New INBT symposium puts undergrad research in the spotlight

2015 INBT Undergraduate Symposium

2015 INBT Undergraduate Symposium

Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology (INBT) held its first-ever undergraduate research symposium “Innovations in Medicine: An Engineering and Biological Perspective” on Nov. 5, 2015 in the Glass Pavilion in Levering on the Homewood campus. Members of the INBT Undergraduate Research Leaders team organized the event.  Thirty-six posters were presented and four students gave keynote talks. Approximately 70 people attended throughout the day.

The symposium supports INBT’s mission to promote interdisciplinary research and collaboration at all academic levels. Since more than 100 undergraduates conduct research in institute-affiliated laboratories across the university, members of INBT’s Undergraduate Research Leaders, founded in 2012, felt a research symposium showcasing only undergraduate work was needed.

Ben Wheeler

Ben Wheeler

“We have in the past focused primarily on building community within INBT and helping to facilitate opportunities for undergraduates to build their research repertoire and network with others here at Hopkins and beyond,” said Benjamin Wheeler (2016 BME), who co-organized the event. “I think hosting the symposium fit very nicely with our previous goals and event planning experience but on a much larger scale. In organizing it, our goals were to allow undergraduates across all of Hopkins Campuses to showcase their amazing work while getting practice making posters, giving talks, and enjoying face time with professors and representatives from outside industry.”

In addition to poster presentations, four students were chosen to give talks during the symposium. They included: Andrew Tsai (BME 2017/Miller Lab) “Tunable Electrospun Antimicrobial Coatings for Orthopedic Implants;” Miguel Sobral (BME 2017/ Gerecht Lab) “Addressing the Shortcomings of Convection Enhances Delivery to the Brain;” Xinyi Xin (ChemBE 2017/ Cui Lab) “Tuning Paclitaxel-Drug Amphiphiles Self-Assembly Behavior by Modification of Hydrophobicity and Aromaticity;” and Michael Saunders (ChemBE 2016/ Gerecht Lab) “The Creation and Use of PDMS Substrates for Examining Matrix Elasticity.”

“We thought the symposium would be a great opportunity to feature the scientific research being done by undergraduate students at Hopkins not just within INBT but campus wide,” said event co-organizer Victoria Laney (ChemBE 2016). “We came up with ‘Innovations in Medicine’ as this year’s theme because we thought it really embodied the spirit of INBT and of many other labs at Hopkins.”

Victoria Laney

Victoria Laney

Prizes for top poster presenters were given to the following students:

First Place

  • Brendan Deng, “The Role of Megf11 in Oligodendrocyte Precursor Cell Tiling and Differentiation”

Second Place

  • Melissa Lin, “Monitoring Uterine Contractions in the Developing World”

Crowd Favorites

  • Fatima Umanzor, “Functional coupling of Cancer Cell Proliferation and Migration through the Synergistic Paracrine Signaling of Interleukins 6/8”
  • Asish Anam, “Design of a Novel Functionalized Hyaluronic Acid Hydrogel Microenvironment for Regulation of Cell Migration for Peripheral Nerve Regeneration Applications.”
2015 INBT Undergraduate Symposium

2015 INBT Undergraduate Symposium

The team invited judges to evaluate the posters on display. They included INBT alumni Matt Dallas (Thermo Fisher), Laura Dickson (Gemstone), and Steven Lu (Secant), current doctoral candidate Kristen Kozielski (Green Lab), and INBT affiliated faculty members Michael Edidin from biology and Jennifer Elisseeff from biomedical engineering.

Laney said the team intends to make sure the undergraduate symposium continues to happen for years to come.  “We absolutely plan on passing on the torch to our incredible juniors,” Laney said. “They also contributed a lot of time and effort into preparing this symposium, and we believe that they have the experience, dedication and enthusiasm to pull it off again.”


2015 Undergraduate Research Symposium

Story and photos by Mary Spiro.

All press inquiries about this program or about INBT in general should be directed to Mary Spiro, INBT’s science writer and media relations director at



First-ever INBT undergraduate symposium set for Nov 5

Save the date November 5, 2015 for the inaugural  Undergraduate Research Symposium hosted  by Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology’s Undergraduate Leadership Board.

