Bioengineering Graduate Group Symposium – January 2019

On January 8, 2019 the Department of Bioengineering at Penn held its annual Graduate Group Research Symposium to great success.

Thank you to everyone who attended and participated, our student volunteers, our faculty who participated as judges for the student talks and poster competition, and especially to our keynote speaker, Dr. Sujata Bhatia, Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Delaware.

Congratulations to the award winners:

Student Talks:

  • First prize – Meagan Ita
  • Second prize – Nicolette Driscoll
  • Third prize – Minna Chen

Poster Presentations:

  • First prize – Mariia Alibekova
  • Second prize – Jonathan Galarraga, Sonia Kartha, and John Viola
  • Third prize – Andrei Georgescu

Annual Bioengineering Graduate Group Research Symposium: January 8th

The annual Bioengineering Graduate Symposium provides an opportunity for current bioengineering graduate students to showcase their research to faculty and peers through poster sessions and short talks.

Date: January 8th
Location: Wu & Chen Auditorium and Levine Hall Lobby
Time: Check-in opens 12:45, event starts 1 pm.


Dr. Sujata Bhatia

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Sujata Bhatia,
Professor of Chemical and Bimolecular Engineering, faculty director, McNair Scholars Program,
University of Delaware

  “Bioengineering to Alleviate the Global Burden of Disease”

Biochemical and biomedical engineers face an unprecedented opportunity to improve and save the lives of millions worldwide.  Both high-income and low-income countries are experiencing an explosion in the incidence of chronic diseases, including coronary artery disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer.  At the same time, low-income countries continue to be plagued by infectious diseases, including HIV, tuberculosis, diarrheal disease, and pneumonia; low-income countries are often said to experience a dual burden of chronic and infectious diseases.  Innovative biomedical materials will only reach the clinic if these technologies solve pressing clinical problems.  This talk will describe opportunities for bioengineers to alleviate the global burden of disease.  The talk will additionally highlight specific examples of unmet clinical needs.  Bioengineers in industry, academia, and government can all make a difference, not only by designing novel biomedical products, but also by training the next generation of bioengineers and shaping the future direction of research and development.

Michael Mitchell Receives BMES Rising Star Award

Michael Mitchell, PhD, Skirkanich Assistant Professor of Innovation in the Department of Bioengineering at Penn, has been honored with a Rising Star Award in Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering from the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES). According to the BMES website, “The BMES Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering Special Interest Group brings together researchers with diverse scientific and clinical interests with a common goal of understanding and engineering molecules, cells, their interactions and microenvironments in the pursuit of controlling biological processes and improving the practice of medicine.” Dr. Mitchell received the award and delivered a lecture at the 2019 Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering Conference in San Diego, California in January, 2019.

One of six early-stage investigators from across the nation to receive the honor, Dr. Mitchell was recognized for his work on engineering delivery technologies for cancer gene therapy and immunotherapy, which is helping to lay the foundation for a new class of therapeutic strategies against hematologic cancers such as multiple myeloma and leukemia. In 2018, Dr. Mitchell was awarded the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award for this research, and received the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award at the Scientific Interface) in 2016. He joined the Penn faculty in January 2018 after completing an NIH NCI postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Robert Langer at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT.