News

Riggins receives NIH Blueprint D-SPAN Award

Biomedical Engineering PhD candidate Ti’Air Riggins has been awarded the NIH Blueprint Diversity Specialized Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Advancement in Neuroscience Award (F99/K00). This award supports graduate students from diverse backgrounds underrepresented in neuroscience research, from their graduate studies to their postdoctoral research. For Riggins, this award will help her transition from her graduate studies to …

2019-2020 Graduate Student Awardees Announced

The 2019-2020 Graduate Student Award winners have been announced, with Biomedical Engineering students Cort Thompson and Victoria Toomajian recognized for their outstanding work. Cort Thompson, a second-year PhD student advised by Dr. Erin Purcell, was awarded the Fitch H. Beach Award for Outstanding Doctoral Research. With his research, Cort aims to provide fundamental understandings of …

Portrait of Ripla Arora standing in front of a grey backdrop with her arms crossed.

Ripla Arora receives 2020 Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Research Award

March of Dimes has announced that Ripla Arora, PhD, from Michigan State University, as a recipient of the 2020 Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Research Award. The annual award supports early-career scientists embarking on independent research careers who are committed to fighting for the health of all moms and babies. Dr. Arora’s research will evaluate how …

Brews and Views At Home Edition: The Dollars and Sense of Economic Convalescence from COVID-19

The impact of COVID-19 on the health of the world’s economies is as variable as the viral infection is on human health. Recovering from the economic collapse brought about by COVID-19 will take time, money and determination. Just as in healthcare, thoughtful guidance and comprehensive planning is needed to restore the economic health of local, …

Researchers measure cancer cell mechanics in living animals using nanoparticles

A first-of-its-kind nanoparticle-based in vivo imaging technique that may one day be used to help diagnose and even treat cancer has been developed by researchers collaborating from Michigan State, Johns Hopkins and Stanford universities. The technique captures mechanical properties in living subjects that probe fundamental relationships between physics and in vivo (in a living organism) …

Image of an octopus in its tank

NO BONES ABOUT IT: OCTOPUS MAY BE THE KEY TO ‘SMART PROSTHETICS’

Galit Pelled’s fascination with the intelligent octopus dates back to her undergraduate days at Hebrew University in Israel where she cared for and fed the dexterous animal. Now she’s studying octopuses to see if they hold the key to restoring limb function in humans with the use of new “smart” prosthetics. The Michigan State University …

Brews and Views: Novel Coronavirus Pushes Our Limits— We Need to Push Back, Thoughtfully and Fast

DISCLOSURES – Please read before viewing:If you are concerned you have the viral infection, seek advice from your health-care provider via phone; andThe novel coronavirus pandemic is a rapidly changing situation, so information and ideas in this webinar may be out of date, incomplete, and/or inaccurate. Humanity is at the next frontier—modern technologies have put …

Photo of Lansing's capitol building

Kurt Zinn featured in Lansing Economic Area Partnership feature on life sciences research

The Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) aims to improve economic prosperity in the Ingham, Clinton, and Eaton county areas by helping to grow and highlight local businesses. In a recent video, the organization highlighted innovation in life sciences research taking place in Lansing, featuring Michigan State University, Sparrow Hospital, and Niowave. Dr. Kurt Zinn, associate director …

‘Optical Tweezers’ help in quest for better cancer treatments

Stem cells involved in replenishing human tissues and blood depend on an enzyme known as telomerase to continue working throughout our lives. When telomerase malfunctions, it can lead to both cancer and premature aging conditions. Roughly 90% of cancer cells require inappropriate telomerase activity to survive. In a groundbreaking new study, an interdisciplinary team of …

Erin Purcell awarded NSF CAREER Award to improve performance of brain implants

A biomedical engineer at Michigan State University will use a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award to improve the biocompatibility and performance of brain implants.  Erin Purcell will advance the understanding of neurological diseases and injuries by studying the design and long-term device performance of brain electrodes. The five-year, $550,000 project begins in …

Nanoparticle eats away portions of plaques causing heart attacks

Like a video game ghost chomping along a maze to advance to the next level, a novel nanotech therapy created by scientists at Michigan State University and Stanford University have discovered a way to eat away portions of the plaques that cause heart attacks. Bryan Smith, associate professor of biomedical engineering at MSU, and collaborating …

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Xuefei Huang and five other MSU researchers named AAAS Fellows

