Five Bioengineering PhD students have been named Siebel Scholars of the class of 2022: Kristen Cotner, K.L. Barry Fung, Kazuomori Lewis, Alden Moss, and Soo Hyun Shin. The Siebel Scholars program annually recognizes top students at the world’s leading graduate schools of bioengineering, business, computer science and energy science.
The Kidney Project, a nationwide collaboration led by Shuvo Roy, PhD of UC San Francisco and William Fissell, MD of Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), has been awarded KidneyX’s Phase 1 Artificial Kidney Prize for combining the two essential parts of its artificial kidney, the hemofilter and the bioreactor, and successfully implanting the smartphone-sized device for preclinical evaluation.
Aashish Manglik, Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Anesthesia at UCSF, has been named a 2021 Vallee Scholar. The Vallee Scholar program provide unrestricted funding for early career researchers at a critical stage in their tenure-track careers.
Bioengineering graduate student Sierra Lear – engineer, neuroscientist and foosball master – was profiled by the Gladstone Institute, where she works with faculty member Seth Shipman.
UCSF professor Leor Weinberger and his team discovered a fundamental mechanism that appears to speed the transformation of stem cells into other cell types.
Congratulations to PhD student Kwasi Amofa, named to the 2021 class of Gilliam Fellows by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Fellowships are awarded to pairs of graduate students and their advisors, who are conducting outstanding research in life science fields and committed to building a more inclusive scientific ecosystem. The program includes a year of training for the advisor on effective and culturally aware mentoring, support and community for the student, and significant research funding. Professor Sanjay Kumar is Amofa’s research advisor.
PhD student Anjali Gopal has been named to the Council on Strategic Risks (CSR) 2021-22 class of the Fellowship for Ending Bioweapons Programs. Gopal is a member of Professor Amy Herr’s lab, is actively interested in emerging technology policy, and aims to leverage her scientific training for pandemic preparedness and bioweapons prevention initiatives.
Graduate program researchers at UC San Francisco have successfully developed a “speech neuroprosthesis” that has enabled a man with severe paralysis to communicate in sentences, translating signals from his brain to the vocal tract directly into words that appear as text on a screen. The work was conducted by Bioengineering group faculty Edward Chang and Karunesh Ganguly, PhD students Sean Metzger and Jessie Liu, alumni David Moses and Josh Chartier, and collaborators.
Tammy Hsu, founder of synthetic biology startup Huue, has been named to the MIT Technology Review 35 Under 35 list for 2021 for developing an environmentally friendly process to create indigo dye using microbes. Tammy is a 2019 PhD graduate from Professor John Dueber’s lab.
Bioe alumnus Lukasz Bugaj, now Assistant Professor of Bioengineering at UPenn, talks in this article about converting their hands-on undergraduate design course to remote and hybrid learning during COVID.
The UC Berkeley – UC San Francisco Graduate Program in Bioengineering has been awarded a 5-year T32 grant from the National Institutes of Health to support 18 PhD students per year during their first year of study. The Ruth L. Kirschstein Institutional National Research Service Award will provide full support for incoming students while they are rotating between laboratories before selecting a faculty member with whom to perform their dissertation work.
Congratulations to current PhD students who have been awarded new NSF Graduate Research Fellowships:
Niroshan Anandasivam, Cynthia Perez, Preethi Raghavan and Clay Smyth.
Bolt Threads, founded by PhD alumnus David Breslauer to produce textiles through synthetic biology, has been named one of the 10 most innovative fashion and style companies of 2021 by Fast Company. They are recognized for their new Mylo product, a leather substitute made from fungal mycelium.
Charles Della Santina, PhD alumnus 1989, will receive the 2021 Association for Research in Otolaryngology Innovator Award in Clinical Science. Now a professor at Johns Hopkins University, he was recognized for his development of the vestibular prosthesis (vestibular implant), through a remarkable combination of basic, clinical and engineering research.
