Alfred E. Mann Innovation in Engineering Doctoral Fellowships

As part of its continuing commitment to innovation in engineering AMI-USC funds three PhD fellowships in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.  The fellowship is intended to support these students conducting innovative research that is interdisciplinary (biology, medicine, and engineering), or relevant to biology and medicine. Each fellowship will provide an annual stipend of $34,000 plus an annual health benefits package for 1-3 years. The Viterbi School of Engineering provides tuition coverage for the duration of the fellowship.

These fellowships are open to PhD students in all Viterbi departments who have completed their first year and passed the screening exam. Candidates must be nominated by their respective engineering departments.  Each nominated student will be required to submit a research proposal focusing on the technological innovation and the potential impact of their doctoral research on biomedical engineering or healthcare.

Arian Aghilinejad

Arian Aghilinejad is a PhD student in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Southern California. He is studying the fluid physics involved in cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases at Professor Niema Pahlevan’s Medical Flow Physics lab, located at the USC Michelson center for convergent bioscience. Arian’s research focus has been on the complex fluid dynamics inside the aorta specifically aiming to improve therapeutic strategies and surgical interventions for aortic dissection patients, a population with a high mortality rate and complex physiology. He has been closely working with Dr. Gregory Magee, a vascular surgeon, and other clinical scientists at USC’s Keck school of medicine.

Arian earned his bachelor’s degree from Sharif University of Technology and his master’s degree from Washington State University, both in mechanical engineering. He has thus far authored 11 peer-reviewed articles.

Gengxi Lu

Gengxi Lu is a fourth-year PhD student advised by Professor Qifa Zhou in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southern California. His research interests include ultrasound neuromodulation, ultrasound imaging, and transducer fabrication. Working with collaborators in the Department of Ophthalmology and Department of Neurological Surgery, he aims to develop an ultrasound-based non-invasive visual prosthesis to restore functional vision in those who suffer from partial or total blindness. His research also investigates the biological and physical mechanisms of ultrasound neuromodulation.

Besides research, Gengxi is passionate about enhancing the student experience and transition to USC for engineering students from underrepresented backgrounds.

Noah Trac

Noah Trac is a PhD student working with Professor Eun Ji Chung in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southern California. His research is focused on developing small, organic nanoparticles targeted to molecular cancer markers for targeted drug delivery to the tumor and immunotherapy. In addition, his work aims to utilize these nanoparticles to target the lymph nodes for applications including drug delivery and diagnostics.

Noah earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from Brown University. Since starting his PhD, Noah has first-authored three peer-reviewed papers, served as a teaching assistant for two semesters, once for BME499 and once for BME459L, and is currently the Treasurer for the Graduate Students of Biomedical Engineering (GSBME).

Jonathan Wang

Jonathan Wang is a PhD student under the advisement of Professor Eun Ji Chung in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southern California. His research interests include applications of kidney-targeted nanoparticles for renal disorders, focusing on polycystic kidney disease (PKD). Using engineered nanoparticles as carriers of currently approved drugs, this research aims to increase their therapeutic efficacy, reduce side effects, and create novel treatment strategies for renal disease.

Jonathan has first-authored various  peer-reviewed articles, and has mentored undergraduates and high school students in the lab. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University.

Alfred E. Mann Biomedical Engineering Doctoral Fellowship

The Alfred E. Mann Biomedical Engineering Fellowship was established in 1998 by AMI-USC and USC with the first fellowship awarded in the Fall of 1999.The fellow is selected by the faculty of the Biomedical Engineering department of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering from incoming or new students in the departmental doctoral program.  The fellowship includes a $34,000 stipend and tuition remission and is generally awarded for a period of three years.

Alexander Czaja

Alexander Czaja is a PhD student working in Dr. Cristina Zavaleta’s Molecular Imaging and Nano Diagnostics Laboratory in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southern California. Alexander’s research aims to further the development of high-throughput diagnostic imaging approaches based on Raman spectroscopy for the treatment of diseases like cancer. He is utilizing gold nanoparticles as imaging contrast agents and highly sensitive optical imaging techniques to detect the characteristic expression patterns of cancer.

Alexander also participates in USC’s STEM summer program for high school students by involving them in active engineering research projects, teaching them practical laboratory and programming skills, and mentoring them on pursuing their interests in science and engineering.

Kevin Keomanee-Dizon

Kevin Keomanee-Dizon is a PhD student advised by Professor Scott E. Fraser at the Translational Imaging Center at USC. His scientific training is in applied physics and optical bioimaging. His research centers on developing novel quantitative microscopy technologies for applications in biology and medicine.