Moshage named 2020 Beckman Graduate Fellow
Mechanical engineering doctoral student Sara Moshage is one of seven graduate students to be awarded a 2020 Beckman Institute Graduate Fellowship. The program offers University of Illinois graduate students at the MA, MS, or PhD level the opportunity to pursue interdisciplinary research at the institute.
The other honorees this year include: Amanda East, chemistry; Eman Hamed, neuroscience; Yongdeok Kim, materials science and engineering; Parham Mostame, psychology; Justine Paul, materials science and engineering; and Olawale Salaudeen, computer science.
Each recipient will present their research at a spring 2021 Graduate Student Seminar.
Sara Moshage’s research will evaluate markers of bone quality on multiple scales and develop a model to predict how exercise affects these markers. Physical activity for young people has lifelong benefits for bone strength; however, it is difficult to know when the adaptation occurred and how much exercise is necessary. Understanding bone regulation during growth will allow identification of critical components of structure or composition that indicate bone quality.
In her study, “Predicting the effects of age and exercise on bone strength,” she will use a combination of imaging techniques, mechanical tests, and finite element models to build this model using horses. A computational model of this type could be used to predict the effect of various interventions on bone properties in an effort to better inform proposed interventions.
She studies with MechSE Assistant Professor Mariana Kersh; Dr. Annette McCoy, equine surgery in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine; and Professor Rohit Bhargava in Bioengineering.
Additionally, Yongdeok Kim is a doctoral student in materials science and engineering who conducts collaborative research with MechSE Assistant Professor Mattia Gazzola for his project, "Integration of electronics with in vitro 3D-engineered neuromuscular tissue.” He aims to develop an electronics integrated system for in vitro 3D-engineered neuromuscular junction, which could be useful for medical countermeasures of chemical warfare agents such as sarin and soman or NMJ disease research, such as Lou Gehrig’s disease and muscular dystrophy or soft robotics applications.