Ongoing Research Projects

Bioengineering students at George Mason University have unique opportunities to choose from a variety of research opportunities.

All students, including Freshmen, are able to work in one of our many labs during the summer or during the academic year. Some projects are for credit as independent studies and count as a Bioengineering Technical Elective (BENG 395), some are paid, and some are volunteer positions. Our students can apply to one of the listed projects or can work with our faculty directly to find a suitable research opportunity. Our faculty members also mentor Undergraduate Research and and Scholarship program (URSP) and Aspiring Scientist Summer Internship Program (ASSIP) students.

Over the course of the last 5 years Bioengineering students have held up to 10 percent of all Mason’s URSPs, semester depending, which is hugely successful considering the Bioengineering department’s size relative to the Mason’s student population. Our students work on important and timely medical issues applying and honing their skills to solve major world challenges.

Our faculty members and students in ongoing research projects include:

Ongoing student research projects include:

Professor Giorgio Ascoli

  • Knowledge base of neuron types in the hippocampus (Summer 2021 – present)
    Samhitha Somavarapu, Bioengineering–Neuroscience, Freshman

    Kiran Zaidi, Junior-Neuroscience (College of Sciences)
  • Neuromorphology data standardization (Summer 2021–present)
    Gabriela Torrico, Bioengineering sophomore
    Tanish Singh, Junior–Biology (College of Sciences)
    Diba Jabbari, Junior–Biology (College of Sciences)
  • Meta-analysis of neuromorphological models (Summer 2021–present)
    Kashmala Mahmood, Sophomore–Biology (College of Sciences)
  • Literature mining for quantitative neuroanatomy (Summer 2021–present)
    Muhammad Zaryyab Sardar, Sophomore–Chemistry (College of Sciences)
  • Metadata annotation for brain regions and cell types (Summer 2021–present)
    Alaa Guennouni, Sophomore–Neuroscience (College of Sciences)

Professor Kim Blackwell

  • Automated electrophysiology data analysis in python (Fall 2020)
    Phuong Cai, Bioengineering student

Professor Michael Buschmann

  • LC-MS analyses of lipid degradation (Fall 2021)
    Lina Alkarmi, Bioengineering sophomore
  • Nanoparticles for mRNA Delivery (Fall 2021)
    Laura Hodge, Bioengineering senior
  • Nanoparticles for mRNA Delivery (Fall 2021)
    Hannah Milikich, Bioengineering junior
  • Nanoparticles for mRNA Delivery (Fall 2021)
    Alozie Nwogu, Bioengineering junior
  • Nanoparticles for mRNA Delivery (Fall 2021)
    Masuma Rahman, Biology senior
  • Nanoparticles for mRNA Delivery (Fall 2021)
    Katie Harrison, Bioengineering sophomore
  • Nanoparticles for mRNA Delivery (Fall 2021)
    Lucia Rodriguez, Bioengineering junior

Professor Juan Cebral

  • Computational Analysis of the Effects of Catheterization during Occlusive Ischemic Stroke  (Fall 2019-2020)
    Medhini Sosale, Bioengineering Student (Honors College)
  • Comparison of Aneurysm Models Created from 3D Angiographies and Magnetic Resonance Images (Fall 2020)
    Carolina Gomez and Bryanna McDermott, Bioengineering Students
  • Evaluation of Data-Structures for Cellular Biomechanical Models Based on Particles  (Fall 2020)
    Micharl Joseph, Bioengineering Student (double Major in Computer Science)

Professor Parag Chitnis

  • Development of an IR-LED Drive Circuit for Photoacoustic Microscopy  (Fall 2020)
    Kanwal Ahmad, Electrical and Computer Engineering student
  • Image-reconstruction Algorithms for Photoacoustic Tomography (Fall 2020)
    Matthias Eyassu, Computer Science Junior

Professor Caroline Hoemann

  • Methods to detect injury-induced remodeling of the cartilage-bone interface ex vivo. 

Liana Baker, Senior (BIOL499, Senior Research project)  

  • Comparative scanning acoustic microscopy and histology of human cartilage-bone explants

Abdul Ibrahim, BSc VCU-2018 (Volunteer intern)

  • Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) Activation Mechanisms in the Context of Immune Responses to Polytrauma

Mahadin Ahmed, Junior (OSCAR scholarship, Fall 2021) 

Professor Nathalia Peixoto

  • Integrated Multi-Sensor Life Detection System (IMLDS) (Spring 2021) 

Professor Remi Veneziano

  • Improving DNA origami scaffold design (Fall 2021)
    Amber Hartman, Bioengineering student
  • Designing Z-DNA-based nanoarchitectures (Fall 2021)
    Lazar Antic, Bioengineering student
  • Improving the targeting properties of a NIR dye aggregates for photoacoustic imaging (Fall 2021)
    Leandro Soto Cordova, Bioengineering student
  • Multiplexed antigens on DNA nanoparticles for vaccine development (Fall 2021)
    Amanda Graff, Bioengineering student
  • Designing s strand displacement cascade for temporal control of growth factors release (Fall 2021)
    Cassidy Santos, Bioengineering student

Past projects include:

