Friday, February 28, 2014

Awards Season

You don't have to talk to a Jacobs School of Engineering professor for very long before they start raving about the amazing creativity, intelligence and work ethic of their students. Those voices are echoed in the awards and recognition engineering students receive throughout the year in scholarships and fellowships that help them continue their cutting-edge research.

The latest honors come from the Society for Biomaterials and the UC San Diego Graduate Student Association.  Congratulations to Aereas Aung, who is one of three UC San Diego graduate students to receive the association's 2014 Interdisciplinary Research Award. Aung is being recognized for his work using engineering principles to understand cancer metastasis.  

Bioengineering professor Shyni Varghese and graduate student Aereas Aung attend a UC San Diego Graduate Student Association's celebration at The Loft. Aung is one of three graduate students on campus to receive the association's 2014 Interdisciplinary Research Award.
Adam Young, who earned his Ph.D. in bioengineering last year working under the advisement of bioengineering professor Karen Christman, was recognized by the Society for Biomaterials in the student awards category for Outstanding Research. Adam recently accepted a job offer with Maryland-based biotech company ACell. In a statement commending Adam, the Society heralded his outreach work encouraging young people to study science and engineering:

 In addition to his lab work, Adam is passionate about getting involved and having an impact on others, including increasing diversity in science and engineering. He is very involved in the UCSD BioBridge program, which works to encourage young students to go into STEM fields. He has worked in classrooms across San Diego as a mentor and given talks in summer conferences to aspiring young scientists. Adam has also received the prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) graduate research fellowship as well as an additional fellowship from NSF as part of the Engineering Innovations Fellows Program, which is allowing him to do a paid internship this summer at Cytograft, Inc. “Adam is an extremely bright and motivated student who was developing his own ideas and planning his own studies even in his first year in graduate school, which is rare,” commented nominator Karen L. Christman, PhD. “Adam is an outstanding graduate student both in and outside of the lab and will undoubtedly be a leading engineer in the field.”
Another of Christman's students, undergraduate bioengineering student Gillie Agmon, has received the Society for Biomaterials 2014 C. William Hall Scholarship for her work on research projects related to skeletal muscle tissue engineering and new therapies for treating ischemic skeletal muscle associated with peripheral artery disease.  Agmon is also a Gordon Scholar.

"Working in Dr. Christman's biomaterials lab has enforced my desire to pursue a Ph.D. in regenerative medicine research," said Agmon. "My experiences in this lab have given me direction and taught me so much about the applications of biomaterials in medical settings. By receiving the C. William Hall scholarship from the Society for Biomaterials I will now get the chance to attend the annual meeting in April and further my understanding of biomaterial technology.”

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