PhD candidate Nicolas Altemose, of Professor Aaron Streets’ lab, has been named a Hanna Gray Fellow by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. This prestigious fellowship grants eight full years of funding for exceptional early career scientists. Gray Fellows have the freedom to change their research focus and follow their curiosity for the duration of the award. Nicolas will begin his postdoctoral work with new mentor Gary Karpen, PhD, also at UC Berkeley, this summer.
Congratulations to graduate group faculty Tamara Alliston, Grace O’Connell, Laura Waller, and Duan Xu, and to BioE PhD alumnae Karen Cheung, now a professor at the University of British Columbia, and Amina Qutub, now a professor at the University of Texas, San Antonio! All are new members of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering College of Fellows.
BioE graduate student Connor Tsuchida talks about the experience of working in Nobel prize-winning labs.
PhD alumni Lily Peng (2012) and Kate Rosenbluth (2009) have been named to the 2020 Fortune Magazine “40 Under 40”, an annual list of 40 young professionals of exceptional talent and influence in their fields. Peng, now Product Manager at Google Health, aims to bring health care to the masses through the use of artificial intelligence. She has personally designed algorithms including the firm’s diabetes-related eye disease detection program. Rosenbluth, Founder and CEO of Cala Health, has designed an FDA-cleared wrist device that eases hand tremors for the 7 million Americans who suffer from essential tremors.
Berkeley Bioengineering Professor Sanjay Kumar and UCSF Bioengineering & Therapeutic Sciences Professor Emeritus Patricia Babbitt have been elected to the 2020 class of Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Kumar was recognized for his “distinguished contributions to the field of bioengineering, particularly the development of biomaterial and single-cell technologies to investigate mechanobiological signaling in health and disease,” and Babbitt for “distinguished contributions to the field of computational biology and bioinformatics particularly related to protein structure/function and applications to drug target identification and drug design.”
PROVEN, the world’s first microbial biofertilizer for cereal crops, has been named one of the 100 Best Inventions of 2020 by Time Magazine. Developed by PivotBio, a BioE spinout company founded by Karsten Temme, PhD 2010, the product replaces synthetic solutions with nitrogen-fixing microbes, which capture nitrogen from the air and convert it into a form that plants can use.
On Tuesday BioE-founded company Lucira’s product became the first rapid, at-home COVID-19 test authorized by the Food and Drug Administration. The test uses their loop-mediated amplification reaction process to detect whether an individual is shedding the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The company was developing this technology for an at-home influenza test before rapidly pivoting to address COVID-19. Lucira is led by Debkishore Mitra (PhD 2013), who founded the company with John Waldeisen (PhD 2012).
In this virtual lab tour, Gokul Ramadoss from the Conklin Lab, and Serah Kang, from the McDevitt Lab – two labs in the Bioengineering Graduate Program – talk about their recent study that highlights the effects of SARS-CoV-2 on the heart.
Congratulations to UCSF Professor Ed Chang, Jeanne Robertson Distinguished Professor and Joan and Sandy Weill Chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery, elected to the National Academy of Medicine.
UC San Francisco has 11 specialties ranked in the top 10 in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Global Universities 2021 rankings. This year’s rankings, released Oct. 20, highlight UCSF’s continuing strength in health sciences research. UCSF ranked second in Immunology and Neuroscience; third in Cell Biology, Clinical Medicine and Microbiology; fourth in Molecular Biology and Genetics; fifth in Infectious Diseases and Surgery; sixth in Biology and Biochemistry, and Oncology; and 10th in Public, Environmental and Occupational Health.
Dr Adam Hickenbotham, PhD 2012, has been named the Founding Dean of the new College of Optometry being developed at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions. Hickenbotham also has a doctorate in optometry from UC Berkeley, more than 17 years of clinical experience, and has been instrumental in developing optometry education at the University of Pikeville and Tusculum University.