“Innovations in Medicine: An Engineering & Biological Perspective” will be held Thursday, November 5 from 1- 6 p.m. in the Levering Glass Pavilion and Arellano Theatre.  The event includes a poster session and judging from 1 – 4:30 p.m. and speakers from  3 – 4  p.m.

Posters and speaker abstracts are now being accepted. You may submit your abstracts and posters online here, and all majors are invited to participate. The Deadline for submission is Oct 23 at 11:59 p.m.

postcard symposium

Summer research symposium to feature INBT-hosted interns

The School of Medicine will host the second annual Hopkins Career Academic and Research Experiences for Students (C.A.R.E.S.) Summer Symposium on Thursday, July 30, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 the Anne and Mike Armstrong Medical Education Building.

SOM150502 CARES Summer 2015 Program Poster 24x36-3 (1)_Page_2Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology has 15 Research Experience for Undergraduates participating in the symposium.  In addition to more than one dozen poster presenters, REU Ashley Williams will give an individual talk on her research project at 1:20 p.m. in the East Auditorium. High school students from the INBT supported SARE program (Summer Academic Research Experience) will also have posters, and two-time SARE scholar Assefa Akinwole will give a talk on his work at 12:50 p.m. in the West Auditorium. The symposium is free and open to the entire Hopkins Community.

In total, more than 150 high school students from Baltimore City and undergraduates from around the country will present posters and oral presentations. Peter Agre, M.D. (Med ’74), director of the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute, will deliver the keynote address.

“This is an excellent opportunity for our Baltimore City scholars to showcase their talents, intellect, and passion for science and medicine and reaffirm that they can compete at the highest level with undergraduates from across the country,” said Danny Teraguchi, Ph.D., assistant dean for student affairs and director of the office for student diversity.

C.A.R.E.S. is grateful to the Office of the Vice Dean for Education, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Summer Internship Program, Johns Hopkins Internship Program in Brain Sciences, and its corporate sponsor, PNC, for supporting the symposium, and for their commitment to advancing education opportunities and academic programming for Baltimore City youth.

All press inquiries about this program or about INBT in general should be directed to Mary Spiro, INBT’s science writer and media relations director at


Assefa Akinwole

Assefa Akinwole

Ashley Williams

Ashley Williams

Top poster presenters awarded Nikon cameras at Neuro X symposium.

More than 300 people attended the Neuro X symposium hosted May 1 by Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology at the Owens Auditorium on the medical campus. The morning featured six faculty experts from several disciplines (see pdf of agenda here). In the afternoon, nearly 70 posters were on display and three presenters earned top honors for their work.  Posters were judged on research value, quality of content and overall graphic presentation. Prizes included three different Nikon Coolpix cameras, provided by Nikon.

Maria Barbano

1at prize winner Maria Barbano with INBT director Peter Searson

First prize went to Maria Flavia Barbano, a senior research specialist in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, for her poster Differential effects of photoactivating GABAergic lateral hypothalamic neurons projecting to ventral tegmental area in feeding and reward.

Second prize was awarded to Ran Lin (not pictured), a predoctoral candidate in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, for her poster A Dual Peptide Conjugation Strategy for Improved Cellular Uptake and Mitochondria.

Third prize was presented to Jennifer Dailey, predoctoral candidate in the Department of Material Science and Engineering, for her poster Optoelectronic Signaling for detecting Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) and Related Pathogens by Multidentate Antigen-Nanoparticle Agglomeration.

Jennifer Dailey

3rd prize winner Jennifer Dailey

INBT would like to thank our judges who came from the university and from industry. They included Chao Wang, assistant professor in chemical and biomolecular engineering, Peter Searson, INBT director and professor of materials science and engineering, Esther Kieserman of Nikon, and assistant professor Seulki Lee and professor Robert Ivkov both from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

For all press inquiries regarding INBT, its faculty and programs, contact Mary Spiro, or 410-516-4802.

