An encouraging seminar presented by Dr. Martine Laberge, Professor and Chair of Bioengineering at Clemson University, the innovative researches of 27 undergraduate students, and a panel discussion with the BME alumni were part of the Annual FIU Biomedical Engineering Undergraduate Research Day.

BME undergraduate students demonstrated they overcame all the challenges of their research by presenting their project to judges and peers with a two-minute pitch talk for the first time online. Each presentation proved the effort and hard work that all of them had been putting into it.

It was fantastic to see the enthusiasm and commitment from the students; Very well communicated; Especially proud of the way they answered the questions posed! It also speaks volumes about the mentorship they are receiving in the different labs. Expressed Dr. Ranu Jung, Chair and Professor of the Biomedical Engineering Department.

The first-place prize went to Anet Sanchez and her research on Cardiac Electrophysiological Abnormalities in ChronicKidney Disease. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) increases cardiovascular disease risk, but the abnormal cardiac function is often undetected in CKD patients. While electrocardiogram remains a non-invasive and inexpensive way to detect rhythm and conduction defects, literature has not reached a consensus on which electrophysiological markers are reliable for predicting cardiovascular events in CKD patients. Anet’s study’s purpose was to identify temporal changes in cardiac electrophysiology in a CKD mouse model.

I am very happy to see my work validated, and I am excited about continuing my research; thank you to the OURS program for supporting my research also my mentors Dr. Hutcheson and Hooi. Special thanks to Valentina Dargan for pushing me and trusting on me. Anette Sanchez

The second place was awarded to Nicolas Valencia Diaz for his research on ‘Age-related Degradation of Urethral Afferents.’ Statistics indicate that around 10% of U.S. older adults have an underactive bladder (UAB), characterized by incomplete bladder emptying and high residual volume. Nicolas’s study will enable us to understand how aging affects the functionality of the Lower Urinary Track.

I feel very happy because it is my first time, and I think a lot of the BME faculty on my professor Dr. Danzinger singer and mentor Arezoo Geraminpour. Nicolas Valencia

The third place went to Daniela Leizaola for her research “Monte-Carlo Based Near-Infrared Light Propagation Modeling for Different Skin Types and Melanin Concentrations.” The Optical Imaging Laboratory concentrates on developing non-contact near-infrared imaging devices to correlate changes in oxygenation of skin tissues. Therefore, it is essential to understand the efficacy of the devices’ wavelength propagation depth on a subject.

I feel overwhelmed in the joy that I represent my laboratory and couldn’t have done it without the support they give me, Daniela Leizaola.

Honorary Mentions went to Juan Murillo for his research on “Analyzing the Extent of Tissue Oxygen Saturation on Irradiated and Non-irradiated Breast Tissue in Response to Radiation Therapy using a Commercial NIRS Device’. And to Bridgette Meyer for her research “Assessment of Radiation Dermatitis in Irradiated vs. Contra-Lateral Chest Tissue of Breast Cancer Subjects using Near-Infrared Optical Scanner.”

Under Graduate Research Day also had the participation of Dr. Martine Laberge, Professor, and Chair of Bioengineering at Clemson University, as a guest speaker of the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation Seminar Series. Dr. Laberge discussed the importance of focusing on emotional intelligence to build a skill set for a successful BME research career.

I am truly honored, and privilege of having participated in the BME UGRD; thank you for the opportunity to get to know you; your work on all levels is impressive, exciting, and impactful. I wish you the best, Dr. Martine Laberge. 

Closing the day, BME alumni had a fun panel and conversation with undergraduate students. Our alumni shared their experiences, challenges, and best moments of being part of the BME department and gave them career advice for the future.

11th Annual Undergraduate Research Day
11th Annual Undergraduate Research Day
11th Annual Undergraduate Research Day