A word from the Department Chair, Dr. Rao

Dear Biomedical Engineering Alumni and Friends: 

Greetings in thNew Year from Fayetteville! I am very pleased to share the developments in the department over the past few months. There are 184 undergraduates (sophomores to seniors) and 33 graduate students this fall. We pride ourselves on the diversity of our student body with 50% female students, 16% ethnic minority students and 20% first generation students. In the past few months, our faculty members and students have been busy publishing research findings and attending conferences around the country. We've started a Research Symposium Series for graduate students to share their work with their professors and peers. Our undergrads have won research awards, interned in the Harvard Summer Research Program in Kidney Medicine, and been recognized as top academic performers on campus. Our faculty have recently received funding from the National Institute of Health, National Science Foundation and the Department of Defense to support our impactful research. I encourage you to read more about our ongoing research activities.

Below, I hope you'll read the stories and join me in recognizing the accomplishments of all our students and faculty. I'm looking forward to seeing what else we accomplish this spring! The Department is also thankful for the scholarship support we have received so far and appreciate your continued support as we grow further. Please do not hesitate to call (479-575-8610), e-mail (rajrao@uark.edu) or visit us. We would love to hear from you.


Assistant Professor Kartik Balachandran with doctoral student Nasya Sturdivant.

Researchers Find Potential Therapy for Brain Swelling During Concussion

A team of biomedical engineering researchers at the University of Arkansas have identified a cause of fluid swelling of the brain, or cellular edema, that occurs during a concussion. The researchers discovered that pre-treating the cells with an existing FDA-approved drug used for epilepsy and altitude sickness reduces the expression of a specific protein that causes swelling.



Dr. Raj Rao and students Courtney Hunter, Paola Monterroso-Diaz, Raisa Rasul, and Kinan Alhallak at the 2016 BMES Annual Meeting.

Biomedical Engineering Students and Faculty Attend 2016 BMES Annual Meeting

On October 5-8, University of Arkansas biomedical engineering faculty and students attended the 2016 BMES Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the theme of which was Transforming Discovery Into Health Technology. For students and faculty, the conference is not only a chance to present their own research, but to see what other developments are happening in their particular research fields.


Xiaoquan Sun presents to grduate students and faculty of the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

Graduate Students in Biomedical Engineering Present Research at TGIF! Symposium Series

On Friday, September 9, three graduate students in biomedical engineering each stood for 20 minutes before a room full of their peers and professors. The students—Ishita Tandon, Jakob Hockman, and Xiaoquan Sun—were asked to describe their research on the chalk/whiteboard using minimal powerpoint slides, and field whatever questions arose from their audience on the fly. If this sounds a little nerve-wracking, that's precisely the point—these presentations are part of the Department of Biomedical Engineering's new TGIF! Graduate Research Symposium series, which is coordinated by Assistant Professor Kartik Balachandran to help graduate students prepare for future presentations to colleagues.


Department Blog Features (Click on the pictures to read the articles)
On Studying Kidneys in Beantown: Abby Terlouw Talks Summer Research at Harvard

Photo by CB Creatives Inc., courtesy University of Arkansas Honors College.

Summer Abroad with Engineering World Health: Grace Bagabe Reports from Rwanda

Photos courtesy of Grace Bagabe.

Department News


  • Class of 2017 member Courtney Hunter was recognized as a Senior of Significance by the Arkansas Alumni Association. Seniors were selected based on academic achievement, leadership skills, and substantial extracurricular campus and/or community activities.

  • Two faculty members received Faculty Equipment and Technology Grants from the Honors College. Kartik Balachandran, assistant professor, received funding for a proposal focused on engineering nanofiber fabrics. Morten Jensen, associate professor, 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.

  • Read more


Our BMEG students and faculty have published in the following journals over the past few months:


  • 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.

  • Undergraduates Christopher Oldfield and Chidubem Egbosimba received awards at the 2016 INBRE (Arkansas IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence) Conference, held this year in Fayetteville. Oldfield received the first place poster award for physics, and Egbosimba received the honorable mention poster award for physics.

  • Undergraduate Abby Terlouw presented a poster at the American Society of Nephrology Conference in Chicago in November. She was one of four Harvard Summer Research Program in Kidney Medicine students chosen to present at the Conference. 

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