Alex recently completed his Sophomore year at Tulane University majoring in biomedical engineering. His future plans are to pursue and obtain a graduate degree. This summer Alex will be working with Michael Sacks, PhD, at the University of Pittsburgh. His research will focus on examining the tissue culture of bladder smooth muscle cells on small intestinal submucosa (SIS) under the influence of the growth factors bFGF and VEGF. Alex enjoys sports, COFFEE, music, and an occasional good book. He is looking forward to spending a day at Kennywood this summer.
Emily Cooperstein University of Notre Dame
A major in Sociology & Pre-Medicine a senior next year at the University of Notre Dame, this summer, Emily will be working with William Wagner, PhD, University of Pittsburgh. Her research will focus primarily on pursuing strategies to locally interrupted undesirable cell adhesion signals within the body, replacing them with signals specific for a given pharmaceutical agent or for a delivered cell. Emily hobbies are playing soccer, hanging with friends, going to country music concerts and shopping.
Danielle Dukes California University of Pennsylvania
This summer Danielle will be working with Steven Abramowitch, PhD, University of Pittsburgh. Her work will focus on characterizing changes in the biomechanical properties of functional tissue engineering scaffolds, as well as their effects on the mechanics of treated ligaments and tendons. A senior next year at California University of PA, majoring in Pre-Medicine; Danielle’s hobbies include, reading, playing basketball. She is interested in the field of medicine in general and the Bullmastiff dog breed.
Kristin Frawley CCAC-Boyce Campus
Kristin, will be a sophomore this year, majoring in Biotechnology at the Community College of Allegheny County. This summer, she will work with Savio L-Y Woo, PhD, University of Pittsburgh. Her research will focus on characterizing changes in the biomechanical properties of functional tissue engineering scaffolds, as well as their effects on the mechanics of treated ligaments and tendons. Kristen interests are scrap-booking, reading a good book and spending time with family.
David Gladowski John Hopkins University
An incoming sophomore this year at John Hopkins University, David is a Molecular and Cellular Biology major. David will work with Savio Woo, PhD, University of Pittsburgh. David’s research will examine mechanical and biological characterization of tissue engineered collagen scaffolds. His examinations will include utilizing stretching equipment, as well as performing mechanical testing of healing ligaments treated with tissue derived scaffolds. Ultimate Frisbee, politics, movies and outdoors are some of David’s hobbies.
Angela Jiang Carnegie Mellon University
A junior this year, majoring in Chemistry, Angela plans to pursue a medical degree followingundergraduate graduation. Her hobbies include classical piano performance; contra & belly-dancing and ice hockey. She hopes to learn how to row (crew) this summer. This summer she is working with Drs. Alan Russell and Richard Koepsel at the University of Pittsburgh. Angela’s summer research involves the generation and testing of smart coatings. These coatings are either antimicrobial polymers, polymers that release antimicrobial compounds in a controlled manner, or combinations of both. The overall goal of coating development is to produce materials that will resist or prevent biofilm formation on medical devices.
Matthew Madden Pennsylvania State University
Matthew is a sophomore at Pennsylvania State University, majoring in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Chemistry. His hobbies include anything outdoors and around water. This summer he will be working with Stephen Badylak, DVM, PhD, MD, at the University of Pittsburgh. Matthew’s research will involve exposure to a wide variety of experimental procedures including cell culture, preparation of extracellular matrix biologic scaffolds, PCR,biomechanical testing, microscopy, and varietychromatographic procedures.
Michael Menegazzi University of South Carolina, Columbia
A sophomore this year, majoring in Biology & Science at the University of South Carolina, Michael will work with Garth Ehrlich, PhD at the Allegheny-Singer Research Institute. As an intern, Michael will be exposed to an array of research which focuses on the development of molecular therapeutic approaches to combat heterotrophic ossifications, a painful condition caused by abnormal bone growth in the soft tissue of blast victims.
Jay Ong Villanova University
Jay, who will be a junior this fall majoring in Chemical Engineering at Villanova University. His future plans are to attend graduate school. This summer, Jay will be interning with Lee Weiss, PhD, Carnegie Mellon University. Jay will assist in the development and testing of microminiatures, i.e., tissue-engineered biodegradable barbs, for applications in tissue joining and localized drug delivery. Jay’s interests range from swimming to playing poker.