Prizes offered for top poster presenters

We need your posters! INBT’s annual symposium theme relates to neuroscience, but posters on any multidisciplinary topic are encouraged. Submission deadline for posters is April 27. Posters will be judged and prizes will be awarded to top presenters!

Erlenmeyer_Flasks.-awardJohns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology hosts its annual symposium May 1 in the Owens Auditorium (between CRB I and CRB II) at the medical campus. Faculty expert speakers present in the morning on our theme, Neuro X, where x can be medicine, engineering, science, etc. The poster session begins in the afternoon. Posters on ANY MULTIDISCIPLINARY TOPIC are encouraged, and we welcome submissions from any department or division. Prizes will be awarded to top presenters. Submission guidelines, the full speaker agenda and additional information can be found online. Submit your poster now at

Neuro X symposium talk titles revealed

We know you are probably wondering what this Neuro X symposium is all about. It’s a pretty mysterious title for a research symposium. But we at the Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology like to keep you on your toes. Neuro is well, brain stuff, and X is, well, nearly anything you want it to be. And our talk titles reflect as much!

neuro-x-ad-2The Neuro X symposium (and poster session) is Friday, May 1 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Owens Auditorium, between CRB I and CRB II  on the Johns Hopkins University medical campus. If you have not registered yet, please go to and register a poster or just let us know you are going to be there.

From 8 to 9 a.m. there will be a free continental breakfast and time for networking. After a brief introduction from symposium chairs Peter Searson, director of the Institute for NanoBioTechnology, and Dwight Bergles, professor in the Solomon H. Snyder Department of Neuroscience, the speakers will begin as follows:

9:05 – 9:35 – Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa, MD, FAANS, “Cutting Edge: Chasing Migratory Cancer Cells”

Professor of Neurological Surgery and Oncology
Neuroscience and Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

9:35 – 10:05 – Jordan J. Green, PhD, “NanoBioTechnologies to Treat Brain Cancer”

Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Ophthalmology, Neurosurgery,
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; Materials Science & Engineering, Whiting School of Engineering

10:05 – 10:35 – Ahmet Hoke MD, PhD, FRCPC, “Electrospun nanofibers for nerve regeneration”

Professor, Neurology and Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

10:35-10:45 – Break/Networking

10:45-11:15 – Patricia H. Janak, “Neural circuits for reward: new advances and future challenges”

Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences/Department of Neuroscience, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences Johns Hopkins University

11:15- 11:45 – Piotr Walczak, MD.PhD, “MRI-Guided Targeting of the Brain with Therapeutic Agents at High Efficiency and Specificity”

Associate Professor, Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, Division of MR Research, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

11:15 – 12:15 – Martin G. Pomper, MD, PhD, “Molecular Neuroimaging”

William R. Brody Professor of Radiology; Professor of Radiology and Radiological Science, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

12:15 -1:15 – Lunch

1:15-2:15 – Poster Session A

2:15-3:15 – Poster Sessions B

3:30 – Prize Presentations/Photos



Join the Facebook event page here:

For all press inquiries regarding INBT, its faculty and programs, contact Mary Spiro, or 410-516-4802.


Poster presenters sought for Neuro X symposium

Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology (INBT) hosts its ninth annual symposium on May 1, 2015 in the Owens Auditorium on the Johns Hopkins medical campus. The theme for the speakers this year is Neuro X, where X stands for medicine, nanotechnology, engineering, science and more! Posters on any multidisciplinary theme are now being accepted. You do not have to be a member of an INBT affiliated laboratory to participate. Undergraduates, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows welcome. The event is free for Johns Hopkins associated persons. There is a fee for those outside of JHU/JHMI/JHH and is listed on the registration form.