The American Association for the Advancement of Science, or AAAS, has awarded the distinction of Fellow to six MSU faculty members this year. These individuals have been elevated to this rank because of their efforts toward advancing science applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished. AAAS Fellow’s lifetime honor comes with an expectation that …

Prototype for universal flu vaccine

Building a better flu shot

Each year millions of Americans become sick with the flu, hundreds of thousands are hospitalized and tens of thousands die. Getting the flu shot can reduce the chances of infection. But, at best, the vaccine is only effective 40% to 60% of the time, according to the CDC. Now Michigan State University researchers have data …

Learning about micro CT imaging and high-throughput technologies with PerkinElmer

In collaboration with the Institute for Quantitative Health Science and Engineering (IQ), PerkinElmer hosted a Systems Biology workshop on campus last week that brought researchers from various life science departments around campus together in the IQ Atrium. The workshop focused on in vivo imaging and high-content imaging technologies, as well as a session on career …

Nanotechnology improves chemotherapy delivery

Michigan State University scientists have invented a new way to monitor chemotherapy concentrations, which is more effective in keeping patients’ treatments within the crucial therapeutic window. With new advances in medicine happening daily, there’s still plenty of guesswork when it comes to administering chemotherapy to cancer patients. Too high a dose can result in killing …

Brews and Views Podcast Series – Promises P̶r̶o̶m̶i̶s̶e̶s̶ – Will Genomic Approaches to Health Redefine Illness and Disease?

With millions of human genotypes now determined, our information about human genetic variation is increasing faster than many other areas of science. That pace stokes an appetite for expanded investment. But has this information led to measurably improved, actionable understanding of illness and disease? Genomic medicine is fundamentally a biological and public health topic. Is …

Tiny bubbles in our body could fight cancer better than chemo

Healthy cells in our body release nano-sized bubbles that transfer genetic material such as DNA and RNA to other cells. It’s your DNA that stores the important information necessary for RNA to produce proteins and make sure they act accordingly. These bubbly extracellular vesicles could become mini treatment transporters, carrying a combination of therapeutic drugs …

Exchanging talent with Korea

New MSU agreement will exchange graduate students and research in Seoul There was “exciting science” between Michigan State University and Chung-Ang University at the 20th anniversary of the Korea Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine Conference in Seoul, Korea, in early June. MSU’s Christopher Contag signed an agreement on an exchange of graduate students and held in-depth Q&A sessions …

Salatino to receive MSU’s first PhD in Biomedical Engineering

Joseph Salatino will make Michigan State University history when he graduates as MSU’s first PhD in biomedical engineering during advanced degree ceremonies at 3:30 p.m., Friday, May 3, in the Breslin Center. Salatino has been working with Erin Purcell, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, since joining MSU’s fast-track BS/PhD program. He received a bachelor’s degree …

Front view of IQ building with new sign

Developing the tools, technology, and knowledge to ensure 100 years of health for 100 percent of people – Director’s update on IQ

Christopher Contag, director of the Institute, provides an update on IQ during the Spring 2019 Conversation with MSU’s Acting President, Satish Upda. Since its conception in 2016, IQ has grown from 0 people to over 200 members. IQ’s faculty has published over 100 papers over the last year, and brought in $20 million in federal …

image of brain scan

MSU lands $1.8M NIH grant to improve brain implants

Michigan State University has landed a $1.8 million National Institutes for Health R01 grant to improve brain implants – “electroceuticals” used to treat Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, depression and traumatic injuries. The implants decipher complex chemical and electrical input and output that allow patients to bring parts of their brain and body back online. These medical advances …

Immunofluorescence micrograph of aged human heart tissue. Cardiomyocytes (red) start to exhibit signs of DNA damage (green) due to accumulation of the bioactive lipid sphinganine.

Slowing down the heart aging process to increase the human lifespan

In a new paper published in EMBO Reports this month, an international team of scientists, including Dr. Aitor Aguirre at MSU’s Institute for Quantitative Health Science and Engineering, has identified a novel signaling pathway critical for aging in the heart. Therapeutic targeting of this pathway was sufficient to slow down the aging process in human …

Image of brain neurons

Computation and big data to study brain function

Mark Reimers is an Associate Professor in the Neuroscience Program in the College of Natural Science where he integrates statistical analysis with biological theory while analyzing and interpreting the very large data sets now being generated in neuroscience, especially from the high-throughput technologies developed by the BRAIN initiative. Podcast courtesy of Russ White. Original audio …

