Socially Distanced Pumpkin Carving

By Fall 2020, we had a few new lab members that we literally had not met in person thanks to COVID-19. To remedy this, we picked a nice fall day and took over the massive tent that NC State Dining had put up outside near our building. We spaced out, masked up, and proceeded to make some beautiful, some funny, and some scary carved pumpkins.



The final products (thought some aren’t quite done):

Posted in Fun

OML “at” BMES 2020

Like most of 2020, BMES (Biomedical Engineering Society) looked different than normal. This year’s conference was held virtually. As with other BMES conferences, OML had a very strong showing, with five lab members presenting their research! Unfortunately virtual conferences don’t lend themselves to lots of photos, but you can check out a screen grab of Vince presenting his poster below!

  • Jason: Micro-Finite Element Models of Osteoporotic Bone Resist Changes in Performance Due to Downsampling
  • Sandra: Examining contributions of limb unloading to changes in bone perfusion with ischemic stroke
  • Annie Kate: Impact of Ischemic Stroke on Gait Mechanics in Older Mice
  • Vince: Optimizing the Modulus-Density Relationship in Finite Element Models of Vertebral Cancellous Bone
  • Jennifer: Reduced Humeral Bone Growth Following Brachial Plexus Birth Injury

Quarantine-Friendly Lab Photo

We usually try to do a lab photo every spring, but spring of 2020 was a little different. Check out our quarantine-friendly lab “photo”, below, and also on the homepage.


Starting in the top left and going clockwise: Jacque, Stephanie,

Grad students: Emily, Sandra, new grad student Kyla, Jason

Undergrads: Alek, Vince, Deeqa, Jennifer, Jack Morrow photo bomb, and Annie Kate.

Sandra Continues to be Very Impressive

Sandra has been racking up the awards lately!

In 2020, she got and Honorable Mention on her National Science Foundation GRFP, a BMES Career Development Award, and a T32 Predoctoral Fellowship. More info on all of these incredible honors is below.


Honorable Mention National Science Foundation GRFP (April 2020)

The NSF GRFP recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported STEM disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited US institutions. The five-year fellowship includes three years of financial support including an annual stipend of $34,000 and a cost of education allowance of $12,000 to the institution. []


Predoctoral Training Program in Vascular Biology, NIH Kirschstein NRSA, T32 5T32HL069768-18 Institutional Training Grant (July 2020 to present)

By requiring trainees to collaborate with secondary mentors outside of their Field, Department, and/or Institution, the IVB program teaches students to apply molecular, cellular, genetic, and computational approaches to pathological and physiological questions in cell, organ, and whole animal systems; to merge hypothesis- and discovery-based research; to develop high-throughput approaches in cardiovascular models, and to translate their work to clinical settings. Trainees are exposed to the latest concepts in cardiovascular biology by enrolling in advanced paper-based courses specifically designed for UNC’s Graduate Certificate Program In Cardiovascular Science, by attending formal cardiovascular seminars by inside and outside speakers, and by participating in a bi-weekly student-led discussion group. To enhance the skills necessary for effective collaboration and career advancement, Trainees attend program workshops on grant writing, career development, and scientific rigor and responsibility, and they present their data formally at the annual IVB Research Symposium, a trainee-organized event that draws over 120 cardiovascular researchers from the greater Chapel Hill area. []


BMES Career Development Award (August 2020)

BMES is committed to inclusive excellence in building pathways to biomedical engineering careers and developing a diverse, technically, and globally competent biomedical workforce. To that end, BMES has an award category to support travel to the BMES Annual Meeting for Graduate Students, Postdoctoral Fellows, and Early Career Professionals from underrepresented populations in biomedical engineering and/or involved in research and training focused on health disparities and minority health. []


Kyla wins COE Dean’s Doctoral Fellowship

Kyla Bosh, our lab’s newest grad student, was recently awarded the prestigious College of Engineering Dean’s Doctoral Fellowship award. The one-year fellowship is awarded to only a select few of the top PhD candidates recently admitted to the College of Engineering. It provides a stipend for the fellow and covers tuition and health insurance.

In addition to the fellowship, Kyla was awarded a graduate merit award for the 2020-21 academic year as well. Congratulations Kyla!

Sandra and Steph graduate from the IMPACTS program

Sandra and Stephanie recently completed a year-long training offered through UNC’s Morehead Planetarium. The Inspiring Meaningful Programs and Communication Through Science (IMPACTS) Program is a state-wide public science communication training and outreach initiative. IMPACTS is designed to train scientists in public communication using a nationally acclaimed curriculum along with enabling them to practice and hone their science communication skills. Applicants are selected from scientists across the state.

There was a virtual graduation ceremony, and both received a signature tie-dyed lab coat.



Yes, the title of this post is in all caps because we’re YELLING FROM EXCITEMENT!


Jacque will be promoted to Associate Professor beginning with the 2020-2021 academic year. We’re so proud!

(click to enlarge)