Category: BME Spotlight-Research

Researchers Win NSF Grant to Advance Study of the Cocktail Party Effect

Two ENG professors have been awarded nearly $1 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) as part of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) initiative. Principal Investigator Associate Professor Kamal Sen (BME) and Co-Principal Investigator Associate Professor Xue Han (BME) will study the neural networks that allow the brain to distinguish sounds from each other.

US News Lists BU among Most Innovative Universities

BU was named one of the most innovative national universities for the first time in the 2019 US News & World Report Best Colleges rankings, out today. “I think there’s a general understanding that the world of higher education is changing rapidly,” says Gerald Fine (MSE, ME). “The leadership of the University has created an environment where experimentation in better ways to educate students is encouraged.”

‘Frankenstein’ proteins offer better control for immunotherapy

Researchers have come up with a tool that offers a means of control over engineered cells, and it comes from a seemingly unlikely source: the hepatitis C genome. In combination with a widely available antiviral medication, the new system offers a novel tool: a highly specific way to turn engineered cells on and off, with an existing, proven medication.

Bespoke Biology

With the development of a DIY framework named eVOLVER, Assistant Professor Ahmad ‘Mo’ Khalil (BME) is hoping to disrupt a longstanding experimental compromise. The work has been published online and is scheduled to appear as the cover story of the July issue of Nature Biotechnology.

Lighting up the Brain

Faced with a problem, David Boas will invent a way around it. Boas, the founding director of the Boston University Neurophotonics Center and a world leader in the field of neurophotonics, which uses light to peer inside the living brain, built a homemade Ethernet connection to speed his doctoral research (one year before the first web browser was unveiled) and wrote a software program to make a girlfriend’s research go faster.

Upgrading the Immune System to Fight Cancer

There have been few cancer treatments with such a promising future as using the patient’s own immune system. Known as chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy, or CAR-T, this treatment uses re-engineered killer T-cells to attack cancer cells, but it also causes potentially deadly side effects. Now, research led by Assistant Professor Wilson Wong (BME) is opening doors to making such therapy safer and more effective.

Smaller, Faster, Cheaper

Boston University engineering professor Catherine Klapperich (BME, ME, MSE) understands just how powerful it is to have direct access to your medical information. She’s working to make that “little revolution” a lot bigger through simple, portable tests for conditions like HPV, malaria, and chlamydia that patients can use worldwide.

Counterfeit Viagra Is a Problem

In 2012, a cluster of people in Lahore, Pakistan, started dying inexplicably. Most were mid- to low-income patients who had received free medicine at the Punjab Institute of Cardiology. Within a week, over 200 people died. An investigation found that the patients’ high blood pressure medication had been contaminated with similar-looking antimalarial ingredients.

The Hands-Off Approach

Associate Professor Douglas Densmore (ECE, BME), doctoral student Luis Ortiz (MCBB), Research Fellow Marilene Pavan (ECE), and software engineers Josh Timmons and Lloyd McCarthy from Lattice Automation (a software company Densmore co-founded) have demonstrated the usefulness of an automated pipetting robot paired with a novel software tool through a Journal of Visualized Experiments video.