2016 News


  • In fall 2016, two faculty members received Faculty Equipment and Technology Grants from the University of Arkansas Honors College. Dr. Kartik Balachandran, assistant professor, received funding for a proposal focused on engineering nanofiber fabrics. Dr. Morten Jensen, associate professor and Arkansas Research Alliance Scholar, received funding for the Venous Valve Project, which seeks to develop an implantable biprosthetic venous valve to prevent the backflow of blood when it is pumped back up to the heart.
  • On September 15, 2016, two U of A students studying engineering received poster awards for their presentations at the Advanced Membrane Technology VII Conference held in Cork, Ireland. Kevin Roberts, a doctoral student in cell and molecular biology, received a poster award for his work with extracellular matrix scaffolds. Lauren Reed, a senior studying chemical engineering, also received a poster award for her work developing hollow fiber membranes for artificial lung applications.
  • Courtney Hunter, a member of the class of 2017, was recognized in fall 2016 as a Senior of Significance by the Arkansas Alumni Association.
  • Undergraduate students Christopher Oldfield and Chidubem Egbosimba received awards from the 2016 INBRE (Arkansas IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence) Conference.  Oldfield received the first place poster award for physics and Egbosimba received an honorable mention poster award for physics.
  • Dr. Hanna Jensen, research assistant professor, received the 2016 Ingegerd and Viking Olov Björk Scholarship for Thoracic and Cardiovascular Research, the highest honor from the Scandinavian Association for Thoracic Surgery. The award is named after a Swedish cardiovascular surgeon, who, amongst many achievements, was a pioneer in developing cardiopulmonary bypass and the first prosthetic heart valve.
  • Dr. Morten Jensen, associate professor and Arkansas Research Alliance Scholar, received $42,302 from the Arkansas Biosciences Institute for a project entitled, "Solving the Venous Valve Prosthesis Problem: New Tissue Treatment in Cardiovascular Device Development."
  • Dr. Xianghong Qian received $180,000 for research on virus filtration as Co-PI from the National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers (IUCRC) Program Membrane Science, Engineering and Technology Center (MAST).
  • Dr. Xianghong Qian received an $8,000 Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) supplement as Co-PI for research on ammonia capture from fishery waters from the National Science Foundation.
  • On May, 6, 2016, the Biomedical Engineering Department announced the Departmental Awards. The Outstanding Teaching Award went to Dr. Michelle Kim, the Outstanding Service Award to Dr. Kartik Balachandran and the Outstanding Research Award to Dr. Jeff Wolchok. Pictures are below:

          Assistant Professor Kim receives the Outstanding Teacher Award  Assistant Professor Balachandran receives the Outstanding Service Award  Assistant Professor Wolchok receives the Outstanding Research Award

  • Student Ailon Haileyesus was one of two graduating seniors awarded the Senior Honor Citation from the University of Arkansas, an awarded offered by the University to its top two senior students in May 2016.
  • Student Seth Washispack was named a Class of 2016 Razorback Classic by the University of Arkansas, a designation offered by the University to its top graduating seniors in May 2016.
  • 2014 graduate Stephanie Cone (now a doctoral student  in biomedical engineering at North Carolina State University) received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship for the upcoming academic year in April 2016.
  • VivImmune  (a biotech startup comprised of executive MBA students Corey Coston and Andrew McKinnon, and doctoral student in biomedical engineering Sean Smith) took the top two places in the graduate division of the Donald W. Reynolds Tri-State Collegiate Business Plan Competition (which came with cash prizes of $32,000), first place overall in the Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup Collegiate Business Plan Competition  (which came with a cash prize of $25,000), and received an innovation award of $5,000 and elevator pitch award of $2,000 at that same competition. These victories were  the latest in a series of successes for the group, which include winning the Brown-Forman Cardinal Challenge, placing third overall and winning the elevator pitch competition at the New Venture Championship in Portland, Oregon (which garnered them $2,500 and $4,000, respectively), and receiving $700 after competing at Rice University.
  • Student Kinan Alhallak received a travel award from Seahorse Biosciences to present his research at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting in April 2016.
  • Dr. Timothy Muldoon received an Academic Research Enhancement Award from the National Cancer Institute. The $442,000 award, which will be distributed over a three year period beginning on March 1, 2016, will enable him to continue research that will assist in the early detection and prognosis of gastrointestinal cancers by using optical devices which allow clinicians to directly measure tissue during endoscopic procedures. A picture of Dr. Muldoon with Ph.D. student Gage Greening in the Translational Biophotonics and Imaging Lab is below:


  • Student Zizhao Liu received a travel award for the American Chemical Society, Biochemical Technology division in March 2016.


Journal Articles:

Book chapters:

  • Quinn, Kyle and Jones, Jake. "Functional Imaging of Wound Metabolism." Bioengineering in Wound Healing: A Systems Approach, ed. A. Golberg and M. L. Yarmush of World Scientific. Chapter forthcoming.

