Principal Investigator

Amy L. Lerner, Ph.D. University of Rochester work Box 270168 Rochester NY 14627-0168 office: Goergen Hall 307 p (585) 275-7847 f (585) 276-1999

Honors & News

  • October 6, 2016

    Professor Amy Lerner receives Goergen Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching

    Amy Lerner

    Professor Amy Lerner

    Professor Amy Lerner is one of three recipients of the Goergen Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching this year. This award aims to acknowledge the full scope of work that contributes to excellence in undergraduate education. It is given for distinguished teaching in large introductory courses or advanced seminars. In addition to being given for superior classroom performance, it recognizes innovation in course design or teaching methods.

    Professor Lerner was nominated by BME Chair Diane Dalecki and chosen by Richard Feldman, dean of the College; Gloria Culver, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences; and Wendi Heinzelman, dean of the Hajim School for Engineering and Applied Sciences. She was presented with the award by her former student Alex Kotelsky during a special ceremony in the the Hawkins Carlson Room in Rush Rhees Library on October 5. Two other longtime professors, Beth J├Ârgensen and Bradley Nilsson, also received the honor.

    J├Ârgensen and Bradley Nilsson and Amy Lerner exemplify all that we strive for in the College, Feldman says. These recipients of the Goergen Award are all extremely accomplished scholars. Yet in addition to their research, they also excel as teachers. In interestingly different ways, they've all committed to working with students, providing guidance, and connecting them to resources, often spending significant amounts of time outside of the classroom to help them succeed.

    Amy Lerner earned her MSE and PhD in mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan. In 1997, she joined the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Orthopaedics and served as a core faculty member in the biomedical engineering program. Once the Department of Biomedical Engineering was established in 2000, she maintained her role as associate professor and later assumed the role of academic director of the Center for Medical Technology and Innovation. As a leader in biomedical engineering, Professor Lerner's exceptional work both in and out of the classroom exemplifies her passion for the field, and she continues to foster that same passion in her students.

    Amy Lerner with Student

    Amy Lerner pictured with PhD student Alex Kotelsky, who introduced Professor Lerner and highlighted her contributions to the University

    Professor Lerner has been instrumental in the development of the biomedical engineering curriculum. She created and implemented the capstone senior design courses that provide students with real-life design projects. Each year, Professor Lerner partners with customers from both local communities and larger national companies in order to provide her students with projects that require them to solve real-life engineering design problems that they might encounter once in the field. In order to support her students throughout these projects, Professor Lerner has designed a series of assignments and milestones that work to guide students through challenges and stimulate creative problem solving. This unique exposure to professional engineering work, coupled with consistent classroom support, gives students the opportunity to hone the skills needed to enter the workforce prepared and confident in their abilities.

    Beyond the classroom, Professor Lerner's research in her own laboratory is focused on biomechanics. She often provides students the opportunity to participate in the research process. She also helps to promote diversity on campus by supporting events through such organizations as the Society of Women Engineers and the Women in Science and Engineering Group.

    A former student, Breana Roides, writes admiringly, Professor Lerner's teaching style and influence on students is unmatched. Her ability to connect with influential external industry partners and integrate lessons learned and guidance into the classroom extended our learning from a purely academic endeavor to a way for us to see how our work could impact the broader world.

  • April 8, 2013

    BME Rochester Teams Advance in Business Plan Contest

    MedThru ICT (Alvin Lomibao, Nick Lewandowski, Sarah Catheline, Nirish Kafle)

    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.

  • April 1, 2013

    BME Students at the University of Rochester Design Tricycle Controlled with One Hand

    Five students at the University of Rochester have designed a tricycle control system that allows some people with disabilities to steer, brake and shift gears with one hand. The project is getting international recognition and is a finalist for a da Vinci Award this month. Martin Szeto is one of the students behind the MonoMano Cycling system. They worked under the guidance of Professors Laurel Carney and Amy Lerner at the U of R's Department of Biomedical Engineering.

    MonoMano is a product of BME's esteemed Senior Design program, which introduces students to a systematic, customer-driven design and problem solving approach resulting in development of prototype medical devices or research instruments. Over the past 10 years, students have completed over 120 projects including clinical devices, assistive technology, and biomedical research instruments and protocols with MonoMano Cycling being the first student-founded corporation.

    The the senior design program has had at least 7 winning entries in National Design competitions, 1 NY State Business Plan Competition, 3 winners in the Mark Ain Business Plan Competition and a ten-year track record of success at the Forbes Engineering Entrepreneurship Competition.

  • October 10, 2012

    University Launches Center for Developing Medical Devices and Other Medical Innovations

    The University of Rochester is combining its medical, engineering, and entrepreneurial expertise to create the Center for Medical Technology Innovation (CMTI). A collaboration of the Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the School of Medicine and Dentistry, CMTI will also make use of the University's Center for Entrepreneurship as it coordinates activities to develop technological solutions to clinical problems.

    Ankur Chandra, M.D., the medical director of CMTI, said a recent development at the University of Rochester Medical Center validates the importance of the center's approach. Since multiple medical conditions such as aortic aneurysms can now be addressed by inserting devices through blood vessels - rather than by open surgery - larger catheters are needed to place through the femoral artery in the thigh, the point where the devices are inserted. One of our students, Rachel Rakvica, noticed that the larger openings allowed for newer techniques to close the artery - a novel approach that did not require incisions, said Chandra. We've obtained a provisional patent, with the hope of further developing the technology.

    Amy Lerner, the academic director of CMTI, has had a great deal of experience guiding students in the medical device development process. An associate professor of biomedical engineering, Lerner directs the senior design course, a year-long program in which teams of students partner with clinicians, companies, and other institutions to solve real-world engineering problems. The new center will be critical in helping take student and faculty design solutions to the next step, said Lerner. We'll work closely with industry to address design challenges, which will also help prepare our students for careers in healthcare.

