- Donna Porcelli Graduate Program Coordinator p 585-275-3891 f 585-276-1999
The second recipient of the Walt and Bobbi Makous Prize has been awarded to: W. Spencer Klubben, a Biomedical Engineering senior working in Ania Majewska's laboratory. As a biomedical engineer, Spencer concentrated in medical optics and developed a strong interest in visual perception and development. Spencer's work has primarily focused on quantifying microglia's effect on neuroplasticity within the visual cortex and visual system. Most experimental methods have been focused around the utilization of optical imaging to analyze neuronal activity within mouse cortex. Experiments were conducted on mice with a varying dosage of CX3CR1, a single allele genetic fractalkine receptor responsible for the mobility of microglia. Spencer will receive the Makous Prize at a College-wide award ceremony on Saturday, May 19.
The Walt and Bobbi Makous Prize was established this year by the Center for Visual Science, a research program of more than 30 faculty at the University dedicated to understanding how the human eye and brain allow us to see. The prize is named for Walt Makous, who was Director of the Center for Visual Science at the University of Rochester throughout the 1980s, and his wife Bobbi. The prize honors the graduating senior who has made the most outstanding contribution to vision research at Rochester.
Among the six University teams that have advanced to the New York Business Plan Competition finals, the Department of Biomedical Engineering has two teams vying for the top spot. The finalists include BME undergraduate team, TrakOR (W. Spencer Klubben, Ankit Medhekar, Michael Nolan, Sonja Page, Matt Plakosh, Erin Schnellinger) in the biotech/healthcare category and graduate team, MedThru ICT (Sarah Catheline, Nirish Kafle, Nick Lewandowski, Alvin Lomibao) in the information technology/software category.
Through the clinical rotations in the CMTI masters program, I was able to get a sense of a day in the life of staff members in the cardiac catheterization laboratory--how they interact with technology and medical devices, what they're really good at, and what frustrates them. In developing the MedThru ICT system, we've considered a number of these pain points and developed a way to facilitate resource management when critical decisions need to be made. This way, providers can really focus on the patient and not on logistics. We hope that downstream this system can have applications in other hospital units, decreasing the cost of healthcare overall, says Alvin Lomibao.
The finals will take place in Albany on April 26, where the two teams will vie for $225,000 in cash and in-kind prizes. The New York Business Plan Competition is the only leading collegiate business competition that is a regionally coordinated, collaborative statewide program, which sets it apart from all other competitions. It is one of the largest collegiate business competitions in the nation.
There are a handful of cities we think of, when we think of high-tech innovation and startups: San Francisco, New York, London, Bangalore, Tel Aviv . . . but today, high-tech development has been democratized. Easy and cheap availability of cloud-based resources, sophisticated telecommunications tools, platforms-as-a-service and lean models that accelerate the development and deployment process, and – sorry, California – a net outmigration from traditional tech centers, has already started to shift high-tech development to the most unlikely places.
One of these places is Rochester, NY, where roughly half a billion dollars worth of research is conducted annually at RIT and UR. A portion of the healthy $749,994 grant from the National Science Foundation's Robert Noyce Scholarship Program awarded to UR in 2012 is allocated to addressing the shortage of highly qualified math and science teachers in the area by providing full-tuition scholarships to undergraduates pursuing these educational careers.