2016 REU Expo Winners

2016 REU Expo Winners

2016 REU Expo Winners (1)
2016 Physics Expo Winners Julian Dover and Jacob Norman

Congratulations are in order for two of our Research Experiences for Undergraduate participants.  Both of them placed 2nd in the Expo’s poster session on Thursday, July 21, 2016.

Julian DoverREU Julian Dover placed 2nd in the Engineering category. He won for his research titled Alternative Replacement for Birmingham, Alabama Concrete Storm Drain Covers. His mentors were Dr. Selvum Pillay and Mr. Benjamin Willis (Material Sciences and Engineering).  Julian is a Junior at Chicago State University.


Jacob NormanREU Jacob Norman placed 2nd in the Physical Sciences category.  He won for his
research titled Theranostic Polymer Agents for Ultrasound Therapy and Controlled Drug Release. His mentor for the summer was Dr. Eugenia Kharlampieva (Chemistry). Jacob is a sophomore bioengineering student at the University of California Berkeley.

Both participants were supported by National Science Foundation (Grant Number DMR # DMR 1460392) – Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) award to UAB

Congratulations Julian and Jacob and all of the other Expo w.  Great job.

You can see more pictures from the Expo here.


Application Deadline for REU Ended April 1, 2016

Deadline for REU Applications Ended April 1, 2016

REU 2016 LogoWe are pleased with the tremendous response to our call for applications to our Research Experience for Undergraduates program for summer 2016 here at UAB.  Given the hundreds of applications that we received, the competition was quite impressive.  The names of our 2016 REU participants will be posted as soon as all offers have been made and accepted.

We thank every applicant for their interest in our program and we hope that all eligible applicants will apply again next year.  In the meantime, for those well deserving applicants that applied and were not selected, we are hopeful that many of them were selected to other programs.

Updated:  April 7, 2016 – Meet our 2016 REU Participants


2014 REU Danna Nozik Takes 1st Place at AIChE Conference

2014 REU Danna Nozik Takes 1st Place at AIChE Conference

Danna Nozik - Transparent
Dana Nozik

Congratulations to 2014 REU Danna Nozik.  Danna won first place at the 2014  AIChE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers) poster competition in the category of Materials Engineering and Sciences.  We are exremely proud of Danna for such fine job.  Below is Danna’s abstract.

ABSTRACT:  There is a huge demand for small-diameter vascular grafts, as the majority of vascular disease cases involve small-caliber blood vessels. Recently, electrospinning has gained attention as a valuable technique for the fabrication of scaffolds for blood vessel engineering, as electrospinning produces nanofibers that closely approximate the structure of native extracellular matrix (ECM).

Accordingly, electrospun scaffolds were fabricated in a 3D tubular structure from a blend of the synthetic polymers, viscoelastic and durable polycaprolactone (PCL) and relatively fast-degrading shape memory poliglecaprone (PGC). The scaffolds were coated with a physiological biomatrix, HuBiogelTM. The biohybrid graft was found to exhibit mechanical properties comparable to those of native blood vessels, and the HuBiogelTM coating imparted bioactivity. The coating was crosslinked using EDC and the natural crosslinker genipin (Gp) to improve its stability in physiological conditions. This study evaluated the effects of EDC- and Gp-crosslinking on the scaffold mechanical, structural, and morphological properties. Additionally, coating stability was studied to assure the presence of collagenous biomatrix on the scaffold for effective cell-matrix interactions.

Mechanical testing showed little difference between EDC- and Gp-crosslinked scaffolds; both retained mechanical properties in the range of native human arteries (tensile strength 1-2 MPa, tensile modulus 9-12 MPa). SEM imaging revealed that while crosslinking with EDC resulted in an increase in fiber diameter compared to uncrosslinked scaffolds, Gp-crosslinking did not affect fiber diameter; the majority of fibers in EDC and Gp-crosslinked scaffolds had diameters ranging from approximately 0.9 – 1.4 microns and 0.7 – 1.2 microns, respectively. This is in the upper range of fiber diameters in native extracellular matrix. Coating stability studies using picrosirius red (PSR) stain showed that EDC-crosslinked scaffolds were more effective than Gp-crosslinked scaffolds in enhancing the stability of the biomatrix coating.

RET Keshia Williams Gets Creative With Fund Raising

RET Keshia Williams Gets Creative With Fund Raising

Keshia Williams
Keshia Williams

2014 RET Keshia Williams went through the website DonorChoose.org to design a project for her AP Biology classroom.  DonorsChoose.org is a US based 501 nonprofit organization that allows individuals to donate directly to public school classroom projects.  The website was designed by teacher, Charles Best. Williams says that given that technology is so influential in the field of science and while preparing her students for college and science related careers, she decided to design a project titled “Flipping Science with Technology.”  This school term, she is implementing the “flipped classroom” with her Advanced Placement Biology class, which means that she inverts traditional teaching methods, delivering some of the instruction online outside the classroom and moving homework into the classroom.

She uses web 2.0 tools in class to aid in meeting the needs of diverse learning styles.  Therefore, the use of tablets requested through her DonorChoose.org project will allow her to truly differentiate instruction among her students.  After designing the project (i.e. purpose, goals, and its relation to discipline) it had to go through review from the website. After being approved, she solicited for donations via email to family, friends, community, leaders, etc. Within the first seven days, if the persons donating includes the special “spark” code in their donation, the funds are matched up to $100.

Ms. Williams project was funded within 3 days via the DonorsChoose.org website.  Congratulations to Ms. Williams

More News about Ms. Williams:  APTV Capitol Journal interviews 2014 RET Keshia Williams