August 9-15, 2021


August 9, 2021


Faculty News


Awards & Honors:

Dr. Igor Efimov

On July 29, Dr. Igor Efimov (BME) received the Heart Rhythm Society’s 2021 Distinguished Scientist Award. The award is given annually in recognition of “an individual who has made major contributions to the advancement of scientific knowledge in the field of cardiac pacing and/or cardiac electrophysiology.”

Dr. Michael Keidar

Dr. Michael Keidar (MAE) received the Plasma Medicine Award (PMA) at the International Conference on Plasma Medicine, held (virtually) August 2-6. The PMA is the highest recognition awarded by the International Society for Plasma Medicine (ISPM) for lifetime achievements in the field of the plasma medicine. It is awarded by the ISPM Board typically to one individual every two years during the International Conference on Plasma Medicine. 


Dr. James Hahn

Dr. James Hahn (CS) has received a four-year, $2.2 million National Institutes of Health R01 grant for the project “Advancing 3D optical body surface scan technology to assess physiological and psychological effects in highly obese population.” This interdisciplinary project will develop an optical scanning technology along with machine learning to assess the health of highly obese subjects, and in particular to assess hepatic steatosis and fibrosis. Dr. Hahn is the principal investigator (PI) on the grant. The co-investigators are Drs. Marijane Hynes (Medicine, SMHS), Fang Jin (Statistics, CCAS), John Philbeck (Psychology, CCAS), Khashayar Vaziri (Surgery, SMHS), Mamoun Younes (Pathology, SMHS), Steven Zeddun (Medicine, SMHS), and Xiaoke Zhang (Statistics, CCAS). Separately, Dr. Hahn also received a one-year GW Cross Disciplinary Research Fund grant for the project “Prenatal Care Using Optical Body Scans.” This pilot project will develop an NIH R01 proposal to use optical scanning technology for prenatal care. Dr. Hahn is the PI on this grant, as well; his co-investigators are Drs. Homa Ahmadzia (OBGYN, SMHS), Fang Jin (Statistics, CCAS), Nadia Khati (Radiology, SMHS), John Philbeck (Psychology, CCAS), Christine Pintz (Nursing), Anne Siegel (OBGYN, SMHS), and Xiaoke Zhang (Statistics, CCAS).

Headshot of Howie Huang

Dr. Howie Huang (ECE) has received a one-year, $100,000 research grant from Raytheon. The grant supports the development of machine learning algorithms for cognitive radio and signal processing. In October the team will present their most recent paper, titled “Rich Feature Deep Learning Classifier for Multiple Simultaneous Radio Signals,” at the 55th Asilomar Conference on Signals, Systems and Computers.

Dr. Tianshu Li

Dr. Tianshu Li (CEE) and his collaborator at UC Davis have received a three-year, $639,105 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for the project “An integrated computational suite for large-scale modeling of crystal nucleation.” Dr. Li is the lead principal investigator on the project. The team will deploy an integrated, large-scale, open-source computational suite for modeling crystal nucleation under realistic conditions. The infrastructure will enable broad applications in materials synthesis, surface engineering, membrane fouling, and inorganic mineralization. The project is co-funded by two NSF divisions: Division of Materials Research and Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transportation Systems. GW's share of the award is $328,338.

Dr. Ekundayo Shittu
Dr. Paymen Dehghanian
Dr. Chung Hyuk Park

Dr. Ekundayo Shittu (EMSE)Dr. Payman Dehghanian (ECE)Dr. Chung Hyuk Park (BME), Dr. Ryan Watkins (GSEHD) and Dr. Hiromi Sanders (GW’s Director of Research Integrity and Compliance) have received a three-year, $350,000 National Science Foundation grant for their project, “A Digital Nudge: Assessing the Impact of an Immutable Records Data Management Platform on Student Researcher Ethics.” The objective of this project is to study and evaluate the potential of a data management platform with immutable research records to improve the ethics surrounding scientific research cultures and norms in university laboratory settings. Understanding how the management of immutable research records impacts the performance of STEM student researchers is a crucial determinant to the success of the innovation challenge. The senior personnel on the grant are Dr. Erica Wortham (GWIC) and Dr. Jerry Comanescu (GW TCO). The team expresses appreciation to Dean Lach for supporting the preliminary version of this research initiative when it was first presented at the SEAS retreat in 2019. Dr. Shittu is the principal investigator on the grant.

Dr. Lijie Grace Zhang

Dr. Lijie Grace Zhang (MAE) has received a three-year, $490,000 National Science Foundation grant for the project “Understanding Multi-stage Neural Stem Cell Function via 4D Bioprinting Reprogrammable System.” Neural injuries represent one of the most common and devastating clinical challenges worldwide. The objective of this study is to develop a novel 4D printed smart system that can change its shape over time in order to improve neural stem cell function. The study will elucidate the fundamental mechanisms of neural stem cell development and differentiation in a dynamic environment.



Dr. Igor Efimov

Dr. Igor Efimov (BME)—along with his doctoral student Rose WinDr. Gregory Trachiotis (adjunct faculty, BME), his colleague Dr. John Rogers (Northwestern University), and co-authors—has published the following paper in Nature Materials: Q. Yang, T. Wei, R. T. Win . . . G. D. Trachiotis . . . I. R. Efimov, and J. A. Rogers, “Photocurable bioresorbable adhesives as functional interfaces between flexible bioelectronic devices and soft biological tissues,” Nature Materials. Published July 29, 2021. The paper presents a novel bioadhesive that will be used in surgery to provide a bio interface with implantable electronics.

