On Graduate Research Day student researchers get the stage. It is a day long opportunity for graduate students to gain valuable professional development experience, network with industry partners, present research, and learn about the research of others.


On Friday, March 12, a record-breaking total of 26 masters, and Ph.D. students presented their research in their respective fields, including 4 Ph.D. students who presented their oral presentations. The poster session concluded with a first-place winner, a second-place winner, while the oral presentation concluded with a tight for the first-place winner. Students participating in poster presentations were judged on three different categories: content, display, and oral presentation.

We would like to congratulate the first-place winner for the poster session, Beatriz Herrera, for her research titled “Assessing the validity of the EEG dipolar approximation in rats, monkeys, and humans: a computational modeling study”. We would also like to congratulate second-place winner, Chia-Pei Denise Hsu, for her research titled “Tricuspid versus Mitral Performance of Cylindrical Porcine Small Intestinal Submucosa Valves”.

For the first time in the history of Graduate Research Day, we had a tight for first place. It is with great distinction that we would like to congratulate our dual first-place winners for oral presentations.

We applaud Amirala Bakhshiannik, for his research titled “Targeting Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor in Vascular Calcification”, and Lakshmini Balachandar, for her research titled “Simultaneous Ca2+ Imaging and Optogenetic Stimulation of Cortical Astrocytes in Adult Murine Brain Slices”.

We would also like to thank our judges: Vinh Nguyen Du Le, Tzu-Hsiang Lin, Arash Moshkforoush, Andres Pena, Brittany Gonzalez, Dr. Raj Markondeyaraj Pulugurtha.We appreciate your time and dedication toward our students and their research.

Also as part of Graduate Research Day and the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation Seminar Series, Dr. Cynthia Reinhart-King, Director of Graduate Studies in Biomedical Engineering, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Vanderbilt University School of Engineering, and Dr. Jeremy D. Ollerenshaw, Director of Research Development NeXtGen Biologics, Inc., presented engaging lectures on biomedical engineering research  and mentorship, respectively. We thank you both for your excellent presentations, and for joining us on this day!

Congratulations again to all of our graduate students on their outstanding research!


Top to bottom, left to right: Beatriz Herrera, Lakshmini Balachandar, Denise Hsu, Amirala Bakhshiannik