Georgia Tech

BioEngineering Graduate Program Announced 2013 Awardees

Mar 8, 2013 | Atlanta, GA

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  • Bioengineering program director, Andres Garcia, PhD, and Best Paper awardee, Sarah Sharpe

  • BioEngineering program director, Andres Garcia, and Best Advisor awardee, Todd McDevitt

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Megan McDevitt
Director Communications & Marketing
Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering & Bioscience

The 2013 BioEngineering Graduate Program awards were announced during the poster session which was held to welcome potential new recruits to the program.  This is the second year that the program has honored graduate students with the Best Thesis and Paper awards and a faculty advisor whose dedication advising and mentoring graduate students in the program goes above and beyond.

Sarah Sharpe, Ph.D. candidate in Dan Goldman’s laboratory in the School of Physics, was awarded the Best Paper Award for a journal article featured in the Journal of Experimental Biology entitled, “Environmental interaction influences muscle activation strategy during sand-swimming in the sandfish lizard Scincus scincus.”  Sarah’s work has been ground breaking because while there has been a lot of work looking at organisms swimming in fluids, flying, and running on relatively flat rigid hard ground, there has been much less work done on the movement of organisms on and within materials like sand that can behave as fluids and solids.  

Catherine Rivet, a Ph.D. graduate student supervised by Melissa Kemp, Ph.D., (BME) and Hang Lu, Ph.D., (ChBE), received the Best Thesis Award for her dissertation entitled, “Impaired Signaling in Senescing T Cells: Investigation of the Role of Reactive Oxygen Species Using Mircrofluidic Platforms and Computational Modeling.” This research resulted in 5 publications and Rivet was also named as the 2012 Suddath award winner.  

Faculty member, Todd McDevitt, Ph.D., (BME) was recognized with the Best Advisor Award. Supporting letters for McDevitt were provided by both his graduate students as well as trainees in the National Science Foundation (NSF)- funded Integrated Graduate Education Research Training (IGERT) program which he co-directs.  

Graduate students and advisors are nominated by students in the program for contributions during the 2012 calendar year, and the nominations are evaluated by the Faculty Advisory Committee. Winners receive monetary prizes and commemorative plaques.

“We had very strong nominations for each of the award categories and the awardees are very deserving and reflect the strong interdisciplinary, cutting-edge, and collaborative nature of the program,” said the director of the BioEngineering Graduate Program, Andrés García, Ph.D. (ME).

In the first BioE Awards presented last year, Rolando Gittens (Barbara Boyan advisor) and Ed Phelps (Andrés García advisor) received the Best Paper and Best Thesis awards, respectively. Melissa Kemp, Ph.D., (BME) was recognized with the Best Advisor Award.

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