Dharam Persaud M.S.B.E., a PhD student

At 24 years old, Dharam Persaud M.S.B.E., a PhD student within the Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) has been awarded a grant from the National Brain Aneurysm Foundation. Dharam Persaud is a recipient of a grant sponsoring his project entitled “Novel Biodegradable Alloys for the Treatment of Cerebral Aneurysms”. His grant application ranked in the top percentile of all applicants and was one of only eight projects to be funded by the National Brain Aneurysm Foundation. Dharam is the only PhD student to be funded by the foundation, as other recipients included established Physician-Scientists, Research Faculty, and one Post-Doctoral Student from world renown research institutions such as the University of Southern California-Los Angeles, St. Michaels Hospital-University of Toronto, University of California, San Francisco, University of Florida, Thomas Jefferson University, University of Iowa, and the University of Texas-Houston.

The Brain Aneurysm Foundation is the nation’s only nonprofit organization solely dedicated to providing critical awareness, education, support and research funding to reduce the incidence of brain aneurysm ruptures. The organization also provides education materials and awareness information to health care professionals and the general population, as well as providing support for patients and their loved ones. The Brain Aneurysm Foundation relies on fundraising support from individuals and organizations to continue to fund education and research to promote early detection of brain aneurysms, which ultimately saves lives.

Dharam is currently conducting multi-disciplinary doctoral research under the supervision of Biomedical Engineering Associate Professor Dr. Anthony McGoron. When asked about this project and how it was developed Dharam said:  “This project aims to establish the relevancy of new biomaterials that I developed for the treatment of cerebral aneurysms, with the prospect that they can be developed into a new line of cost-efficient medical devices. I have always had an extreme attraction to the Neurosciences. As a child, I read a lot of books about the brain and its functions. It is very rewarding to finally be able to have an opportunity to research in realms which are self-motivating, and the ability to do this as a graduate student makes it even more special because it is extremely rare.”

Dharam is currently an MBRS RISE Scholar, which provides a full fellowship for the duration of his doctoral studies at Florida International University. This fellowship is supported with funds from the National Institute of Health (NIH), and the program at FIU is led by Dr. Charles Bigger.  Dharam is also a Graduate Senator for the Student Government Association at FIU, remains active in several co-curricular activities within the BME department and the South Florida community where he is an active mentor for the I Have a Dream-Overtown organization.

“I would like to thank the wonderful Brain Aneurysm Foundation for believing in me and my project through this sponsorship. It is truly a blessing to have the opportunity to contribute to the scientific community in such a way to help resolve such a mysterious medical condition as cerebral aneurysms. Also, I would like to thank my supervisor, Dr. Anthony McGoron, who has always encouraged me to follow my own academic path and to explore science fearlessly, yet analytically.  Lastly, I would like to thank my mother who continues to be an inspiration in my life.”