Biomedical Engineering Undergraduate Research
Many Biomedical Engeineering undergraduate students at IUPUI participate in faculty-mentored research. Opportunities for our students are numerous across both the IUPUI and IU School of Medicine campuses. Several of our students' experiences are highlighted below.
Lillie - BME Senior "Research allowed me to work with application engineers and gave me a hands on experience of concepts I learned in class."
Mentor: Benjamin J. Perrin, PhD - IUPUI Biology
Project: The cochlea has auditory hair cells that contain actin-based protrusions called stereocilia that account for the ability to hear. Lillie's project involves studying how noise exposure affects stereocilia. She helped design and validate a noise exposure protocol that causes temporary or permanent hearing loss in mice. Her project also involves monitoring actin localization in stereocilia following noise damage.
Jenny - BME Senior
"When I am more submerged in BME related work, I noticed that I better retain information that I have learned from my courses this semester."
Mentor: Joseph Wallace, PhD - IUPUI Biomedical Engineering
Project: Jenny is investigating the effects of reduced enzymatic collagen crosslinking and exercise on the mechnical properties of bone. She is working in a mouse model to compare diseased and healthy bones using both imaging and mechanical testing. The techniques she has performed include in vivo loading, mechanical failure testing, µCT (micro-computed tomography), and AFM (atomic force microscopy).
Kyle - BME Senior
"Working with Dr. Sandusky provides a constant reminder of why I chose BME. Seeing the machines and software that chemists, biologists, and principal investigators regularly come in contact with solidifies the fact that BME is a perfect degree to use as a stepping stone to graduate research."
Mentor: George Sandusky, DVM., PhD - Indiana University School of Medicine (Pathology)
Project: Every day working with Dr. George Sandusky in the Pathology Department is a new experience for Kyle. While there are many projects that pass through the lab, two stand out with regards to Kyle's involvement. First, Kyle analyzed the expression of Y box binding protein 1 (YB1) in liver, pancreatic, and colon tumors after specific drug treatment. Second, Kyle has been involved in the analysis of tumors that have been treated with two drugs with antiangiogenic potential: Gemt (an anti-proliferative drug) and E3330 (an inhibitor of DNA repair). After drug treatment and explantation, tumor sections were stained with a Ki67 primary antibody and imaged. Positive pixel analysis was used to obtain quantitative results of proliferation and angiogenesis.
Noor - BME Senior
"Working with Dr. Thompson and Dr. Robling diversified my career interests and opened up many possible career paths in the future that I have never thought I would enjoy."
Mentors: Alexander G. Robling, PhD - Indiana University School of Medicine (Anatomy & Cell Biology), William R. Thompson, DPT, PhD, IUPUI Physical Therapy
Project: The testing of the protein mTORC2 on the mechanical properties of bones combines Noor's interests in biology and engineering. Noor works with a team of undergraduate students, and her project involves cell culture and protein analysis using Western blotting techniques. She is fascinated by the future directions of the project, which involve the investigation of mechanical protein regulation and the effect of this protein on the activity and strength of bones under different types of loading and stresses.
Wiaam - BME Alumnus
"Conducting research creates a unique opportunity to deviate from standard classroom instruction and to seek solutions to real world problems. Undergraduate research has also greatly helped me solidify my medical school interests, build a professional network, and seek career venues which would have otherwise remained unknown."
Mentor: Jason M. Organ, Ph.D. - Indiana University School of Medicine (Anatomy & Cell Biology)
Project: Wiaam’s current research endeavor is primarily focused on the tissue-level mechanisms responsible for musculoskeletal integrity in chronic kidney disease through in vivo and in vitro model systems and pharmaceutical intervention. His objectives will involve ensuring proper cardiovascular training and pharmaceutical application in animal models, performing histological, surgical, and data analysis, and constructively searching for hypothesized or unexpected anomalies or outcomes during the investigation. Potential future directions involve an independent study to assess molecular pathways leading to observed modifications in musculoskeletal tissue regeneration.
Ellen - BME Alumna
"Having such a strong background in research as an undergraduate has been an extremely valuable asset to my future career and has influenced me to pursue a Ph.D. post-graduation."
Mentor: Bonnie Blazer-Yost, PhD - IUPUI Biology
Project: The primary focus of the Blazer-Yost laboratory is renal function and subsequent ion transport. Ellen's current project focuses on the effects media glucose and insulin concentrations on sodium transport in the distal nephron and its role in metabolic syndrome, which is a precursor to Type II Diabetes. You can find Ellen culturing cells, performing electrophysiology, harvesting organs, and analyzing data in the Blazer-Yost lab and various other facilities around campus.
Tyler - BME Alumnus
"I was given the opportunity to present the research I am currently working on at the 2014 BMES National Conference in San Antonio, Texas."
Mentor: Joseph Wallace, PhD - IUPUI Biomedical Engineering
Project: Tyler is investigating the effects of reduced enzymatic collagen crosslinking and exercise on murine bone. Micro-computed tomography is used analyze the bone microarchitecture, volumetric bone mineral density, and volumetric tissue mineral density in mice with deficient collagen crosslinking. If exercise rescues bone quality and improves material properties in the mouse model that Tyler and his colleagues use, exercise may prove to be a vital treatment for patients with poor bone quality and properties.