News Archive

Zeroing in on Early Detection of Ovarian Cancer

Jennifer Barton in the labProfessor of biomedical engineering and interim director of the BIO5 Institute Jennifer Barton is leading a two-year, $1 million project funded by the National Cancer Institute to identify imaging biomarkers of ovarian cancer, the most deadly gynecological cancer in the United States. This work may enable the first effective screening system for what is often called a “silent killer” of women.

“Our goal is to identify biomarkers at the earliest possible stage of ovarian cancer to build a viable optical imaging technology that will enable early detection and save lives,” said Barton.

Fink Recognized for STEM Diversity Efforts

Eugenia Anane-Wae and Ty'Dria White accept the 2016 University Excellence in STEM Diversity Award on Wolfgang Fink's behalf. Photo courtesy of the UA Women in Science and Engineering ProgramAssociate professor Wolfgang Fink was honored by the UA Women in Science and Engineering Program with the 2016 University Excellence in STEM Diversity award, which recognizes a faculty or staff member who goes above and beyond in encouraging interest and diversity in science, technology, engineering or math fields.

Fink advises the UA chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers. In 2014, he led an undergraduate team of NSBE members to victory in a national robotic pipeline inspection competition, and then helped them publish their findings as a scientific paper.

Photo courtesy of WISE. Eugenia Anane-Wae and Ty’Dria White, officers of the UA NSBE, accepted the award on Fink's behalf.

Congrats, Grads!

BME Class of 2016 standing on the steps of the Center for Creative Photography in caps and gowns

It's taken hard work, and good work, and occasionally fun work, but the Class of 2016 has reached the finish line!

Several BME faculty members in regalia smile for a selfie

BME's faculty and staff are proud of your many accomplishments.

Check out the BME Facebook Page for all the Pre-Commencement pics.

And please keep in touch! We're always interested in alumni news for the website and newsletter.

Recognizing Outstanding Students

Department Head Art Gmitro shakes Tyler Toth's hand as he crosses the stage at BME's convocation ceremonyTyler Toth has been named spring 2016 Outstanding Senior for the department of biomedical engineering. His recent accolades include Most Creative Research at BME Design Day, an NSF graduate research fellowship and the Raytheon Award for Best Overall Design alongside his teammates at Engineering Design Day.

Molly Keenan was selected as the spring 2016 BME GIDP Outstanding Graduate Student.

BME Senior a Legacy of Maria Teresa Velez

David Maestas demonstrating his project at Engineering Design Day 2015. Photo by Raymond Sanchez/UANews.David Maestas had a difficult time imagining himself as a graduate student. However, thanks to the guidance of the late Maria Teresa Velez, he was accepted into the top-ranked biomedical engineering PhD program at Johns Hopkins University.

Velez, who served as associate dean of the UA Graduate College until she passed away in April, dedicated her career to supporting underrepresented and first-generation students, including members of the BME community.

Photo by Raymond Sanchez/UANews

Slepian Champions Collaboration

Slepian wearing a microfluidic sweat sensor – capable of measuring sweat rate and electrolyte and metabolite content – at the start of El Tour de Tucson in November 2015.Dr. Marvin Slepian, associate department head of biomedical engineering for clinical/industrial affairs, attributes his success as an innovator to the "virtue of vision in combination with collaboration and team building."

Those partnerships span the campus, the country and the world: His work as director of the Arizona Center for Accelerated BioMedical Innovation helps identify unmet clinical needs and bring UA faculty and students together to address them.

Among other projects are the development of "stretchable electronics" with investigators at the University of Illinois, and research into the effects of "shear forces" on platelets with colleagues at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and Politechnico di Milano in Italy.

Photo courtesy of the UA Sarver Heart Center

Biomedical Projects Win Big at Design Day 2016

BME seniors on Design DayProjects with biomedical themes – and with BME seniors – made headlines at Engineering Design Day 2016. 

Taking home the Raytheon Award for Best Overall Design was Team 15040, which included Collin Gilchrist, Jamie Hernandez, Pete Moya and Tyler Toth. Their project, On-Slide Reagent Concentration Feedback and Control, was sponsored by Ventana Medical Systems Inc.

Team 15024 received both the Rincon Research Award for Best Presentation and the Ventana Award for Innovation in Engineering with the project Nasogastric Tube Placement Verification System, sponsored by Xeridiem. The team included Christopher Gallo, Summer Garland, Nathaniel Husband and Gary Tyree.

The all-BME Team 15031 won the ACSS/L-3 Communications Award for Most Robust Systems Engineering with Microfluidic-Based Human Lung Model, which was sponsored by the department. Its members were Elisa Calabrese, Kristin Calahan, Christopher Larkin, Emily Masterson, Mary McIntosh and Kristina Rivera.

Among the other prize-winners were Corina MacIsaac and Yaroslav Valerievich Pilipenko on Team 15039; Czarina Aguilar, Eze Ahanonu, Daniel Palomares and Zachary Remer on Team 15026; Andrew D’Arcangelis and Mykella Jones on Team 15038; Trevor Woodhouse on Team 15056; and Xaviere Giroud, Andrew Thomas Maggio and Cecilia Maria Read on Team 15018.

BME's Justine Bacchus also received one of two Honeywell Team Leadership Award.

Read more in Arizona Engineer, the Arizona Daily Star and Tucson News Now.

Improving UA, One Water-Filling Station at a Time

As chair of the UA Students for Sustainability committee on water, BME junior Paul Elias spreads the word about water scarcity while seeking new conservation methods to make a difference on campus and elsewhere.

The group's latest initiative, "​Reduce and Reuse: One Water Bottle Refill Station at a Time" (PDF), just received an annual grant from the UA Green Fund. With help from the College of Science, they will install three new refill stations on campus, to directly and measurably decrease the consumption of plastic water bottles.

BME Senior Snags NSF Graduate Fellowship

Senior Tyler Toth has been awarded a 2016 National Science Foundation graduate research fellowship, which will fund his graduate studies at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology for three years. As a doctoral student in MIT's department of biological engineering, he will use synthetic biology techniques to further increase the efficacy of biosensors.

Toth's undergraduate research, performed under professor Jeong-Yeol Yoon, focused on improving pathogen diagnostic devices by integrating novel detection methods. In March, he received the award for Most Creative Research at BME Design Day. Toth credits guidance from Yoon and his labmates in solidifying his decision to pursue graduate school and a career in academia.

Active outside the lab as well, he has served as president of the UA Biomedical Engineering Society.

Toth graduates next month with a BS in biomedical engineering and minors in mechanical engineering and personal financing.

Kudos to BME's da Vinci Scholar!

Kara Williams. Photo courtesy of Kara WilliamsThe UA College of Engineering has named its 10 da Vinci Scholars for 2016 – and among them is BME's Kara Roberts, a Flagstaff native in her junior year.

Congratulations to Kara, and to each of this year's da Vinci Scholars! They will be recognized alongside the College's da Vinci Fellow in a special reception in May.


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