Full details on poster guidelines and current information on the symposium can be found on the Neuro X website. To submit a poster or to simply register to attend the symposium, click here.

neuro-x-ad-flatThe symposium will begin at 8 a.m. with continental breakfast. Talks will begin at 9 a.m. and continue through 12:15 p.m. Speakers include: Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa, MD, FAANS, Professor of Neurological Surgery and Oncology Neuroscience and Cellular and Molecular Medicine; Jordan J. Green, PhD, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Ophthalmology, Neurosurgery, and Materials Science & Engineering; Ahmet Hoke MD, PhD, FRCPC, Professor, Neurology and Neuroscience; Patricia H. Janak, Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences/Department of Neuroscience in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences; Piotr Walczak, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Radiology and Radiological Science; and Martin G. Pomper, MD, PhD, the William R. Brody Professor of Radiology and Radiological Science. This year’s symposium chairs are INBT director Peter Searson, Reynolds Professor, Materials Science and Engineering, and Dwight Bergles, Professor, the Solomon H. Snyder Department of Neuroscience, Department of Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery.

The poster session will begin at 1:15 p.m. and conclude at 3:30 p.m. with poster prize presentations. Speaker talk titles, poster prizes and other details will be announced in the next few weeks. Don’t miss your chance to participate in one of Johns Hopkins largest, most popular and most well attended symposiums. Plan now to attend and present.

For all press inquiries regarding INBT, its faculty and programs, contact INBT’s science writer Mary Spiro, or 410-516-4802.




Posters solicited for Regenerative Medicine and Tissue Engineering Symposium

labwarestockPosters are now being accepted for the Regenerative Medicine and Tissue Engineering Symposium, co-organized by the Institute for Cell Engineering and Translational Tissue Engineering Center. The symposiumwill be held  from 8:30 to 5 p.m. October 7, 2014 in the Mountcastle Auditorium, Pre-Clinical Teaching Building. Our keynote speakers are Dr. Irv Weismann from Stanford University and Dr. Arnold Caplan from Case Western Reserve University. Other speakers to be announced.

Students, postdoctoral fellows and faculties are encouraged to attend this one day symposium and present their work related to regenerative medicine during the lunchtime poster session. Please submit a short poster abstract to Eleni Georgantonis at by September. 15.  Awards for the best posters from students and postdocs will be presented at the end of the day.

The event is co-hosted by INBT affiliated faculty Jennifer Elisseeff and Guo-li Ming.

In celebration of data

The Celebration of Data Symposium features a keynote talk by Denis Wirtz, Vice Provost for Research, Theophilus Halley Smoot Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and associate director of INBT. Speakers will be discussing how they have been using and leveraging data in their new lives. Topics will vary widely, from academic science, to the biotech industry, to work in the private and government sectors. The symposium will be held Friday, June 20 in Hackerman Hall B-17 (basement auditorium) from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on the Homewood campus. This event is free and open to the Hopkins community.

Former PhD Shyam Khatau with Dens Wirtz. Photo by Will Kirk

Former PhD Shyam Khatau (left) with Dens Wirtz. Photo by Will Kirk


  • 9:00 – 9:10 am Andrew Douglas Vice Dean for Faculty, WSE, Opening Remarks
  • 9:10 – 9:30 am Soichiro Yamada, PhD Associate Professor, UC Davis, To adhere or not to adhere: self-contact elimination by membrane fusion
  • 9:30 – 9:50 am Osi Esue, PhD, MBA Strategy Manager, Genentech, From single cells to the clinic: the roadmap of drug discovery and development
  • 9:50 – 10:10 am Daniele Gilkes, PhD, Assistant Research Professor, JHU Hypoxia and the ECM: drivers of tumor metastasis
  • 10:10 – 10:30 am Shyam Khatau, PhD, Senior Consultant, Navigant The secret life of a consultant
  • 10:30 – 11:00 am Coffee Break
  • 11:00 – 11:20 am Jerry S.H. Lee, PhD Health Sciences Director, NCI, Advancing Convergence and Innovation in Cancer Research
  • 11:20 – 11:40 am Tom Kole, MD, PhD Radiation Oncology Resident, Georgetown, Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy of Prostate Adenocarcinoma
  • 11:40 – 12 noon Owen McCarty, PhD Associate Professor, OHSU, Cytoskeletal remodeling of blood cells
  • 12 noon – 1 pm Lunch
  • 1:00 – 1:20 pm Steph Fraley, PhD BWF CASI Fellow, JHU, Digital Nucleic Acid Melting Analysis for Rapid Infectious Disease Diagnostics
  • 1:20 – 1:40 pm Brian Daniels, PhD Program Manager, Draper Laboratory, Design, development, and deployment
  • 1:40 – 2:00 pm Michelle Dawson, PhD Assistant Professor, Georgia Tech, Mechanosensitivity and the Rho/ROCK pathway
  • 2:00 – 2:20 pm Eva Lai, PhD Innovation Officer, JHU, Translational medicine in the DoD
  • 2:20 – 2:40 pm Coffee Break
  • 2:40 – 3:00 pm Konstantinos Konstantopoulos, PhD Professor and Chair, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, JHU, The physical biology of cancer metastasis
  • 3:00 – 3:45 pm Denis Wirtz, PhD VP of Research, TH Smoot Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Oncology and Pathology, JHU, The measurement science of cell migration
  • 3:45 Owen McCarty, PhD Associate Professor, OHSU, Closing Remarks



