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The Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering

REU Program – Meet Our 2017 Scholars

Alyssa Brandley

Alyssa in the lab
Alyssa Brandley

I am a Biomedical Engineering senior with a double minor in Chemistry and Mathematics at Rowan University, Glassboro, New Jersey. This summer I am working under Dr. Arda’s Gozen in his Manufacturing Processes and Machinery Lab to engineer bio-scaffolds for articular cartilage generation and osteoarthritis treatment. I plan on using this research experience to enhance my laboratory skills as I prepare for graduate school. Once I graduate in May, I plan to go to graduate school to work towards a doctorate degree in pharmaceutical engineering with an emphasis on drug delivery. I hope to one-day work in industry in a laboratory to design and development efficient drug delivery vehicles to further science and medicine.

Alyssa and professor working in the lab
Alyssa and Dr. Arda Gozen working in the lab
Chandler working at the computer
Chandler working at the computer

Chandler Shannon

Chandler Shannon
Chandler Shannon

Hi! My name is Chandler Shannon! I am a Bioengineering student here at WSU. My research is about the ergonomics of the human neck. I am currently looking into the quantitative effects of sit-stand desks on postural sway in the workplace and have previously helped to refine computer models of the cervical musculoskeletal system.  Research isn’t the only thing  I like to do, I have hobbies! I am an avid film, sci-fi, and pop-culture fanatic! I also participate in weekly team trivia competitions with my friends (I typically do well in the entertainment sections).

Gabriel Ng

Gabriel Ng
Gabriel Ng

My name is Gabriel Ng, and I will be a junior next year at Purdue University studying biomedical engineering. I enjoy reading about science, rock climbing, and playing guitar late into the night. This summer I am working on characterizing and improving a microchip for isolation of cancer biomarkers found in bodily fluids. I have gained experience dealing with many polymers and also 3D-modeling for CNC machining of the chips. This will allow for earlier and noninvasive detection of diseases such as cancer. I am undecided about my post-graduation plans, but am fairly certain I will complete a Master’s or Ph.D and see where my interests take me after that (maybe orthopedics/neuro-prostheses industry or global health work with point-of-care diagnostics). I would, however, love to one day teach at university.

Gabe working in the lab at the computer
Gabriel working in the lab
Genesis working in the lab
Genesis working in the lab

Génesis Valeria Ruiz Valentín

Hi, my name is Génesis Valeria Ruiz Valentín. I’m from Puerto Rico [that’s the reason why I have a really long name]. I’m studying Chemical Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico. This summer I’m working on isolating exosomes from biological fluids to study characteristics that make them potential biomarkers for diagnosis and prognosis of diseases, such as cancer. My biggest dreams in life are to have a big and lovely family, and to assist in the improvement of the quality of life for all people. Recently someone told me that students are more than a career, make sure you learn for fun, know your passions, develop your emotions and enjoy every aspect of life.

Jessica Mahinthakumar

Jessica in the lab
Jessica Mahinthakumar

I’m a rising senior at NC State University majoring in chemical engineering with a Biomolecular concentration. I love the outdoors and exploring Washington’s many natural wonders. I also enjoy research both at WSU and NC State. After undergrad, I’d like to go to graduate school to get my PhD in chemical engineering, then I’ll hopefully work for a pharmaceutical or diagnostic company. I’m currently researching in Dr. Van Wie’s lab, working on an electrode biosensor for c-reactive protein, a biomarker for infection and cardiovascular disease. I think diagnostics is interesting because it’s all about finding the “needle in the haystack”, and there’s so much creativity and innovation involved in solving diagnostic issues.

Jessica working in the lab
Jessica working in the lab
Mary working in the lab
Mary working in the lab

Mary Roberts

Mary in the labHello! My name is Mary Roberts, and I’m studying Chemical Engineering with a minor in Mathematics at Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana. I’m originally from Wilsonville, Oregon, but I liked the sun and snow more than the rain and clouds. I’m currently doing research at Washington State University in the Engineering Tools for Disease Diagnosis and Treatment REU program. My specific project is focused on using commercial enzymes as catalysts in biofuel cells that can act in place of batteries in medical implantable devices. Batteries use toxic catalysts and are difficult to miniaturize; biofuel cells are run on biological fluids and organic fuels, which make them a safe and more environmentally friendly power source. Our goal is to make a productive and efficient biofuel cell by optimizing the enzyme’s stability, performance, and lifespan. Our application of the project can be for conditions like diabetes where implantable devices are crucial in testing and maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Diabetes’ research is interesting and personal to me, so I’m thinking about continuing in research after I graduate. However, I would like to experience working in an industry, maybe with alternative/green energy. I’m excited for my research project and the opportunities after college!

Olivia Haider

Olivia in the lab
Olivia Haider

I am a rising junior at Montana State University studying Chemical Engineering with a minor in Biomedical Engineering. As a Montana native and former competitive swimmer, I am a huge outdoor enthusiast. I also enjoy a good concert every now and then. For the REU program, I am working in Dr. Haluk Beyenal’s lab researching the growth of biofilms in the wound environment. I am testing the efficacy of commercial silver dressings and silver coated implants on the treatment of wound-related biofilms. After graduation, I plan on attending graduate school and getting my PhD in Chemical Engineering. Then, I hope to have a career in academia as a Professor and run a research lab of my own.

Olivia working in the lab
Olivia working in the lab
Raquel working in the lab
Raquel working in the lab

Raquel Murillo

Raquel in the lab
Raquel Murillo

My name is Raquel Murillo and am a chemical engineering student at Washington State University from Tacoma, Washington. This summer, I am working in Dr. Abu-Lails’ lab on antibiotic resistant bacteria and investigating their physicochemical properties. I will be entering my senior year this Fall and hope to pursue graduate school soon after. I hope to acquire a PhD in chemical engineering with a focus on nano-materials. I would love to impact the agricultural, medical or energy field with this degree.

Zachary Furlow

Zach in the lab
Zachary Furlow

I am a chemical engineering undergraduate at Mississippi State University. My research at Washington State University is in Dr. Alla Kostyukova’s lab and it focuses on protein mutations that have the potential to cause cardiomyopathy. I previously took part in an REU program at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, CO that focused on tissue scaffolding. I also worked as an engineering co-op for Preferred Compounding Corporation at their Tallapoosa, GA compounding plant. When not working, I love traveling and visiting America’s national parks. I drove over 2000 miles from my home in Raymond, MS to Washington State University and stopped at every national park on my route. My favorite part of national parks is seeing wildlife/NEATure and, of course, petting other people’s dogs.

Zach working in the lab
Zach working in the lab