Wake Forest Biomedical Engineering offers NSF summer research experience for undergraduates

April 19, 2016

The National Science Foundation-sponsored Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site at Wake Forest University (WFU) School of Medicine offers multidisciplinary biomedical engineering opportunities involving accidental trauma research that aim to prevent, mitigate, and improve the fundamental understanding of injury. Objectives of this REU program emphasize research training, education, mentorship, and focus on inspiring under-represented students to pursue biomedical research and career opportunities. Students from underrepresented groups including women, minorities, and students with minimal exposure to STEM research from community colleges or universities without undergraduate research opportunities will be recruited. The intended impact is to impart training and education on engineering research and the research process, cultivate lasting mentoring relationships, and foster an interest in research and higher education in the REU participants. Research training, education on the research process and professional development topics, and mentorship are provided to REU participants through imaging and mechanics-based projects related to the prevention, mitigation, treatment, and scientific understanding of accidental trauma. Contributions from the offered projects within this REU Site project will include development of injury prediction models, vehicle and sporting safety improvements, and advancements in osteoporosis prevention, surgical fixation of injuries, trauma resuscitation procedures, and cancer radiation therapies. 

During a nine-week summer program, student activities will include hands-on research training that encourages participants to make creative contributions to research projects. Participants will receive mentoring from faculty and graduate students, and will attend a weekly Research Training Seminar Series, networking, outreach, and social events. Participants will write an abstract and give an oral presentation at an Undergraduate Summer Research Symposium. Twelve students each year will be selected based on evidence of academic achievement, high potential to benefit from the research experience, and the student's contribution to the geographic, ethnic, and gender diversity of the REU participant group. Students will gain a fundamental understanding of injury research, will develop into more independent researchers, and will be encouraged to pursue educational and career opportunities in biomedical research. Research findings will be disseminated via publications and presentations co-authored by REU participants. The REU Site program is based at Wake Forest University (WFU) Health Sciences, with locations of proposed research at WFU Innovation Quarter and WFU Baptist Health.

Program mentors:

  • Kristen M. Beavers, PhD, MPH, RD-- Health & Exercise Science 
  • J. Daniel Bourland, PhD-- Radiation Oncology
  • Philip Brown, PhD-- Biomedical Engineering
  • Kerry Danelson, PhD-- Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Scott Gayzik, PhD-- Biomedical Engineering
  • Jillian Urban, PhD-- Biomedical Engineering
  • Anna N. Miller, MD-- Orthopaedics
  • Elaheh Rahbar, PhD-- Biomedical Engineering
  • Joel Stitzel, PhD-- Biomedical Engineering
  • Ashley Weaver, PhD-- Biomedical Engineering
  • Christopher T. Whitlow, MD, PhD, MHA-- Neuroradiology
  • Jeffrey Willey, PhD-- Radiation Oncology

Program dates: May 26 - July 29 (registration closed)

More information:  http://www.wakehealth.edu/CIB/Summer-Research-Opportunities.htm