Congratulations to INBT symposium poster prize winners

Five winners took home prizes during the poster session held at the annual symposium hosted by Johns Hopkins Institute for Nanobiotechnology May 2 at the School of Medicine. The theme of the symposium was Stem Cell Science and Engineeering: State of the Art. Fifty-six posters were presented from disciplines across the university and were judged by faculty and industry experts. First, second and third place winners won Nikon cameras and honorable mentions won digital frame key chains.


From left, Rebecca Schulman, Thomas Joseph, Kirsten Crapnell, Lauren Woodard, Jane Chisholm, Tao Yu, and Robert Ivkov. (Photo by Yi-An Lin)

The winners and poster titles included:

First Place:

Lauren Woodard: Synthesis and characterization of multifunctional core-shell magnetic nanoparticles for cancer theranostics. Lauren E. Woodard, Cindi L. Dennis, Anilchandra Attaluri, Julie A. Borchers, Mohammad Hedayati, Charlene Dawidczyk, Esteban Velarde, Haoming Zhou, Theodore L. DeWeese, John W. Wong, Peter C. Searson, Martin G. Pomper* and Robert Ivkov.

Second Place:

Tao Yu:  Intravaginal Delivery Of Paclitaxel Via Mucus-Penetrating Particles For Local Chemotherapy Against Cervical Cancer. Yu T, Yang M, Wang Y-Y, Lai SK, Zeng Q, Miao B, Tang BC, Simons BW, Ensign L, Liu G, Chan KWY, Juang C-Y, Mert O, Wood J, Fu J, McMahon MT, Wu T-C, Hung C-F, Hanes J.

Third Place:

Jane Chisholm: Mucus-penetrating cisplatin nanoparticles for the local treatment of lung cancer. Jane Chisholm, Jung Soo Suk, Craig Peacock, Justin Hanes.

Honorable mentions went to:

Anilchandra Attalur: Magnetic Nanoparticle Hyperthermia As Radiosensitizer For Locally Advanced Pancreas Cancer. Anilchandra Attaluri, Haoming Zhou, Yi Zhong, Toni-rose Guiriba, Mohammad Hedayati, Theodore L. DeWeese, Eleni Liapi, Christine Iacobuzio-Donahue, Joseph Herman, and Robert Ivkov

Maureen Wanjare:  The Differentiation and Maturation of Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells Derived from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells using Biomolecular and Biomechanical Approaches. Maureen Wanjare, Frederick Kuo, Gyul Jung, Nayan Agarwal, Sharon Gerecht

Poster Judges included Robert Ivkov, PhD, assistant professor in radiaton oncology/ radiobiology and Seulki Lee, PhD, assistant professor in neuroradialogy, both from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; Rebecca Schulman, PhD, assistant professor in chemical and biomolecular engineering at the Whiting School of Engineering; and Kirsten Crapnell, PhD, and Thomas Joseph, PhD, both of BD Diagnostics.

Check out a gallery of some photos from the poster session shot by PhD candidate Yi-An Lin who works in the laboratory of Honggang Cui in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.