Roxanna (Roxy) Perez Arizona State University
A School of Life Sciences junior at Arizona State University, majoring in Kinesiology, Roxy will be interning with Phil Campbell, PhD, at Carnegie Mellon University. Her research will focus on the identification of novel biocompatible biomaterials and innovative approaches to exploit the biomaterials’ structural, chemical, physical and microstructural characteristics for bio-functional applications. Roxy’s future plans consist of attending medical school. She is looking forward to walking around and exploring Pittsburgh.
Joseph Said Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
A junior at Rensselaer Polytechnic institute, Joe hopes to attend medical or graduate school after he graduates in May of 2008. Joe enjoys Taekwondo, playing the guitar and snowboarding. He hopes to catch a Pirate game this summer. This summer Joe is working with Marina V. Kameneva, PhD, University of Pittsburgh. His work will focus on various projects that will involve learning conventional rheological methods of assessment of RBC deformability using a Wells-Brookfield Cone/Plate viscometer, the Vilastic-3 Visoelasticity Analyzer and capillary viscosimeters.
Brittany Sams Spelman College
A sophomore this year, majoring in Biology at Spelman College. Brittany will be interning with Kacey Marra, PhD, University of Pittsburgh. Her research experience will focus on the use of adult stem cell culture from fat, as well as the development of novel biomaterials and cell/polymer interactions. Brittany enjoys basketball, and working out.
Lori Sanders CCAC-Allegheny
As a Biotechnology major at the Community College of Allegheny County, Lori will work with David Vorp, PhD, University of Pittsburgh. In Dr. Vorp’s lab, Lori will be exposed to an array of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) research. Specifically, Lori will be researching the levels of activity of matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9). Using gelatin zymography and densitometry, she will be interested in determine the relative fold changes in MMP-9 activity across different areas of the aneurysm sac.
Lara Seltz University of Virginia
Recently completing her sophomore year at the University of Virginia, Laura is majoring in Biomedical Engineering. Lis interning with Jennifer Ogilvia, PhD, athe University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Her research focus is related to tissue engineering of the adrenal gland, focusing on the isolation of adrenal progenitor cells from human fetal adrenal cortex using flow cytometry and cell sorting. Lara enjoys traveling with her family, rowing, snowboarding, and finding new restaurants with family and friends.
Darren Smith University of Pittsburgh
A senior this year, Darren is majoring in Biological Sciences, Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh. Darren enjoys basketball, both watching and playing it. Darren will intern with Kacey Marra, PhD at the University of Pittsburgh. His research experience will focus on the use of adult stem cell culture from fat, as well as the development of novel biomaterials and cell/polymer interactions.
Neal Spada Pennsylvania State University
Neal, a Chemistry/Pre-med major at Pennsylvania State University, will be working with James Kang, MD, at the University of Pittsburgh. Neal’s research will consist of will in-vitro organ cultures of the rabbit disc, treated with various growth factor genes to affect increased extracellumatrix synthesis. His hobby interests are sports, music, movies and hanging out with friends.
Cara Thompson University of Colorado
Cara will be a senior this fall at University of Colorado, majoring in nursing. Cara plans to complete additional coursework for her graduate studies. This summer Cara will be interning with Joseph Ahearn, MD, University of Pittsburgh. Her research will focus on development investigating cardiovascular disease and the role of the innate immune system in system lupuserythmatosus (SLE). Cara currently is learning to bridge and enjoys competing in novice games as a well as lessons.
Carolina Velez Carnegie Mellon University
Carolina recently completed her freshman year at Carnegie Mellon University where she is a Decision Science, Pre-Med major. This summer she will be working with Robert Parker, PhD, University of Pittsburgh. Her research will focus on pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (mathematical) modeling of anticancer drugs, with an additional focus on mechanisms of drug action. A native of Pittsburgh, Carolina is looking towards spending a day at the Carnegie Art Museum, sitting on Flagstaff Hill, and later getting ice-cream at Dave and Andy's.
Rachel Werner Washington and Jefferson College
Rachel, a sophomore majoring in Cell and Molecular Biology at Washington and Jefferson College, plans to later attend medical school or graduate school. This summer she will beworking with, Sanjeev Shroff, PhD, Magee-Womens Research Institute. Her focus will be work related to the role of myofibrillar protein acetylation in regulating cardiac muscle contractility. A native of Pittsburgh, Pachel describes the best way to enjoy a weekend in the Pittsburgh area to either be heading downtown for shopping and dining or boating on the Three Rivers.