Inside Rensselaer
Biomedical Engineering Students Win NSF Fellowships

Two biomedical engineering students at Rensselaer were announced as winners of National Science Foundation (NSF) graduate research fellowships. The awards expand the growing list of biomedical engineering students at Rensselaer who have secured prestigious national and international fellowships.
The NSF announced last month that graduate student Sarah Linley and senior Danielle Bogdanowicz were among the winners of the 2011 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program Competition.

“NSF Graduate Research Fellowships are highly competitive and prestigious awards. Fellowships give our students a jumpstart
on their research career and open up new opportunities both in academia and the
private sector.” —Deepak Vashishth

Linley, in the research group of Assistant Professor Eric Ledet, will advance her research into lower back pain. She seeks to better understand how the compression and twisting of intervertebral discs in the spine contribute to long-term degenerative disc disease. Bogdanowicz, graduating from Rensselaer this month, was an undergraduate researcher in the lab of Assistant Professor Deanna Thompson. She will use the grant to advance her research using stem cells to regrow and repair bone and cartilage.

“NSF Graduate Research Fellowships are highly competitive and prestigious awards. Along with preparing excellent proposals and executing high-level research, these students are expected to clearly demonstrate the broader impacts and societal benefit of their work,” said Deepak Vashishth, professor and head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering. “Fellowships give our students a jumpstart on their research career and open up new opportunities both in academia and the private sector. We congratulate Sarah and Danielle, and we’re proud to count them among the growing number of impressive biomedical engineering graduate students with national and international fellowships.”

The NSF awards only about 2,000 Graduate Research Fellowship Program awards every year. The three-year awards include an annual stipend of $30,000 and educational support of $10,000. The goal of the NSF program is to help ensure the vitality and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce in the United States, by supporting students who have demonstrated their potential for significant achievements in science and engineering research.

“Over the past two years, biomedical engineering faculty and the department have made great efforts to recruit highly talented graduate students, and arm them with the tools and skills to be effective, competitive researchers,” Vashishth said. “We are very proud of the success of our graduate students, and the growing number of stellar fellowships they’re winning.”

Biomedical engineering students work closely with their advisers in the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies. Graduate students and faculty in biomedical engineering regularly collaborate with other Rensselaer research centers, including the Computational Center for Nanotechnology Innovations, as well as the Center for Modeling, Simulation, and Imaging in Medicine, Center for Multiscale Science and Engineering, and several hospitals and medical centers in New York, Boston, and Connecticut.

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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 5, Number 10, May 27, 2011
©2011 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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