Sravanti Kusuma, Siebel Scholar
Sravanti Kusuma has been a key member of a Johns Hopkins team that is trying to grow healthy human blood vessels in a lab. Supervised by Sharon Gerecht, an associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, Kusuma is trying to coax pluripotent stem cells, capable of becoming any type of human tissue, to turn into the kinds of cells that make up blood vessels. In addition, the team is providing biochemical cues in an effort to nudge these cells into forming networks of blood vessels. If the project succeeds, these lab-grown networks could someday be implanted in patients whose own blood vessels have been damaged by diabetes, burns and other conditions.