Public Release: 

Biomedical Engineering Ph.D. student receives NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Research findings may present new insight into such bone diseases as osteoporosis

University of Akron

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IMAGE: Ph.D. student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, working in the Bone Biomechanics and Mechanobiology Laboratory at The University of Akron. view more 

Credit: The University of Akron

Sharon Truesdell has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship. The program is the NSF's most highly regarded initiative designed to recruit high potential, early-career scientists and engineers and support their graduate research training in STEM fields.

Truesdell received a B.S. in Molecular Genetics at The Ohio State University. There, she helped engineer immortal cell lines generated from Drosophila melanogaster (fruit fly) embryos and analyzed the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Pathway -- essential for cell development and function -- using the Drosophila wing as a model system. She graduated magna cum laude with honors and research distinction.

Now a Ph.D. student in The University of Akron's Department of Biomedical Engineering, Truesdell works in the Bone Biomechanics and Mechanobiology Laboratory under the guidance of Dr. Marnie Saunders, associate professor in biomedical engineering and associate dean of the Graduate School. Truesdell's graduate work focuses on the development of a microfluidic lab-on-a-chip device capable of mechanically stimulating, characterizing and quantifying the activity of bone cells. Her findings may present new insight into such bone diseases as osteoporosis.

"It is an incredible honor to be selected for this competitive award," notes Saunders of Truesdell's accomplishment. "Shari is an exceptionally bright student with a tremendous commitment to academics. This award is the first of many that Shari will receive in a stellar career."

As part of the award, Truesdell will receive three years of support, with NSF providing a stipend of $34,000 and a cost-of-education allowance of $12,000 to the graduate degree-granting institution each year.

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