BME students and alums earn NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

Congratulations to UF BME’s outstanding students and alums who have been selected for the 2023 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP), which recognizes exceptional students who are pursuing full-time research-based master’s and doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

We are so proud of our students and alumni being honored with this prestigious award! 

Harrison Broadaway is a first-year Ph.D. student in Dr. Brittany Taylor’s lab. His research primarily focuses on the contributions of biomechanical stimuli throughout musculoskeletal tissue healing with an emphasis on the tendon repair process.

Ava Burgess is a first-year biomedical engineering Ph.D. student in Dr. Aysegul Gunduz Brain Mapping Lab. Her research focuses on identifying neural biomarkers in Essential Tremor for closed-loop deep brain stimulation applications.

Carleigh Coffin is an incoming first-year Ph.D. student in Dr. Jamal Lewis’ lab. Her research background is in drug and gene delivery, biomaterials, and cancer treatment with her current research project focusing on characterizing a novel fusogenic peptide to target ovarian cancer cells and deliver small interfering RNA. Her future work will be focused on deciphering the mechanisms of fungal vomocytosis.

Garrett Fullerton received a B.S. in biomedical engineering at UF in 2022 (Dr. Ruogu Fang’s lab). He is currently a researcher in the Liver Imaging Research Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison under the guidance of Dr. Scott Reeder and Dr. Diego Hernando.

Anne Gormaley received her B.S. in biomedical engineering at UF in 2019 (Dr. Kevin Otto’s lab). Her work focuses on the evaluation of the foreign body response to regenerative neural interfaces in the peripheral nervous system. She is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Pittsburgh in the Neural Tissue Engineering Lab (Led by Dr. Tracy Cui). Her research focuses on investigating the effects of CNS microelectrode implantation and microstimulation using in vivo 2-Photon imaging.

Tia Monjure is a Ph.D. student in Dr. Ana Maria Porras’s Tissue-Microbe Interactions Lab. Her research focuses on Leishmaniasis, a parasitic neglected tropical disease that leads to uncontrolled growth of the liver. Her ultimate goal is to engineer a 3D multi-cellular model of the liver to understand better the parasite’s influence on vascular remodeling in this tissue.

Rylee Newport is an incoming Ph.D. student joining Dr. Blanka Sharma’s lab. She is a senior BME undergraduate at the University of Oklahoma in Dr. Stefan Wilhelm’s Biomedical Nano-Engineering Lab. Her research focuses on substrate optimization for tunable expansion microscopy to improve the understanding of how nanomedicine interacts with cells in an environment that better mimics innate biological conditions.

Emily Pallack is a senior undergraduate in Dr. Christine Schmidt’s lab. She will attend Tufts University to pursue a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering and continue her research in therapeutics for neural regeneration using stem cells.

Clinton Smith is a first-year Biomedical Engineering Ph.D. student in Dr. Jamal Lewis’ Immunomodulatory Biomaterials Laboratory. His research entails leveraging vomocytosis, a “trojan horse” cellular mechanism, for improved therapeutic delivery in autoimmune disease.

Natalie Thurlow received a B.S. in biomedical engineering at UF in 2022 (Dr. Kyle Allen’s lab). Natalie joined the McKay Orthopedic Research Laboratory in the Fall of 2022 and is working on completing a doctoral degree in the Department of Bioengineering.