News Archive

Fulbright Program Awards Scholarship to BME PhD Candidate Frankman

Zachary D. Frankman, dressed  in a white lab coat,sits before a set of shelves stocked with a variety of equipment.

Zachary D. Frankman has received a Fulbright Scholarship award to conduct research at the Medical University of Gdansk, Poland.

Frankman will research how to create a low-cost, efficient left ventricular assist device, or LVAD, for patients suffering from heart failure. As part of the program, he will also teach English and provide expertise abroad during the 2018-19 academic year.

The Fulbright Program is an international educational exchange program, sponsored by the U.S. government, designed to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected for academic and professional achievement, record of service and leadership potential.

Grad Student Takes First Place in 3-Minute Thesis Competition

Timothy Scott Frost points to a large projector screen displaying a slide from his first place 3-minute thesis.

Timothy Scott Frost, a BME PhD candidate, represented the University of Arizona at the Western Association of Graduate Schools' 3-Minute Thesis Competition in March and won first place with a presentation on his research into organ-on-a-chip devices.

Frost was chosen to represent the UA because of his performance in the UA Grad Slam 2017 competition, where he also won first place.

Hard Work Pays Off for BME Students at Annual Expo

Eight BME students stand next to each other, holding award certificates in their hands.

Biomedical engineering students gathered in the Student Union Ballroom Feb. 28 for talks and a poster session during the sixth annual Student Research Expo.

The event, sponsored by W.L. Gore & Associates, began with a speech from BME alumna Jessi Gamboa Crosby of SynCardia Tucson, and moved on to a poster session at which students presented their results, research and methods.

"We want to congratulate all students who presented at the expo this year and thank them for their hard work and time preparing to be a part of this annual event," said Andrea Anduaga, senior academic advisor for the Biomedical Engineering graduate program. "Thanks also to the faculty who mentored and supported these students. They are so grateful for your guidance and encouragement." 

A BME student points to data on her poster entry for the 2018 BME Annual Expo Poster Session.The event was topped off with a keynote speech by Valerie Cross, product specialist for W.L. Gore & Associates.

"Thank you to both of our speakers, and a huge thank you to W.L. Gore & Associates for sponsoring this awesome event," Anduaga said. "We urge all students to consider presenting research at next year’s event."


Final Results of the Annual Expo Poster Session

Undergraduate Category  
First Place Ian Jackson
Second Place Michele Tang
Third Place David Johnson
Most Promising Research Vina Nguyen
Most Creative Research Elizabeth Budiman
Graduate Category  
First Place Vic Keschrumrus
Second Place David Knoff
Third Place Andrea Deranek

BME Assistant Professor Vignesh Subbian Awarded CUES Distinguished Fellowship

Assistant professor of both biomedical engineering and systems and industrial engineering Vignesh Subbian has been selected as one of the UA’s first cohort of the Center for University Education Scholarship Distinguished Fellows.

“Award of this distinctive fellowship acknowledges your commitment to innovation and scholarship on teaching and learning,” said CUES director Debra Tomanek in the award letter.

CUES’ mission is to help further advancements of teaching and learning at the UA, and as part of the award, $20,000 will be allocated to 2018 research funding for Subbian’s work at the university.

BME Students Have a Chance to Shine at Annual Expo

2017 Most Creative Research winner, Amanda Koiki, with her poster at last year's BME Student Research Expo

The sixth annual Student Research Expo (PDF) -- formerly known as BME Design Day -- is coming Wednesday, Feb. 28, to the Student Union Ballroom.

"If you are working in a lab on a project, this day is for you," said Diana Wilson, senior academic advisor for the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Wilson added that participants do not have to have results to present and that posters illustrating things like methodology are acceptable too. Posters that have already been created for the previous fall and summer semesters may also be used.

"The idea is to help our BME students get experience presenting their research and to get comfortable with talking to others about what they are doing in the labs," she said.

Sponsor W. L. Gore & Associates will be awarding cash prizes for the five best, most promising or most creative posters. Laboratory principal investigators have been given funding to print up to three free posters this year.

Those who wish to participate should RSVP by Feb. 22, and add their names and poster titles to the RSVP document.

"It’s a great day and there’s good food too," Wilson said.

Agenda Outline

BME Graduate Alumni Speaker
Jessi Gamboa Crosby, SynCardia Tucson 
Noon to 1 p.m. Rincon Room
BME Student Research Expo - Poster Session 1-4 p.m. Ballroom
Keynote Speaker Valerie Cross, Product Specialist
W. L. Gore & Associates
3-4 p.m. Ballroom

Wolfgang Fink Named As ACABI Fellow for Biomedical Research and Advancements

Wolfgang Fink examines the eye of a female patient using a biomedical device while a man stands by him and observes.