Conference Proceedings:

  • Qusay Alfaori, Ashok Saxena, Hanna Jensen and Morten Jensen: “Rupture in Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm”, Proceedings of First Structural Integrity Conference and Exhibition (SICE-2016), 2016, Bangalore, India.
  • Pantoja JL, Morgan AE, Ge L, Grossi EA, Weinsaft JW, Jensen MO, Levine RA, Ratcliffe MB: “Undersized Ring Annuloplasty Increases Strain in the Left Ventricle: Finite Element Analysis”, 2nd Annual Meeting of the Heart Valve Society, 2016, New York City, NY.
  • Skov SN, Ropcke DM, Ilkjaer C, Rasmussen J, Tjoernild MJ, Nygaard H, Jensen MO, Nielsen SL: “What are the Remodelling Forces of a Rigid Mitral Annuloplasty Ring – A Potential Risk Factor for Ring Dehiscence in Mitral Valve Repair?”, 2nd Annual Meeting of the Heart Valve Society, 2016, New York City, NY.
  • DM Røpcke, C Ilkjær, T Hejslet, AV Sørensen, H Jensen, MO Jensen, VE Hjortdal, SL Nielsen: “Functional and biomechanical performance of stentless extracellular matrix tricuspid tubegraft in pigs” 26th annual meeting of the Scandinavian Society for Research in Cardiothoracic Surgery, Geilo, Norway, 2016.
  • SN Skov, DM Røpcke, C Ilkjær, J Rasmussen, MJ Tjørnild, H Nygaard, MO Jensen, SL Nielsen: “What are the remodeling forces of a rigid mitral annuloplasty ring – a potential risk factor in mitral valve repair?”
 26th annual meeting of the Scandinavian Society for Research in Cardiothoracic Surgery, Geilo, Norway, 2016.C Ilkjær, DM Røpcke, SN Skov, MJ Tjørnild, AV Sørensen, MO Jensen, SL Nielsen: “Functional and biomechanical effects of conventional ring annuloplasty on a novel tissue engineered tricuspid tube graft prosthesis–preliminary results” 26th annual meeting of the Scandinavian Society for Research in Cardiothoracic Surgery, Geilo, Norway, 2016.


  • On December 5, 2016, undergraduate Christofer Baldwin delivered a presentation to students at the Don Tyson School of Innovation in Springdale, AR.
  • In November 2016, undergraduate Abby Terlouw presented a poster at the American Society of Nephrology Conference in Chicago. She was one of four Harvard Summer Research Program in Kidney Medicine students chosen to present at the conference. 
  • On October 5-8, 2016, University of Arkansas biomedical engineering faculty and students attended the 2016 BMES Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Faculty members in attendance were assistant professor Kartik Balachandran, assistant professor Kyle Quinn, assistant professor Jeffrey Wolchok, and department head professor Raj Rao. Students in attendance were undergraduates Kinan Alhallak, Courtney Hunter, Paola Monterroso-Diaz, and Raisa Rasul, as well as graduate students John Kim and Kevin Roberts. Picture below:


  • Dr. Xianghong Qian and the associate site director for the Membrane Science, Engineering & Technology (MAST) Center, a multi-university NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center, and Dr. Ranil Wickramasinghe from the Department of Chemical Engineering and the site director of MAST, visited the College of Chemical Engineering and College of Chemistry at Sichuan University, Chengdu, China from June 28-July 1, 2016.  Dr. Qian gave an invited lecture on simulations of responsive polymers for protein purifications. Drs. Qian and Wickramasinghe discussed potential collaborations between the two universities on student/scholar exchange and research cooperation.  Dean of the College of Chemical Engineering from Sichuan University, Liang-yin Chu will visit U of A during March 2017 to further enhance the link between the two universities.  In addition, Professor Lihua Yuan, a synthetic organic chemist from the College of Chemistry, Sichuan University, will collaborate with Drs. Qian and Wickramasinghe on developing specific separation processes for wastewater treatment.  Picture below:


  • Dr. Kartik Balachandran delivered a talk at the National University of Singapore's Department of Biomedical Engineering as part of their seminar series on July 8, 2016. The title of the talk was, "The Role of Cardiac Valve Cell Structure on Function, Biology and Disease." Picture below of Dr. Balachandran with hosts Dr. Leo Hwa-Liang (L) and Dr. Yap Choon-Hwai (R):



  • Dr. Kyle Quinn gave a talk at the Wound Healing Society Spring Meeting in Atlanta in April, 2016, and invited seminar talks at the University of Wisconsin and University of Pennsylvania in February 2016.
  • Dr. Jeff Wolchok and Governor Asa Hutchinson participated in a statewide press conference that celebrated funding for researchers from the Arkansas Biosciences Institute on March 29, 2016.
  • Drs. Morten and Hanna Jensen held a seminar at the Fayetteville Rotary Club to discuss heart health in February, 2016. Heart health tips from the Drs. Jensen were also  featured in statewide news and on local TV in February 2016.