    The executive director of CMTI will be Greg Gdowski, who earned a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering at Boston University and worked as a research fellow at Blue Highway, an engineering services company in Syracuse. Gdowski believes the new center will increase the national visibility and stature of the University of Rochester and its biomedical engineering program. He added, It will also help foster growth and collaboration between faculty at the Hajim School and those at the Medical Center.

  • June 21, 2012

    Projects by Engineering Students Shown on Video

    Each spring, seniors in computer science, optics, biomedical, computer and electrical, chemical and mechanical engineering at the Hajim School present the projects they have worked on all year. Students work in teams to solve a problem brought to them by a customer from outside the University. See below for the video of their projects.

  • May 3, 2012

    Hajim Design Day Students Featured on WHAM13 News and YNN

    Engineering students, Silvia Perucchio (Mechanical Engineering) and Doug Clift (BME) spoke with WHAM 13 News about Hajim Design Day 2012 and the design project they are working on. Hajim Design Day 2012 was held on Thursday, May 3 and showcased engineering students Real-World solutions for the community. YNN also featured Hajim Design Day 2012 as the students got to show off their products during today's Design Day at the school.

    Student teams at the University's Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have been partnering with local companies and institutions over the past year to solve real-world engineering problems. The students demonstrated their results from 12-2 p.m. in the Munnerlyn Atrium of Robert B. Goergen Hall. To learn more about this event see the Hajim Design Day project images.

  • October 17, 2011

    UR Alumna Jennifer Moshier Inspires

    Jennifer Moshier, a mechanical engineering and Lerner Lab alumna who is currently teaching engineering at a high school in Alexandria, VA, has recently taken on a project to design a device to help a disabled teacher. Specifically, her students were asked to design an assistive technology device for Kris Gulden, a teacher at T.C. Williams high school, who uses a wheelchair. This week, the students presented their designs to the superintendent as well as several guest speakers who came to discuss the importance of assistive technology and rehabilitation engineering. The student work was even featured on NPR and other news outlets. Jennifer has shared that her experience at the University of Rochester truly shaped her role as an educator today and she is grateful to have the opportunity to spread her passion.

  • April 6, 2011

    BME Students Awarded Fellowships for Graduate Research by the National Science Foundation

    Three BME seniors received prestigious National Science Foundation Research Fellowships, and Michael Hoffman, a Ph.D. student in the Benoit Lab, received an NSF Honorable Mention. The fellowship, which is part of a federally sponsored program, provides up to three years of graduate study support for students pursing doctoral or research-based master's degrees.

    The fellowship includes a three-year annual stipend of $30,000, a $10,500 educational allowance to the institution, and international research opportunities. Danielle Benoit, assistant professor in biomedical and chemical engineering at Rochester, says that the financial support provides students the flexibility to attend conferences, participate in training programs, and travel to meet with other researchers in their field.

    The following graduating BME seniors received fellowships:

    Benjamin Freedman (Lerner Lab) '11
    University of Pennsylvania
    Adam Kozak '11
    Duke University
    Hannah Watkins (Benoit Lab) '11
    Cornell University
    2011-12 Fullbright Scholarship and Whitaker International Fellowship to the United Kingdom
  • May 25, 2010

    BME Faculty Have Big Designs

    BME faculty members Amy Lerner and Scott Seidman know about design. In fact, they have "designed" a program that allows senior BME students to tackle real-world challenges. Now in its tenth year, the two-semester Senior Design program, overseen by Lerner and Seidman, provides seniors with hands-on experience working with real clients. Lerner and Seidman guide the students to apply everything they've learned to solve problems faced by clinicians and industry.

  • May 6, 2010

    BME Sweeps this Year's Forbes Entrepreneurial Competition

    Teams involving BME seniors won all four awards at the annual Forbes Entrepreneurial Competition. Business plans were based on projects completed as part of the Senior Design class, a two-semester class offered by Amy Lerner and Scott Seidman.

    First place went to Arm Embrace, second place to DPN Diagnostics, third place to Injector Perfectors, and fourth place to Radiation Analysis Dosimetry. The primary goal of the Charles and Janet Forbes Entrepreneurial Award is to encourage current, full-time UR undergraduate engineering students to consider the commercial potential of their design project or research. The competition is open to any students in the Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and may involve interdisciplinary teams of students. This year, two teams in the competition included students from Computer Science and Biochemistry.

    All fifteen of the BME senior design teams will present their prototypes on May 11th in the Munnerlyn Atrium of Goergen Hall.

    More coverage on this story can be found at Your News Now (YNN).

  • September 14, 2009

    BME Graduate Sarah Lancianese wins Young Investigator Award

    Recent graduate Sarah Lancianese received a Young Investigator Award at the 2009 World Congress on Osteoarthritis in Montreal, Quebec. She presented her work on the use of biomechanical models to understand risks for knee osteoarthritis in a plenary session including the 6 highest rated abstracts from young investigators. This abstract represented the final chapter of her PhD dissertation which she defended in July, 2009. The overall project, supervised by BME Associate Professor Amy L. Lerner, investigated the combined effects of obesity, limb alignment and bone mechanical properties on the knee joint. Dr. Lancianese is now a design engineer at Wright Medical, Inc. in Memphis TN.

  • April 13, 2009

    Professor Amy Lerner wins Professor of the Year honors.

    Professor Amy Lerner of the Department of Biomedical Engineering won top honors as Professor of the Year in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. This honor is based on student nominations and election, and so reflects the high quality and dedication she brings to her teaching from a student's perspective. Dr. Lerner teaches Biosolid Mechanics as well as the capstone Senior Design course required of all Biomedical Engineering majors. Congratulations, Amy!