Biomedical engineering associate professor Wolfgang Fink has been named fellow for the Arizona Center for Accelerated Biomedical Innovation for his research and advancements in the field of biomedical technologies.

"I felt very honored to receive this award," said Fink, who holds a joint faculty position in electrical and computer engineering. "It was definitely very nice to receive this recognition."

ACABI's purpose is to bring together biomedical experts to collaborate for the goal of accelerating the development of biomedical technologies.

"ACABI is like a think tank," Fink said. "So when a medical problem that involves engineering presents itself, the purpose is to brainstorm and come up with ways to solve it."

Fink's colleague, UA cardiologist and ACABI leader Marvin Slepian, calls ACABI "a creative engine," and Fink is an important cog in that engine. He is a leader in research and development for artificial retinas and vision science for the center, with 18 issued patents and several more pending. His goal is to "give vision back to blind people."

A mobile phone shows a person's hand through a remote diagnostic app.Also, as smartphones have become seemingly omnipresent, Fink said he is investing time and research into their potential use to conduct medical examinations worldwide.

"It would be something that provides quality health care to those in austere environments like third-world countries, to those deployed in the field or on a ship," Fink said. "Basically, any area where you do not have an expert within tens of miles. To make those examinations portable is a big deal."

In addition to the honor from ACABI, Fink was recognized as a da Vinci Fellow in 2015 and Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) in 2012. He is also the inaugural Edward and Maria Keonjian endowed chair at the University of Arizona.

Jennifer Barton Named Director of BIO5 Institute After National Search

Jennifer K. Barton, director of the BIO5 Institute, in her lab in the Thomas W. Keating Bioresearch Building.

After a national search, professor of biomedical engineering Jennifer Kehlet Barton has been named director of the BIO5 Institute.

Barton, also a professor of electrical and computer engineering, optical sciences, and agricultural and biosystems engineering, has been on the University of Arizona faculty since 1998. She served as BIO5 assistant director from 2009 to 2012, and became interim director in 2015. Her research expertise is in translational biomedical optics, as well as the prevention and early detection of cancer. Barton has published more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles.

"I am thrilled to have Dr. Jennifer Kehlet Barton continuing in the role of director of the BIO5 Institute on a permanent basis," said UA President Robert C. Robbins. "Her success as a biomedical engineer and her commitment to community impact, mentorship and teaching make her an ideal leader for this important center."

Impatience a Virtue for Biomedical Engineering Freshman and Company Founder

Jeremiah Pate inspects fruit flies under a microscope in the Zarnescu lab. (Photo: Emily Walla/UANews)Biomedical engineering student Jeremiah Pate refused to wait until after graduation to found a company, and now he is designing satellites that can explore asteroids and proteins that can battle Parkinson's disease, even before finishing his freshman year.

"Impatience is a virtue," says Pate, a biomedical engineering major and founder of a company called Lunasonde. Pate was told to wait until after earning a bachelor's degree to start a company, and told to wait until graduate school to start research on a potential therapy for Parkinson's disease.

Instead, as a senior in high school in Oro Valley, Arizona, Pate started Lunasonde, which specializes in small, inexpensive satellites. These "picosatellites" can identify deposits of precious metals, natural gas and water beneath the surface of the Earth.

When he isn't working on his schoolwork, Pate researches gene therapy for Parkinson's disease in the lab of molecular and cellular biology and neurology professor Daniela Zarnescu.

Arizona Bioindustry Association to Honor Dr. Marvin Slepian with Award for Lifetime Achievement

The Arizona Bioindustry Association will honor Marvin J. Slepian, MD, of the University of Arizona, with the AZBio Pioneer Award for Lifetime Achievement at the 2017 AZBio Awards, Oct. 11 at the Phoenix Convention Center.

Slepian is a cardiologist, inventor, entrepreneur and educator, serving at the UA as professor of medicine, professor and associate department head of biomedical engineering, professor of materials science and engineering, professor of medical imaging, McGuire Scholar in the Eller College of Management, and member of the Sarver Heart Center.

Each year, the AZBio Awards ceremony honors Arizona’s leading companies and educators who exemplify the depth, breadth and expertise of the state’s bioscience industry. 

Biomedical Engineering Student Builds Telescopes as Part of Undergrad Team

JeffriesBefore she graduated in May, biomedical engineering student Lindsie Jeffries joined four other undergraduates in a project to create two 24-inch telescopes for the purpose of tracking satellites and space junk. "It was exciting putting the telescope together and confirming that everything fit and worked,” Jeffries said. “I also enjoyed getting to know my teammates. They were all hard workers who cared about the project and pushed me to do my best."


University of Arizona College of Engineering
Department of Biomedical Engineering 1127 E James E. Rogers Way P.O. Box 210020 Tucson, AZ 85721-0020