Two ChemBE students receive Provost’s Undergraduate Research Awards

January 9, 2019

Undertaking independent research is a hope for all students. Now, two students in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering will be able to do this with the help of the Provost’s Undergraduate Research Award (PURA). The award allows students to work on an independent project over the academic year, with the assistance of a JHU mentor, to conceive, design, and execute the project. This encourages students to be creative and put their knowledge and skill into practice.

The students will present their work at DREAMS, an annual event at Hopkins that celebrates undergraduate research, which is attended by Hopkin’s president, provost, deans, university officials, and many more.


Rebecca GrusbyRebecca Grusby

Project: Improving Hemocompatibility and AntiBiouling of 3D-Printed Cardiovascular Conduits Through Surface Modifications

Grugsby is helping develop a 3D-printed cardiovascular implant to treat congenital heart defects through testing physical and mechanical properties of the 3D-printed material. She also studies surface modifications to apply to the material to improve the device’s biocompatibility and reduce clotting complications caused by the implant.

“I greatly appreciate the support of the Hopkins Office of Undergraduate Research for making such opportunities available. I appreciate the encouragement from Dr. Kang and Dr. Erol, who continue to guide my academic and professional development through this valuable research experience and helping me advance my career as an engineer,” said Grusby.



Theresa ChenTheresa Chen

Project: Integrating Protein Mediators to Develop Enhanced Acellular sTEVGs for Vascularization in Mice

Chen’s ultimate goal is to develop acellular, off-the-shelf vascular grafts. To accomplish this, she helps to improve the three-dimensional culture of small diameter tissue-engineered vascular grafts (sTEVGs). Her work involves fabricating fibrin hydrogel vascular grafts from natural polymers for arterial bypass surgery in mice and pigs. She also studies the impact of pulsatile flow on the grafts using a pulsatile perfusion bioreactor.

“I am extremely honored to receive this award. I’d like to especially thank my mentors, Morgan Elliott and Dr. Gerecht, for guiding and supporting me in my research. Their leadership has enabled me to truly grow into my full potential. I am excited to continue working on this project and I can’t wait to see what the future holds,” said Chen.

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