REUs Participate in UAB 2017 Summer Expo

Live From the 2017 Summer Expo

We are so proud of Class of 2017 REUs and the outstanding work that they did in the lab, their PowerPoint presentations, research papers and of course showcasing the culmination of their hard work at the 2017 Summer Expo.  A huge part of our program is the experience of presenting their research to a broad audience. The annual Expo gives them just such an opportunity to share that knowledge through being well prepared to explain their work and answer questions posed to them by judges and other Expo attendees.

2017 REUs Working in Their Labs

REUs in Action

The Research Experiences for Undergraduates at UAB ended on July 21, 2017, but not without capturing remnants of a successful 10 weeks working along side of UAB faculty mentors and grad student mentors.  Take a look at these photos of the REUs in the labs with theri mentors.

Congrats to Nicolas Merino, Sabrina Siu and Sherilynn Knight

2017 Summer Expo Winners

(l-r) Sabrina Siu, Nicolas Merino, Sherilynn Knight

Congratulations to Nicolas Merino,  Sabrina Siu and Sherilynn Knight.  Nicolas, Sabrina and Sherilynn, three of our REU participants won 1st and 2nd place winners in Engineering and Physical and Applied Sciences at this year’s 2017 Summer Expo.  Their 10-week research experience at UAB was sponsored by National Science Foundation (Grant Number DMR # DMR 1460392) – Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) award to UAB

First place winner in Physical and Applied Sciences, Nicolas Merino’s presented a poster titled “Theranostic Systems of Polymers and Tannic acid for Ultrasound Therapy Drug Release.”  Nicolas is a Junior at Georgia College & State University.  He spent 10 weeks working in Dr. Eugenia Kharlampieva’s lab in the Chemistry Department along with her graduate student Aaron Alford.  As always, special thanks to Dr. Kharlampieva and Aaron for their commitment to the REU program.

Second place winner in Physical and Applied Sciences, Sabrina Siu presented a poster titled “Solid-state Reaction Synthesis of Gd:BaZrO3 for the Production of Pulse Laser Deposited Thin Films for Fuel Cell Applications.” Sabrina is a senior at University of Florida (Gainesville).  This year she was mentored by Dr. Renato Camata’s (Physics) lab along with his graduate student Eric Remingtong. Dr. Camata has had a long standing commitment of mentoring participants in our REU program and we certainly thank and appreciate his dedication.

REU participant Sherilynn Knight won 2nd place in Engineering category for her poster  titled “Retrieval Analyses of Wear and Debris in Oxidized Zirconium Total Knee Arthroplasty.” Sherilynn is a Sophmore at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.  She worked in Dr. Alan Eberhardt’s (Biomedical Engineering) lab this summer along with graduate student Thomas Ballard. Dr. Eberhardt is among the ranks of our longstanding REU mentors and as with all of our mentors, we value his continued support.

The Physics NSF REU program has been in continually in existence since 1997 and that’s an accomplishment that Program Director, Dr. Yogesh K. Vohra is quite proud.  Again, congrats to our winners and much success to all of our 2017 participants.

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.

2007 NSF REU Taoreed “Larry” Lawal is back in the News

2007 NSF REU Taoreed  “Larry” Lawal is back in the News

Lawal Updated 2013 photo Southern Education Desk, a consortium of public media stations in AL, GA, LA, MS and TN aired Money Tight, Scientist Turn to “Crowdfunding” Research . The broadcast highlighted Larry Lawal’s HealthFundit as a source of this discussoin.  You can also check out WBHM’s local story.


REU Larry Lawal entered the Alabama Launchpad Competition

Larry Lawal entered the Alabama Launchpad  Competition

Lawal Updated 2013 photoLarry Lawal entered the Alabama Launchpad startup business competition and out of 27 contestants, he made the cut to the Top 10.  The Top 10 will be considered for prizes totaling $100,000.  Per, “Healthfundit: is the only peer-reviewed, subscription-based crowd funding portal for health research and biotechnology at academic institutions.   Team leader is Larry Lawal. Based in Birmingham.”

Each contestant will present their plans to a panel of judges on July 12, 2013.  We wish Larry good luck and we’re certainly proud of this accomplishment.

Crowdfunding Panel Discussion

On June 13, 2013, Larry served on a panel to discuss “Crowd-funding” which is essentially a network of people that pool their money together to support the ventures of members of the network.  Larry was idea for this panel given his recent startup:  Healthfundit.  We wish Larry continued success in his efforts to develop and grow his business.

2012:  Congratulations to Taoreed “Larry” Lawal for being the recipient of the 2012 Minority Scholar in Cancer Research Award.  Larry continues to impress with his diligence in seeking opportunities that will serve the research community well.

HealthFundit website will not launch until November 2013, but you can “like” it Facebook and follow on Twitter.