Two graduate students in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering have been named as Whitaker International Fellows and Scholars. Alice Cheng and James Wade will each be traveling abroad to broaden their research knowledge and learn new skills and techniques.
The Whitaker International Program sends emerging leaders in U.S. biomedical engineering or bioengineering programs overseas to undertake a self-designed project that will enhance their careers within the field. The goal of the program is to assist the development of professional leaders who are not only superb scientists, but who also will advance the profession through an international outlook.
Alice Cheng, a third year PhD is advised by Barbara Boyan, PhD, and her research is on structural and surface modifications of titanium, including additive manufacturing techniques, for better orthopaedic and dental implants. She will be traveling to Peking University for one year to work with Haifeng Chen, PhD, on novel surface nano-modifications and characterization methods. By varying 3D porosity parameters and multi-scale surface roughness, osteoblast (bone) cell response and osseointegration of the implant can be drastically improved.
Cheng earned her B.S. in biomedical engineering from the Pennsylvania State University in 2011, and during her tenure traveled to Morrocco, Kenya, China, India and Hungary for various engineering projects. She was a recipient of the National Science Foundation (NSF) graduate research fellowship in 2011, and has authored six publications and presented at over 9 conferences. Cheng completed a certificate in Management of Technology through the Georgia Tech College of Management and is also a former participant of the Graduate Leadership Program at Georgia Tech. She also served as former vice president of the American Society for Engineering Education at Georgia Tech and is excited for new opportunities to create global collaborations in engineering education while at Peking University.
James Wade is a third year graduate student is conducting research in the lab of Eberhard Voit, PhD. Wade's current research is to develop and analyze models of intracellular signaling dynamics in the context of cancer and phenotypic transitions. He will spend twelve months in the lab of Bernd Bodenmiller, PhD, at the University of Zurich (UZH) as a member of the joint Systems Biology program between ETHZ and UZH. Bodenmiller is a leader in the field of cell signaling and co-developer of mass cytometry (CyTOF) - a new high-throughput technique that can measure up to 100 proteins simultaneously in single cells. During his time in Switzerland Wade will learn to preform CyTOF experiments and work with the Bodenmiller lab to model growth factor signaling in breast cancer cells as they undergo induced epithelial-mesenchymal transitions (EMT - a critical process in metastasis). The goal being to identify new and combinatorial therapeutic drug targets and to better understand intracellular signaling and how it changes with cell phenotype.
Wade received his B.S. in Industrial Engineering with High Honor from Georgia Tech in 2010. As an undergrad his research involved supply chain modeling and large scale network optimization for the World Food Programme (food aid arm of the United Nations and largest humanitarian logistics provider in the world). Wade was awarded the G.F. Amelio Fellowship from Georgia Tech's College of Engineering in 2010 and he is an National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. Outside of the lab, Wade is a former U.S. National Champion in Whitewater Slalom Kayaking and was the 2012 London U.S. Olympic Team Alternate for the sport.