Imaris Snapshot of folds in mouse uterus

Leveraging 3D imaging to study embryo interaction with the maternal environment

Ripla Arora is an assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology within the College of Human Medicine and is the Chief of the Division of Developmental and Stem Cell Biology at IQ. Her research focuses on embryo uterine interactions at the time of implantation and uterine development. Listen in as she …

Portrait of Assaf Gilad

Synthetic biology and regenerative medicine to address fundamental biological questions

Assaf Gilad is the division chief of Synthetic Biology and Regenerative Medicine in the Institute for Quantitative Health Science and Engineering (IQ). The overarching theme of Dr. Gilad’s research harnesses the intersection of radiology and molecular biology to develop new in vivo imaging technologies that can be used to address fundamental biological questions. The lab …

Image of computer simulation of drug delivery

Computer Model Designs a Drug Delivery Strategy to Fight Cancer

Researchers from Michigan State University and Stanford University have created a computer simulation, validated by experimental results, to help design drug-delivery nanoparticles that carry cancer-fighting medicines directly to tumors, while minimizing the potential side-effects on healthy cells. Bryan Smith, MSU associate professor in the College of Engineering who conducted the research at Stanford University, and Eric …

Small end of confocal Microscope

Brave new medical discoveries

Imagine being able to learn the likelihood of your unborn child someday developing a disease such as cancer, heart disease or diabetes. And what if, in addition to arming you with that information, doctors were able to repair the defective genes that are the root cause of the disease? Or, what if scientists developed a …

Bright green image of regenerated heart tissue

Regenerating tissues in humans to treat cardiovascular disease and cancer

Aitor Aguirre is an assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. He researches how human tissues respond to injury and how tissues regenerate when they are injured. He also identifies molecules that can be helpful for activating those processes in humans so new clinical therapeutic strategies for treating humans can be created. Podcast courtesy …

Erika Shapiro

Molecular imaging in regenerative medicine and cancer detection

Erik Shapiro is the Associate Chair of Research, an Associate Professor in the Department of Radiology, and the Division Chief of Biomedical Imaging at the Institute for Quantitative Health Science and Engineering (IQ). Dr. Shapiro’s research focuses on molecular imaging, which detects, identifies, and measures cells and molecules in living organisms. Podcast courtesy of Russ …

Glass catfish, transparent fishes in aquarium

Magnetic gene in fish may someday help those with epilepsy, Parkinson’s

An aquarium fish that senses the Earth’s magnetic field as it swims could help unlock how the human brain works and how diseases such as Parkinson’s and other neurological disorders function. A person suffering Parkinson’s disease tremors, for example, could have the gene injected into a specific location or subset of cells in the brain. …

Abstract image of brain and computer interface

Machine learning breakthrough opens door for precision health

What if a simple test could predict your future health risks and allow your physician to intervene now, possibly preventing or delaying the onset of illness? Patients are one step closer to such precision health methods thanks to a recent breakthrough in predictive genomics by a research team at Michigan State University. Their findings are …

Researcher Jens Schmidt

Fighting cancer by protecting the genomic integrity of human cells

Jens Schmidt is a professor of OBGYN in MSU’s acclaimed College of Human Medicine, and he’s also a part of Chris Contag’s IQ team. IQ is the Institute for Quantitative Health Science and Engineering. At MSU, Schmidt’s laboratory uses a combination of cell biological and biophysical approaches to explain how human cells maintain their genomic …

Chris Contag

Revolutionizing healthcare by converging medicine, engineering to promote precision health

Christopher H. Contag is the James and Kathleen Cornelius Chair and Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Microbiology & Molecular Genetics at Michigan State University. He is director of MSU’s Institute for Quantitative Health Science and Engineering (IQ) and chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Podcast courtesy of Russ White. Original audio file and transcript …

Breast cancer cells

Zhen Qiu and Nelson Sepulveda are teaming up in the fight against breast cancer

Experts in biomedical engineering and electrical and computer engineering at Michigan State University are collaborating on the limitations of wide-field tumor imaging in the fight against breast cancer. Zhen Qui, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, and Nelson Sepulveda, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, have been awarded a $360,000 grant from the National Science …

Image of computer simulation of drug delivery

New computer model designs a drug delivery strategy to fight cancer

Researchers from Michigan State University and Stanford University have created a computer simulation, validated by experimental results, to help design drug-delivery nanoparticles that carry cancer-fighting medicines directly to tumors, while minimizing the potential side-effects on healthy cells. Bryan Smith, MSU associate professor in the College of Engineering who conducted the research at Stanford University, and Eric …