Professor Giorgio Ascoli

  • Metadata Annotation for Brain Regions and Cell Types (Fall 2020)
    Onika Alam, Bioengineering student (with College of Science)
    Usman Muhammad Ali, Neuroscience student (with College of Science)
  • Literature Mining for Quantitative Neuroanatomy (Fall 2020)
    Marfia Mosharraf, Neuroscience student (with College of Science)
    Yasmine Isterbadi, Neuroscience student (with College of Science)
  • Meta-analysis of Neuromorphological Models (Fall 2020)
    Brittany Stowers, Neuroscience student (with College of Science)
    Ahilla Ghannouchi, Neuroscience student (with College of Science)
  • Neuromorphology Data Standardization  (Fall 2019 - Spring 2020)
    Schabnam Ahmadi, Biology senior (with College of Science)
  • Literature Mining for Quantitative Neuroanatomy  (Spring 2017 - Spring 2020)
    Zulfa Ghannuchi, Neuroscience senior (with College of Science)
  • Neuromorphology Data Standardization  (Spring 2018 to Spring 2020)
    Brittany Stowers, Neuroscience sophomore (with College of Science)
  • Metadata Annotation for Brain Regions and Cell Types  (Spring 2018 - Spring 2020)
    Oznur Temel, Biology junior (with College of Science)

Professor Michael Buschmann

  • mRNA Encapsulation Efficiency in Nanoparticles  (Spring 2020)
    Cierra Britt, Bioengineering sophomore with Biomedical Signals and Systems (BMSS) concentration
  • Size and Zeta Potential of mRNA Lipid Nanoparticles  (Spring 2020)
    Nada Rabbat, Bioengineering senior with BMSS concentration
  • Production of Ionizable Lipids  (Spring 2020)
    Julia Roda, Bioengineering senior with Bioengineering Healthcare Informatics (BHI) concentration
  • NMR Measurement of Lipid Ionization State (Fall 2020)
     
    Hooda Said, Bioengineering senior with BMSS concentration
  • mRNA Therapeutics (Fall 2020)
    Lina Alkarmi, Bioengineering freshman
  • mRNA Delivery Systems (Fall 2020)
    Katie Harrison, Bioengineering freshman

Professor Juan Cebral

  • Analysis of Differences in Parent Artery Geometry between Aneurysms at the Anterior Communicating Artery and Middle Cerebral Artery  (Fall-spring 2019)
    Megan Lawson, Bioengineering Student(Honors College)
  • Modeling Brain Arterial Networks (Spring 2019)
    Danielle Maynard, Mechanical Engineering Student

Professor Parag Chitnis

  • Photoacoustic Neurosensing Using DNA-based Voltage Reporting Nanoparticles  (Spring 2019 )
    Grace Hyein Kim, Bioengineering sophomore with Bioengineering Prehealth (BMPH) concentration

Professor Caroline Hoemann

  • Tissue engineered blood clot RNA sequencing data analysis 
    Madison Taylor, Statistics Senior (Fall 2020)
    Megan Lawson, Bioengineering Junior (Fall 2020)
    Pranay Vure, High School Junior (Fall 2020)
  • Research on coagulopathy mechanisms  
    Arta Shala, Bioengineering Junior (Fall 2020)
  • ImageJ analysis of UGDH enzyme staining 
    Rishi Sheth, High School Senior, ASSIP program (Summer,Fall 2020)

Professor Nathalia Peixoto

  • Efficient Early Detection of Malaria for field-based testing in developing countries (Fall 2020)
    Soraya Ngarnim, Biochemistry student(project lead) and is working with bioengineering students
  • C60 Treatment for Oxidative Stress in Alzheimer's Disease  (Fall 2020-Spring 2021)
    Albin Alex, Electrical Engineering Senior (with Volgenau School of Engineering)
    Maanvi Vij, Neurosceince Junior (with College of Science)

Professor Siddhartha Sikdar

  • Comparison Between Position and Velocity Control of Prosthetics (Spring 2020)
    Zainab Aldarraji, Bioengineering senior with BMSS concentration
  • Next Generation Functional Orthotics for Foot Drop (Spring 2020)
    Allison Dockum, Bioengineering junior with BMSS concentration
  • Comparison of Sonomyographic and Myoelectric control for Prosthetics (Spring 2020)
    Maryam Oukib, Bioengineering junior with BMSS concentration

Professor Remi Veneziano

  • Improving DNA origami scaffold design (Fall 2020)
    Amber Hartman, Bioengineering student
  • Designing Z-DNA-based nanoarchitectures (Fall 2020)
    Fabian Montenegro-Andrade, Bioengineering student

Professor Qi Wei

  • 3D Biomechanical Model Development Using Patient-specific MRI (Spring 2020 - present)
    Alice Peters, Bioengineering senior with BMSS concentration
  • Data Analysis Platform for Biomarker Identification in Cancer Immune Therapy (Spring 2020)
    Alexis Robbins, Bioengineering senior with BMPH concentration
  • Image Analysis of Immuno-histochemical Images for Cancer Treatment (Spring 2020)
    Fellipe Miqui, Bioengineering senior with BMSS concentration
Students at the Data Processing lab at the Krasnow Institute.

Yasmin Azam (leftmost) and Oznur Temel (center of room) with other students in a Data Processing lab at the Krasnow Institute.