Growth Factors, news from the Department of Bioengineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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New College. New Medicine.

The creation of the nation’s first college combining both engineering and medicine is moving forward at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The UI Board of Trustees recently voted unanimously to establish the new college of medicine on the Urbana campus, and the approval process now moves to the Illinois Board of Higher Education. Carle Health System and the University are partnering to create the new college and train a new kind of doctor. As the primary investor, Carle has pledged $100 million in the first 10 years, including more than $34 million in startup costs.

MORE ON THE NEW COLLEGE OF MEDICINE AT ILLINOIS


Rashid Bashir contributes to collaborative view on future of translational medicine

Photo of Shu Chien, Robert Nerem, Roderic Pettigrew, Rashid Bashir.Finding the answers to challenges in modern medicine will require greater integration of engineering and medicine, according to Shu Chien, UC, San Diego; Robert Nerem, Georgia Tech; Roderic Pettigrew, NIH; and Rashid Bashir, Illinois. The four bioengineering leaders collaborated on the editorial, "Engineering as a New Frontier for Translational Medicine," published in the April 1, 2015, issue of Science Translational Medicine. In it they describe the role bioengineering can play in addressing grand medical challenges and removing barriers to ubiquitous health care access.

SCIENCE TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE EDITORIAL

BRIEF BIOS OF THE FOUR AUTHORS (in list of 2014 Frontiers in Bioengineering speakers)


Rohit Bhargava pioneers new breast cancer diagnostic technique, paints tissue samples with light

Photo of Rohit Bhargava with tissue staining sample.A new scanning method can provide pathologists with a more precise look into the world of cancerous tissue. Rohit Bhargava, professor and Bliss Faculty Scholar in Bioengineering, led a team of University of Illinois researchers and clinical partners in the development of the new advanced infrared technique, which combines microscopic imaging and computer analysis to measure the composition of cells. The computer translates information from the microscope into chemical stain patterns without applying stains or dyes directly to the cells. The researchers published their findings in the journal Technology. The work was supported by the National Institutes of Health, and the research partnership includes Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, Ill., and the University of Illinois Cancer Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

MORE ON PAINTING TISSUE WITH LIGHT


JJ Cheng named AIMBE Fellow

Jianjun ("JJ") Cheng, associate professor and Willett Faculty Scholar in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and member of the Bioengineering Graduate Program Faculty, recently was inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). Cheng was selected for his “outstanding contribution to the development of polymeric biomaterials and translational nanomedicine.” The College of Fellows consists of 1,500 individuals who are “outstanding bioengineers in academia, industry and government.”

MORE ON JJ CHENG AND AIMBE FELLOWSHIP HONOR


Photo of Greg Damhorst and family.Greg Damhorst earns international graduate award from Illinois

Greg Damhorst, M.D./Ph.D. student in Bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, received the Illinois International Graduate Achievement Award, presented annually to a UI graduate student who has made an impact internationally through work and service. Damhorst, who received a plaque and honorarium during the April 9th awards banquet, was chosen because of his research focused on HIV/AIDS, his development of the Global Health Initiative at Illinois, and his humanitarian and interfaith efforts that have benefitted communities in several countries. Damhorst earned an M.S. in Bioengineering and a B.S. in Physics, both from Illinois. Pictured here, left to right: Greg's wife, Lacey Damhorst; Greg; and his parents, Joan and Larry Damhorst.

MORE ON DAMHORST AND INTERNATIONAL AWARD


Photo of Aashay Patel.Aashay Patel awarded summer research grant

Among the University's newest group of Campus Honors awardees is Aashay Patel, a freshman in Bioengineering and a Chancellor's Scholar at Illinois. He recently received a grant from the University of Illinois to participate in the Campus Honors Program Summer Research, which will support his further studies in PET-CT imaging of prostate cancer. Patel works with Wawrzyniec Dobrucki, assistant professor in Bioengineering.

MORE ON THE CAMPUS HONORS PROGRAM


Photo of Gelson Pagan Diaz.Gelson Pagan Diaz selected for NSF fellowship

Gelson Pagan Diaz, graduate student in Bioengineering, has been awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Out of 16,500 applicants this year, only 2,000 — including Diaz — received fellowship offers, and he is among 29 awardees this year at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Applicants represented all 50 states and diverse scientific disciplines. According to the NSF, awardees are chosen based on their “demonstrated potential for significant achievements in science and engineering,” and “the program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees in science and engineering.” Fellows benefit from multiple opportunities, including a chance to conduct research abroad, and they have access to supercomputing resources through XSEDE, the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment, which is supported by the NSF and managed by the National Center for Supercomputing Resources and its XSEDE partners.

MORE ON THE UI AWARDEES OF THE NSF FELLOWSHIP


EDIITOR'S NOTE: Sarah Foster, an undergraduate in the College of Media and communications intern in Bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, contributed to this issue.

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