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Students deliver presentations at BMES Pittsburgh meeting

Oct. 17, 2009

Three biomedical engineering program students made presentations at the Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh.

They were among nine students from the laboratories of BME faculty to present at the conference, which was held Oct. 7-10.

Karissa Henson, a second-year BME program student, made an oral presentation on “Characterization of CD44+/CD24-/low Breast Cancer Cell Adhesion to Bone Marrow Endothelium.” She works in the laboratory of Monica Burdick, assistant professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.

Amritha Kalyani Venkatesh, also a second-year BME program student, conducted a poster session titled “Extracellular Matrix Components and Tumor Factors Induce a Proangiogenic Dendritic Cell Phenotype.” Her lab advisor is Fabian Benencia, assistant professor of Biomedical Sciences.

Matt Wood is in his first year in the BME program.  He began working in Burdick’s lab as an undergraduate and then moved into the new 4-1 BME program option.   Wood and two chemical and biomolecular engineering undergraduates also from Burdick’s lab, Jocelyn Marshall and Courtney Abram, presented “Characterization of Glycolipid-Mediated Adhesion of Cancer Cells to Vascular Endothelium.” Abram also presented “The Function of Hyaluronic Acid and Hyaluronic Acid Synthases in Head and Neck Cancer Cell Adhesion.”

Another chemical and biomolecular engineering undergraduate, Kristine Mayle, presented “Injectable Acellular Treatment for Cardiac Tissue Engineering,” which stemmed from her work in the University of California-San Diego lab of Karen Christman, assistant professor of bioengineering, through the Amgen Scholars Summer Program.

The sheer size of the conference and the breadth of the research featured impressed Henson. In all, the BMES meeting, hosted by the University of Pittsburgh, attracted 2602 attendees. It featured 1200 posters and 656 oral presentations.

She said she saw great value in “seeing what types of research are out there, to see what they are studying, how they are studying it and how they present it, how they give the relevance of their research to all the people here.”
Attending such a meeting, Henson said, allows students “to see beyond the scope of your lab experience and your academic experience.”
A University of Florida researcher stopped by to see Venkatesh’s poster. “He’s working on something very similar to this,” she said. “I got his e-mail address, and maybe we can exchange ideas.”

Other biomedical engineering presentations from Ohio University were:

•    Young Eun Choi, Ph.D. student in the lab of David Tees, associate professor of physics and astronomy, “Neutrophil Motion, Adhesion and Activation in an In Vitro Micropipette Model of a Lung Capillary”

•    Sudhir Deosarkar and China Malakondaiah Kummitha, Ph.D. students, and Kristine Mayle, undergraduate, in the lab of Doug Goetz, professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and director of the BME program, “A Sandwich ELISA for Wnt5a Detection in Fluid-Phase Systems”
•    Deosarkar, “Detection of VCAM-1 Positive Endothelial Cells in Whole Blood Using Real-Time PCR”
•    Venktesh Shirure, Ph.D. student in Burdick’s lab, “E-Selectin Ligands of Breast Cancer Cells”

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