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

Awards and Achievements

Bioengineering faculty members, recognized as the best in their fields, conduct valuable research. Their funding sources include a variety of federal agencies, as well as grants from business and industry.

Giorgio Ascoli receives 5-year NIH R01 grant “Generation and Description of Neuronal Morphology and Connectivity”

Giorgio AscoliUniversity Professor and Center for Neural Informatics Director Giorgio Ascoli was awarded $1.8M in science funding from the National Institute of Neural Disorders and Stroke. This multidisciplinary project will substantially expand ongoing efforts to shed light on the role of specific neuron types and their interactions in impairments of memory formation and retrieval. This research is nicely aligned with the first goal of the BRAIN Initiative, which is also providing generous support to Ascoli’s lab.

Parag Chitnis receives a DARPA grant “TRAUMAS: Treatment and Recovery Augmented with Electrical and Ultrasound-Mediated Actuation and Sensing”

A Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) grant project.Parag Chitnis was recently awarded a $1.2M grant as a member of a consortium of nine academic and industry entities led by Columbia University with a total budget of $16.4M. The goal of this multidisciplinary project funded by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is to integrate ultrasound and electrical means for biosensing and modulation in bandages for improving healing outcomes of recalcitrant wounds.

Qi Wei receives 2020 Teaching Excellence Award

Qi WeiAssociate Professor Qi Wei was selected as one of the university-wide Teaching Excellence Award winners for her team teaching and collaborative learning work with students.

Outstanding teaching is an integral part of Mason’s mission and is deserving of significant recognition. The Teaching Excellence Awards are both institutional recognition and a monetary acknowledgment of the significant work that faculty members devote to course planning and preparation; curriculum development; and innovative teaching, advising, and undergraduate and graduate mentoring.

Kim T. Blackwell inducted into Medical and Biological Engineering Elite

Kim “Avrama” BlackwellKim “Avrama” Blackwell has been inducted into the AIMBE College of Fellows. Her election to this prestigious group of biomedical engineering leaders indicates that she has achieved a high-level of success in the profession. Her election was based on outstanding contributions in the development of novel computational algorithms and models of neural plasticity underpinning learning and substance abuse.


Siddhartha Sikdar receives an NIH grant “Sonomyographic Upper Limb Prosthetics: A New Paradigm”

prosthetic handCASBBI Director Siddhartha Sikdar and colleagues were recently awarded a $3.6M Bioengineering Research Partnership grant from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering to develop and clinically evaluate a new prosthetic control system that uses ultrasound imaging. This multidisciplinary collaboration brings together members of CASBBI’s Biomedical Imaging Laboratory (PI: Sikdar, Key Personnel: Chitnis), commercial partners at Infinite Biomedical Technologies, and clinicians at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital and Hanger Clinic to accelerate technology translation to commercial products.

Siddhartha Sikdar receives an NSF “NRT-HDR: Transdisciplinary Graduate Training Program in Data-Driven Adaptive Systems of Brain-Body Interactions”

NSF research traineeship presentationThis National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) award will address the need to train a versatile, interdisciplinary community-engaged STEM workforce with the skills to harness the data revolution to create fundamental research and translational innovations aimed at improving the quality of life for individuals with disabilities. Principal investigators: Siddhartha Sikdar, Padmanabhan Seshaiyer, Nathalia Peixoto, James Thompson, and Huzefa Rangwala.

Qi Wei receives an NIH grant "Data-Driven Biomechanical Simulation of Eye Movement and Strabismus"

Qi WeiSupported by an NIH R01 award, Associate Professor Qi Wei develops and applies clinical data-driven computational simulation to study the neuro-biomechanics of strabismus, or crossed eyes. Together with Dr. Joseph Demer at UCLA, professor Matthew Tresch at Northwestern University and professor Wilsaan Joiner at UC-Davis, Wei aims to advance our understanding of two particular types of strabismus and provide quantitative assessment of surgical treatment effectiveness on these conditions.

Giorgio Ascoli has renewed a National Institutes of Health R01 “Cytoskeletal mechanisms of dendrite arbor shape development”

left: heatmap of microtubule concentration; right: microscopy image of F-actinThe NIH Research Project (R01) grant supports health-related research and development based on the mission of the institutes. Professor Ascoli, together with professor Daniel Cox from Georgia State University, recently discovered that the local microtubule quantity fully predicts arbor length and that bifurcations are strongly associated with enrichment in local F-actin. The picture is the representation of the two points in a fly neuron (left: heatmap of microtubule concentration; right: microscopy image of F-actin).

Holly To receives the 2019 Katona Scholarship for Excellence in Bioengineering

Michael Buschmann, Holly To, and Peter Katona

Students selected for the scholarship have demonstrated strong academic performance, professional leadership within the university or outside, and exceptional promise for a successful bioengineering career that would benefit society. To's outstanding academic performance and her continued commitment to the department, its students, and George Mason University earned her this award.


Other Grants

In 2018, the Volgenau School of Engineering’s research expenditures exceeded $32 million. The following is a list of grants awarded to faculty in the Department of Bioengineering. If you don't see the file, please check your default download folder.