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REU Student Recognized with Second-Place Poster Award

September 04, 2019

Elizabeth Aikman, a chemical engineering student from the University of Kansas, spent the summer working with BME professor and chair Guigen Zhang.

Elizabeth Aikman, a chemical engineering student from the University of Kansas, joined the lab of Prof. Guigen Zhang in the F. Joseph Halcomb III, M.D. Department of Biomedical Engineering this summer, as part of UK’s NSF sponsored Research Experience for Undergraduates with a theme of “Engineered Bioactive Interfaces and Devices.” During her 10 weeks at UK, Elizabeth worked with Dr. Zhang and co-advisor, Dr. Yu Zhao, on the development of a biosensor for lipid detection. This project idea was the outcome of discussions by Dr. Zhang and Dr. Frédérique Yiannikouris, Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences in the College of Medicine at the 2019 Igniting Research Collaborations Networking Event. Within the short 10-week period, Elizabeth successfully developed a functioning chip-based biosensor for cholesterol detection by taking on various tasks and challenges from functionalizing the electrodes with cholesterol oxidase enzyme, to in-situ detection, signal acquisition, and data analysis. Elizabeth’s work was recognized by the judges with the Second-Place Poster Award. Elizabeth plans to attend graduate school upon completion of her undergraduate degree. This summer program has developed her problem-solving skills and execution of biomedical research techniques that will help with her future endeavors. Her work this summer has laid solid groundwork for the team to push forward the research. Beginning this fall, graduate student Lauren Bell has just joined the team and she will keep this research moving forward.