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Biomedical Engineering

Undergraduate Student Research Highlights

60% of Vanderbilt engineering undergraduates participate in faculty-supervised research.

And once they graduate, many of Vanderbilt's biomedical engineering students pursue careers or attend graduate schools that serve as a continuation of the undergraduate research they did in Vanderbilt University BME labs or Vanderbilt University Medical Center labs.

Here we highlight a few of our student researchers. Read about why they chose BME, and check out their most recent research posters!

Victor Dunagan (Class of '26): Member of the Reinhart-King Lab

victor headshot"I chose to major in biomedical engineering because it is a field that allows me to combine my knowledge from a variety of disciplines to create meaningful and impactful solutions that will change the lives of others. I have always believed that people deserve to do what they love for their occupation, and helping others is my passion. After graduation, I intend to gain experience in the biomedical engineering industry and then attend medical school. I wish to become a doctor and apply my background in biomedical engineering to understand the application of technologies in the medical field to develop new treatment strategies for neurology."

victor poster

Schyler Rowland (Class of '24): Member of the King Lab

schylar"I chose BME because it applies a variety of disciplines to solve important problems in healthcare. I have performed research in Dr. King's lab since freshman year and have grown both personally and academically through collaboration with fellow scientists. Following undergrad, I aim to pursue a PhD in BME to continue research in cancer mechanobiology and immunotherapy."

schylar poster

Rosana Alfaro (Class of '24): Member of the Haselton Lab

rosana Rosana Alfaro is an international student from Nicaragua and a junior at Vanderbilt University, where she is majoring in Biomedical Engineering. Her interest in the biomedical sciences became solidified in 2019, when she had the opportunity to be a medical equipment technician intern at a low-resource hospital in Managua, Nicaragua. There, the innovative spirit of hospital technicians who had no choice but to come up with resourceful solutions inspired her to learn about technology and healthcare. Currently, Rosana is an undergraduate researcher at the Haselton Lab, where she researches point-of-care diagnostic methods for infectious diseases. Her most recent research focuses on developing an adaptive plasmonic PCR system that performs ultra-fast cycling by using gold nanoparticles activated by a 808 nm laser diode. Rosana intends to pursue a PhD, and then return to Nicaragua to continue her work in the development of medical devices and materials for low-resource areas. She also enjoys robotics, astrophysics and crocheting.

rosana poster

Alexander Stabile (Class of '24): Member of the Miga Lab

X headshot"I was drawn to biomedical engineering for the potential of applying the engineering principles that I love towards the medical world. I started research in the Biomedical Modeling Laboratory with Dr. Miga to learn ways in which I can make an impact on human health and life through engineering. After graduation, I plan on working in biomedical engineering industry for a year before applying for medical school, for which I have an interest in orthopedic surgery."

Stabile SPIE poster

Ori Chalom (Class of '24): Member of the Giorgio Lab

Ori Chalom photo"I love BME because I've always had an interest in both anatomy and solving real-world issues. Biomedical engineering intertwines the two, allowing people to create practical solutions to issues that people around the world face on a daily basis. After graduating, I want to pursue a PhD in BME focusing on drug development and delivery."

Ori Research Poster

Hannah Stepp (Class of '23): Member of the Haselton Lab

Hannah Stepp "Biomedical Engineering has shown me the value in connecting engineering and basic science: utilizing biology as a blueprint for new discoveries and technology. My research in low - resource diagnostics (Haselton Lab) challenges me to optimize and modify assays so they can reach a broader population. My time at Vanderbilt has helped me hone both my scientific knowledge and my problem solving skills, serving as a foundation for my passion in translational research. After graduation, I will be spending two years with the National Cancer Institute at the NIH, optimizIng an ex vivo liver perfusion machine to serve as a tumor model for evaluating cancer drugs. I plan to apply to MDPhD programs in May of 2024!"

Hannah Stepp BMES Poster

*Poster presented at the 2022 BMES Conference in San Antonio, TX

Emma Wheat (Class of '23): Member of the Haselton Lab

Emma Wheat "I chose biomedical engineering upon seeing the direct and life - changing impacts biomedical engineering can have. I started research the summer after my sophomore year at the Haselton Laboratory which specializes in developing low - resource diagnostics. Over the past two years, I have worked on designing a field - deployable PCR assay to distinguish between pig diseases to monitor food system disruptions more efficiently. After graduation, I plan to continue research while pursuing my PhD. I hope that graduate school can help me accomplish my goal of finding a way to use my talents to positively impact the world."

BMES Research Poster

*Poster presented at the 2022 BMES Conference in San Antonio, TX