BME Department Announces Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award Winners


Biomedical Engineering

The WPI Biomedical Engineering Outstanding Undergraduate Research Awards recognize research excellence in independent research projects conducted in WPI BME research labs.

This year the faculty and staff of the BME Department are thrilled to recognize:

Nelson Barnett ‘22  has worked in the lab of Dr. Adam Lammert since fall of 2020. The focus of his work has been to develop and implement in software a biomechanical model of tripping behavior in human walking. His model will be useful for improving understanding of the conditions under which falls are likely to occur, for predicting fall risk, and ultimately for preventing fall injuries. A manuscript describing his work, on which he is the primary author, is currently in revision at the Journal of Biomechanical Engineering.

Natasha Cruz-Calderon '22 joined the lab of Dr. Solomon Mensah in 2020 and her work is focused on characterizing the mechanical properties and expression of human lung microvascular endothelial cell glycocalyx. She helped develop an in vitro system that applies shear stress and stretch to cells and used this platform to understand how the endothelial glycocalyx respond to a combination of shear and stretch. She has presented her work at New England Science Symposium at Harvard Med and a podium presentation at the AIChE conference.

Jessica Netto ‘22 has worked in Dr. Catherine Whittington’s lab since summer 2019 when she joined as part of the Early Research Experience in E-term program at WPI. Jessica has worked on several different projects in the lab over the years, but her most recent project focused on assessing toxicity of photoinitiators on pancreatic cancer cells. This information is important to determine how the laboratory can use photoinitiators to stiffen modified collagen materials used in experimental models of pancreatic cancer. Jessica presented a poster of her work at the 2022 Society for Biomaterials Annual Meeting and has presented results from other projects at WPI research symposiums.

On behalf of the entire BME Department, CONGRATULATIONS to this year’s Award winners.