of Awake Dorsal Column Stimulator Testing." Nathan will be collecting and statistically analyzing patient data from INOVA's surgeons on the effectiveness of dorsal column stimulator placement through either awake intra-operative testing or general anesthesia testing methods in post-op pain coverage. He will be working with principal investigator Dr. James Leiphart as a continuation of the GMU-INOVA neurosciences research internship.
 
As part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship Program, Kathryn Radom will be interning under the direction of Dr. Lori Schwacke and Dr. Leslie Hart to create a real-time mapping tool for marine mammal stranding events. In particular, they will be focusing on dolphin strandings that occur in response to environmental hazards. In addition to working on the mapping tool, Kathryn will participate in a dolphin health assessment as part of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. At the end of the summer, she will present her work at the NOAA Science and Education Symposium at the main campus of NOAA in Silver Spring, Md.
 
Katrina Nguyen was granted the post baccalaureate Intramural Research-Training Award (post-bac IRTA) at the National Institutes of Health. This program gives recent college graduates who are planning to apply to graduate or professional school an opportunity to spend one or two years performing full-time research. Katrina will be working alongside Dr. Alexxai Kravitz in his lab at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) in the Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Obesity Branch (DEOB). Dr. Kravitz is the investigator of a neuroscience lab that researches feeding, reward, and obesity. 
 
One integral part of connecting our outstanding students with work in laboratory and hospital settings is the relatively small Bioengineering classes and the attention and time our Bioengineering professors dedicate to the students. Also, the departmental website makes an extensive listing of internships and other undergraduate research experiences available for registered Bioengineering students. 
 
Gaining real-world hands-on experience and working with businesses around the area is a valued part of the Mason Bioengineering experience. These opportunities will continue to grow exponentially as the department grows.