In this issue: Chair’s welcome | Innovation and Impact | UW Bioengineers in the News

ceci-new-chair-photoChair’s Welcome

Greetings from the University of Washington Department of Bioengineering!

I’m pleased to send you this update on our advances in bioengineering research and education, as well as recognize awards and honors recently received by our students and faculty.

This graduation season, we congratulate our Class of 2015 on their accomplishments. Graduates are encouraged to stay connected with the department and fellow UW bioengineers by following us on LinkedIn and Facebook.

I hope you enjoy this issue. Please feel free to send your feedback to the editors at


Cecilia Giachelli, Ph.D.
W. Hunter and Dorothy Simpson Endowed Chair, Professor
Department of Bioengineering
University of Washington

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Innovation and Impact


buddy_ratnerBuddy Ratner named 2015 Langmuir Lecturer

Buddy Ratner, professor of bioengineering and chemical engineering and the Michael L. and Myrna Darland Endowed Chair in Technology Commercialization, was selected as a 2015 Langmuir Lecturer. He will deliver a plenary lecture at the 2015 ACS Annual Meeting this fall.

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UW Bioengineering Assistant Professor Kim WoodrowKim Woodrow receives 2015 UW Undergraduate Mentor Award

Kim Woodrow, assistant professor of bioengineering, has received a 2015 UW Undergraduate Research Mentor Award. This award recognizes her
commitment to guiding undergraduates to achieve success as research scholars. She is one of five UW faculty who received this award in 2015.

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Alyssa Taylor working with a studentLecturer Alyssa Taylor recognized for teaching excellence, promoting academic discovery

Since arriving at UW in 2010, Lecturer Alyssa Taylor has introduced hundreds of undergraduate students to bioengineering. This year, she was selected to teach a Collegium Seminar, a competitive opportunity for UW faculty to develop courses that encourage freshmen to engage in academic discovery. This spring, she was invited to teach a second Collegium Seminar in 2016.

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translationCoulter Program launches technologies toward clinical impact

This May marks the 10th anniversary of the UW’s Coulter Translational Research Partnership in Biomedical Engineering, which has helped propel dozens of UW inventions from the lab toward clinical use. We profile one of Coulter’s recent successes: a platform for growing cardiac cells for drug toxicity testing. Researchers in Assistant Professor Deok-Ho Kim’s lab developed the technology, which was recently spun out to the start-up NanoSurface Biomedical.

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Patrick HsiehAlumnus Patrick Hsieh confronts challenges in cardiac stem cell therapy

Ph.D. alumnus (2003) and affiliate faculty member Patrick Hsieh investigates stem cell therapy strategies for treating cardiovascular disease and preventing heart failure. The Taiwan Bio-Development Foundation recently recognized his contributions to the field of cardiac stem cell therapy and awarded him the country’s top biotechnology honor.

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Sharon NewmanUndergraduate Sharon Newman receives Fulbright, Whitaker fellowships

Sharon Newman  will spend the next year applying her expertise in neuroprosthetics, robotics and engineering while building relationships with universities and hospitals in Germany, Switzerland and Italy. She looks forward to expanding her perspective of global health care and the culture of medicine.

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Empreva team with 10,000 checkStudents win prizes at UW Business Plan Competition

Five student-led teams won over $30,000 of prize money at the 2015 UW Business Plan Competition. The teams were led by second-place finisher Empreva, which is developing an innovative drug delivery technology that empowers women to protect themselves against HIV and unintended pregnancy.

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Three undergraduates receive Goldwater Scholarships

Undergraduates Ian Andrews, Alice Bosma-Moody and Gina Hansen received Goldwater Scholarship Awards for the 2015-16 academic year. All Goldwater Scholar nominees from the University of Washington in 2015 were from BioE.

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Ph.D. student Alex Jiao receives NIH F31 fellowshipAlex Jiao

Fifth year Ph.D. student Alex Jiao has received a NIH F31 Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award. Alex aims to engineer 3-D human heart tissue using stem cells, and gain insights into the heart’s structure and function.

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Debobrato Das, Pakapreud Khumwan and Jonathan TsuiGraduate Students Receive HHMI/Molecular Medicine Scholar Awards

Ph.D. students Debobrato (Jojo) Das, Pakapreud Khumwan and Jonathan Tsui have received HHMI/Molecular Medicine Scholar Awards. These awards recognize these students’ commitment to research at the interface of basic science and medicine.

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BioE Awards winners: Suzie Pun, Nuttada Panpradist, Ted Chen and Colleen Irvin2015 BioE Awards for Faculty, Students and Staff announced

Robert F. Rushmer Endowed Professor Suzie Pun, Ph.D. students Nuttada Panpradist and Ted Chen and research scientist Colleen Irvin received 2015 BioE Awards in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the department community.

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Yager_P_50Paul Yager, Leslie Chan and Christopher Adams receive 2015 College of Engineering Awards

Professor Paul Yager received the Faculty Award for Research, Ph.D. candidate Leslie Chan received the Student Award for Research and Molecular Engineering and Sciences Institute building coordinator Christopher Adams recently received the Classified Staff Award.

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UW Bioengineers in the News

polystat-150-150Pun lab’s injectable polymer could save your life

UW College of Engineering’s alumni Newsletter, The Trend, featured research from Professor Suzie Pun’s lab that was published this March in Science Translational Medicine. PolySTAT, developed with Nathan White of UW Emergency Medicine, is designed to strengthen blood clots and stop bleeding in people with severe, life threatening injuries.

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acne-imaging (1)Imaging technique detects vascular, structural changes caused by acne

Researchers in Professor Ruikang Wang’s lab have demonstrated the capabilities of a high-resolution imaging technique that may help clinicians better understand acne – and lead to more effective treatments. Their research was recently featured on the Dermatology
Times’ website.

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UW start-up BEAT BioTherapeutics’ novel therapeutic may reverse heart failure

A novel cardiac specific gene therapy being developed by start-up BEAT BioTherapeutics Corporation may reverse the cardiac dysfunction that causes heart failure. BEAT BioTherapeutics was co-founded by BioE faculty Charles Murry, Michael Regnier and Buddy Ratner, and adjunct faculty Michael LaFlamme. UW’s CoMotion featured the news on their website May 22.

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Hands holding cell phonesBioengineering, Computer Science double major sees change in the palm of her hand

Research experience in Professors Joan Sanders and Paul Yager’s labs helped Krittika D’Silva, a double major in BioE and computer science, discover how software can transform the future of global health. Krittika’s interdisciplinary research was profiled on UW Undergraduate Academic Affair’s website.

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Alumnus comments on the revolutionary changes underway in medical education

Alumnus Jesse Burk-Rafel (B.S., 2010) was quoted in an April NPR story on the revolutionary changes underway in medical education. Medicine has changed a lot in the last 100 years – and now medical schools are emphasizing teamwork, communication skills and adaptability to train a different type of doctor. Jesse is currently a second year student at the University of Michigan Medical School.

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