Dr. Xitong Liu

Dr. Xitong Liu (CEE), his graduate student Yarong Qi, and their collaborator have published the following article: Y. Qi, T. Tong, and X. Liu, “Mechanisms of Silica Scale Formation on Organic Macromolecule-Coated Surfaces,” ACS ES&T Water, 2021. This work investigates the mechanisms of combined silica scaling and organic fouling on surfaces, and it contributes to our understanding of the performance of membranes when treating unconventional water sources.

Media Mentions:

Conferences & Presentations:

Dr. Leila Farhadi

Dr. Leila Farhadi (CEE) and her doctoral students Parisa Heidary and Asif Mahmood gave oral presentations at the IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium virtual conference, held July 12-16. They presented the following: 1) “A Reduced- Adjoint Variational Data Assimilation for Estimating Soil Moisture Profile from Surface Soil Moisture Observations;” and 2) “A Framework for Coupled Estimation of Evapotranspiration and Recharge Flux by Assimilating Remotely Sensed Land Surface Temperature and Soil Moisture Observation.” Dr. Farhadi also chaired the conference’s “Remote Sensing of Soil Properties” session. 

Headshot of Howie Huang

Dr. Howie Huang (ECE) and his collaborators at the University of Virginia and the University of Indiana organized the National Science Foundation (NSF) workshop “Multi-Campus Cyber-Security Data Curation for Research and Education,” held July 27-29. More than 50 cyber security researchers and university administrators, as well as representatives from government and industry, attended the workshop. This one-year NSF project will formulate a vision and roadmap for the creation of a multi-campus data collection and sharing infrastructure for use by machine-learning cybersecurity and privacy researchers.

Dr. Chung Hyuk Park

Dr. Chung Hyuk Park (BME) and his collaborators (Drs. Minjun Kim and Xiao Zhang), his former post-doctoral research fellows (Drs. Juyoun Park and Jaeyeon Lee), and his doctoral student (Baijun Xie) presented three papers (virtually) at two recent international conferences: 1) J. Park and C. H. Park, “Recognition and Prediction of Surgical Actions Based on Online Robotic Tool Detection,” IEEE International Conference in Robotics and Automation, held May 30 – June 5; 2) J. Lee, X. Zhang, C. H. Park, and M. Kim, “Real-time Teleoperation of Magnetic Force-driven Microrobots with 3D Haptic Force Feedback for Micro-navigation and Micro-transportation,” IEEE International Conference in Robotics and Automation; and 3) B. Xie and C. H. Park, “Empathetic Robot with Transformer-Based Dialogue Agent,” 18th International Conference on Ubiquitous Robots, held July 12-14.

Dr. Ekundayo Shittu
Dr. Saniya LeBlanc

n July 29, Dr. Ekundayo Shittu (EMSE), doctoral student Dor Hirsh Bar Gai (EMSE)Dr. Saniya LeBlanc (MAE)Dr. Erica Wortham (GWIC) and Ms. Annamaria Konya Tannon (former GWIC founder) gave the talk “Uncovering Strategies to Improve Student Engagement and Enhance the Engineering Education Curriculum,” at the National Science Foundation grantees poster session of the ASEE (American Society for Engineering Education) annual conference. The talk will be followed by a peer-reviewed paper in the 2021 Proceedings of the ASEE. 

Other News:

Dr. Can Korman

Dr. Can Korman (ECE) recently received a certificate of appreciation from the IEEE Magnetics Society for serving the society as chair of its Washington, DC/Northern Virginia chapter from 2002-2020.


Other News

1 Calorie for Every 25 Steps

SEAS alumnus Samson March (BS ’14, electrical engineering) has released another fun video about his DIY projects. This time, he asked the public to suggest ideas related to fanny packs, and the winning suggestion was to build a fanny pack that rewards the walker for the steps he takes. Since a person burns one calorie every 25 steps, and since one M&M is four calories, Samson decided to design a pack that dispenses one M&M candy for every 100 steps the person takes, with the two actions effectively canceling each other out. Naturally, he decided to call this “calorie neutrality.” Take a look at the video of his calorie neutrality fanny pack.


SEAS Events Re-cap

BME Department hosting Virtual Sessions for National Student Leadership Conference

On June 14 and June 28, the BME department hosted virtual sessions for approximately 35 high school participants of the National Student Leadership Conference. At each session, BME faculty gave an overview of their research and the BME department, while BME students presented their research and spoke about their experiences as students in the department. Following each presentation, the high school students were invited to ask questions about the research, current developments in the field, and GW lab processes. At the end of both virtual sessions, they were guided through the Science and Engineering Hall using interactive virtual reality.


Participating faculty included Drs. Zhenyu Li, Murray Loew, Luyao Lu, Anne-Laure Papa, Chung Hyuk Park, Jason Zara, and Vesna Zderic. Student participants included Ph.D. candidates Hanaa Almogbil, Andrew Chen, Shuyue Guan, Kenise Morris, RyeAnne Ricker, and Brian Schnoor, and undergraduates Claire Allison and Brittany Underwood


Upcoming SEAS Events

EEMI Webinar: “From Vikings to Wind Turbines, Denmark’s Journey Toward Sustainability”

Friday, September 2

9:30 am (ET)


The SEAS Environmental and Energy Management Institute will co-host a free webinar on Denmark's pioneering actions towards energy sustainability. Anchored by EEMI Director of Renewable Energy Dr. Ed Saltzberg and EEMI Visiting Scholar Ambassador András Simonyi, the event will feature a discussion with Danish Minister of Climate, Energy, and Utilities Dan Jørgensen. Topics will include the European Commission's 2021 “Fit for 55” legal framework to achieve climate goals, Denmark's pioneering role in energy transitions, transatlantic climate, and energy cooperation and preparation for COP26. 


Human Resources News
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