Published: April 8, 2022 By

NSF logoThe National Science Foundation has awarded two graduate students in the Biomedical Engineering Program with Graduate Research Fellowships, a signal of the innovative and impactful research they will conduct in the years ahead.

The Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) recognizes students pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. The five-year fellowship includes three years of financial support including an annual stipend of $34,000 and a cost of education allowance of $12,000 to the institution.

GRFP is the oldest graduate fellowship program of its kind. NSF fellows are anticipated to become knowledge experts in their future academic and professional careers who contribute significantly to research and teaching.

Juliet Heye

I am a first-year Biomedical Engineering PhD student in Corey Neu's Soft Tissue Bioengineering Lab. I got my BS in biomedical engineering from Purdue University and worked in the medical device industry before deciding to pursue a PhD.

I'm passionate about improving patient lives through biomedical innovation, so my research interests include translational tissue engineering concepts that can directly inform medical treatments.

My research aims to create scaffolds that promote cartilage healing in musculoskeletal injury and disease, such as osteoarthritis. While mature cartilage lacks innate repair capabilities, developmental cartilage demonstrates scar-free healing, so I plan to use developmental cartilage as inspiration in my regenerative scaffold designs.

Payton Martinez

I am a first year PhD student in IQ Biology and Biomedical Engineering. I will be working in Mark Borden's lab for the remainder of my PhD. 

My research involves the use of ultrasound contrast agents, or microbubbles, and focused ultrasound to temporarily disrupt the blood brain barrier. I will be using this technology to improve the treatment of diseases in the brain by providing a targeted pathway for large drugs to pass into the brain.

Currently, I am working on using this technique to safely and effectively deliver chemotherapeutic agents to a childhood cancer, DIPG, in the brain.