Bashar named T32 Scholar of Cancer Center at Illinois
MechSE graduate student Emon Bashar has been selected as a T32 Scholar in the Tissue Microenvironment Training Program at Illinois. He will join the 2018-2019 cohort of 12 students from departments across campus.
The Tissue Microenvironment (TiMe) Training Program is a university-wide training program for graduate students, supported by a T32 grant from the National Institutes of Health. A program of the Cancer Center at Illinois, TiMe provides intense mentoring and incorporates activities focused on professional development, with an eye toward training the next generation of interdisciplinary leaders capable of undertaking fundamental research and enabling translational advances.
Bashar, a second-year PhD student in Professor Taher Saif’s lab, is working on the biophysical aspects of cancer metastasis and tumor microenvironment. His current project will explore the dynamic interaction between biophysical and chemical signaling within a cancer tumor microenvironment, and focuses on activin secretion and lipid metabolism in concert with tissue stiffness and cellular forces.
“My research exactly fits into the scope of this training program since the present and future direction of my research involves real-time monitoring and quantitative sensing of both biophysics and biochemistry of cancer microenvironment using a novel micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) sensor and Stimulated Raman Spectroscopy (SRS),” said Bashar.
Tissue microenvironments are critical for advancing biomedical science and healthcare, in topics ranging from regenerative medicine to cancer therapies. To this end, the program aims to advance biomedical science and healthcare through the integration of three technological approaches: sensing and imaging to measure biochemical and biophysical parameters; bioengineering to recapitulate the tissue microenvironment; and computational modeling.
This structure ensures the development of technical expertise and pragmatic skills and empowers students to become research leaders and make lifelong contributions to society. Cohort members will also benefit from co-mentored research and the possibility of translational opportunities in the coming year at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine.
“The program offers a tremendous boost to my career and can potentially shape my future. I am really excited to join the cohort since I relish interdisciplinary collaboration and would like to contribute to the collective research effort of such a diverse group of peers. The program also provides me with funding for two years, which is an enormous support for me. This has been the best possible timing for me to join the program to flourish as a student, researcher, and professional. I am truly honored to be a part of this prestigious program and I hope to make the most of the opportunity,” said Bashar.