Ahmed Ali

Researcher

Research: Ahmed Ali is an international student from Saudi Arabia. He got his first bachelor’s degree in Laboratory Medicine from his home country and currently he is doing a second bachelor in Biomedical Engineering (Pre-Medicine and Tissue Engineering Track – Minor in Chemistry). A member of five honor organizations and a CURE researcher, his research is focusing on 3-D bioprinting a model system scaffold derived from synthetic hydrogel incorporating isolated cells from porcine aortic valves in a try to mimic the natural heart valve shape and cellularity. He works in the TEMIM Lab.

Mentor: Dr. Sharan Ramaswamy


Baarbod Ashenagar

Researcher

Research: Baarbod Ashenagar is an undergraduate BME student doing research in the Biotransport and Vascular Physiology Lab. His group is currently interested in developing multiscale mathematical models to simulate the electrophysiology, blood flow, and oxygen transport in vascular networks in order to understand the mechanism of neurovascular coupling. From these three components, he is working on the oxygen transport model which we will be integrated with the other two.

Mentor: Dr. Nikolaos Tsoukias


Amanda Barreto

Trainee

Research: The aortic heart valve tends to form abnormal valve tissue matrix and develop disease when it experiences changes in the oscillatory flow patterns. Amanda’s research will consist on investigating how the valve endothelial cells  respond to different oscillatory shear stresses, which will be quantified and categorized into physiologically-normal and abnormal ranges.

Mentor: Dr. Sharan Ramaswamy


Manuel Garcia Russo

Trainee

Research: As it has been shown, sclerosis is a measure of mortality and morbidity in patients with heart diseases. In the CMRL, Manuel is studying the possible causes of calcification. He is using engineering models such as tensegrity to explain the interaction of the cytoskeleton and pre-stress structures to asses its relationship with secretion of calcifying agents.

Mentor: Dr. Joshua Hutcheson


Maria Giraldo

Researcher

Research: Maria Giraldo is an international students from Medellin, Colombia, currently in her junior year and a member of the Cardiovascular Matrix Remodeling Laboratory. Her project aims to understand the role of inflammation in the appearance of calcification within cardiovascular tissues. She hypothesizes that calcification is an endpoint to inflammation. This study will seek to establish methods that controllably reduce inflammation and promote tissue regeneration without calcification.

Mentor: Dr. Joshua Hutcheson


Shaylyn Grier

Trainee

Research: Shaylyn Grier is a sophomore at FIU. Her interests include chemistry, biology, and digital electronics. She is participating in a project titled “Digital Anatomy of Cortex.” This research project combines cytology and architecture of glial cells and the vasculature of the cerebral cortex of the brain, and aims to utilize MATLAB to create three-dimensional models of such structures. She finds this project particularly interesting, and acquiring research experience as early on as possible is something that will be incredibly beneficial for her career goals.

Mentor: Dr. Wei-Chiang Lin


Luis Herran Vitier

Researcher

Research: After amputation, amputees lose their mechanical ability in addition to their sensory feedback pathways. Mechanical abilities have been partially recovered through the use of different prosthetic arms, however, amputees must rely extensively on visual, auditory and other cues to manipulate the arm. Electrical stimulation of the peripheral nerves in the arm has been shown to be successful in evoking referred sensations. Through these studies, Luis plans to investigate the effects of different parameters of non-invasive, surface electrical stimulation, of peripheral nerves in the area of the wrist of able-bodied participants. The number and location of the electrodes, as well as other parameters such as pulse frequency and interleaved time, will be examined.

Mentor: Dr. Ranu Jung


Victoria Leon

Researcher

Research: Victoria Leon is a biomedical engineering major originally from Caracas, Venezuela. For her research project, she will explore the neural recruitment of executive functioning in children born prematurely in Miami, and whether bilingualism enhances preterm children’s executive functioning.

Mentor: Dr. Ranu Jung and Dr. Melissa Baralt


Priscilla Lozano

Trainee

Research: In the Optical Imaging Laboratory (OIL), a near-infrared optical scanner called (NIROS) has been developed, which can be used to objectively determine relative oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin levels in the wound and the surrounding tissue. The goal of her study is to measure perfusion changes in terms of saturated oxygen in blood in response to breath-holding paradigm using NIROS in comparison to measurements obtained using a standard pulse oximeter. Comparison of perfusion changes between the two devices can assist in correlating these measurements and thus calibrate and validate their recently developed NIROS device. This can help demarcate regions of poor oxygen flow, thus aiding clinicians assess the potential to heal in chronic or acute wounds.

Mentor: Dr. Anuradha Godavarty


Ernest Mares

Researcher

Research: Ernest Mares is biomedical engineering junior at FIU interested in neuro-engineering and Electroencephalogram (EEG) along with other diagnostic devices used to determine epilepsy and other neurological disorders. He is currently with the Neuronal Mass Dynamics Laboratory. His focus is to utilize EEGs to allow a more accurate understanding of epileptic discharges and the relationship that disorders have with neurotransmitters concentrations and other variables through analytical means. Over the next year, Ernest hopes to gain enough experience and knowledge to assist him in becoming a more well-informed researcher to further aid his laboratory in the field of neuro-engineering.

Mentor: Dr. Jorge Riera


Valentina Melero

Researcher

Research: Valentina’s overall interest in the field of Biomedical Engineering is in the development of more effective rehabilitation therapies for individuals with central nervous system injury. She is particularly interested in neuroprosthetic strategies to induce neural plasticity in networks of neurons impacted by injury, retraining them over time to perform the functions they did prior to the injury. As a Researcher in the CURE program, she will use advanced signal processing techniques to characterize changes in spinal sensory neural activity during targeted electrical stimulation of specific regions of the spinal cord.  Characterizing these interactions may aid development of neuroprosthetic therapies for spinal cord injury that simultaneously improve motor impairments and reduce neuropathic pain.

 

Mentor: Dr. Jacob McPherson


Jessica Molina

Researcher

Research: Jessica is working on developing an optimized method for studying extracellular vesicles through tunable resistive pulse sensing (TRPS). Using this optimized protocol, she will differentiate the properties of calcific extracellular vesicles (EVs) released by cells in both physiological and pathological conditions to determine their role in calcification. Identifying the similarities and differences in the properties of these EVs can help researchers design treatment options for cardiovascular and bone mineral diseases without off-target effects.

Mentor: Dr. Joshua Hutcheson


Angie Pierre

Trainee

Research: Angie is a BME junior aspiring to become an Obstetrician/ Gynecologist. Her primary academic goal is to take the MD-PhD route to medicine as it would nurture her desire to treat patients in a clinical setting without having to renounce her zeal for scientific research. Serving in the Medical Photonics Laboratory as a contributing author to an expansive research paper compiling, detailing, and archiving various polarization phantoms has been the inaugurating element of her research involvement thus far. Conjunctively, she is a proud PATHS-UP scholar, as well as the co-founder and volunteer coordinator of an organization called Minority Women Interested in Medicine whose ambition is to empower, encourage and inspire future female health care professionals to unsparingly give back to our community.

Mentor: Dr. Jessica Ramella-Roman