Honors and Awards

Dr. Throckmorton and Dr. Randy Stevens received a newly approved USPTO patent: “Integrated Cutting Guide with Cardioprotective Butterfly for Repeat Sternotomy and for Cast Cutting (#11202645).” Thousands of babies are born each year with severe malformations of their heart chambers and surrounding vasculature. We invented a multi-layered patch-like structure that protects the baby's heart from being nicked during required re-sternotomy procedures. The cardioprotective butterfly guides the surgical saw during re-sternotomies, provides a synthetic protective lining between the saw and baby's heart, and incorporates drain ports for clinical assessment and management during healing.

Briana Heintzelman, BS/MS student in the BioCirc Lab, was awarded a prestigious NIH Diversity Fellowship for her research entitled “Multifunctional VAD Technology for High-Risk Pediatric Patients – Investigation of Cerebral Hemodynamics During VAD Support.” This funding is part of the NIH National Heart Lung and Blood Institute’s Research Supplement to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research.

Dr. Throckmorton is honored to be an Invited Speaker in the Session entitled Pediatric Cardiovascular MCS Devices, at the 9th World Congress on Biomechanics (www.wcb2022.com) to be held in the Taipei, Taiwan in July 2022.

Dr. Throckmorton is honored to lead, with Kara Spiller, Ph.D. and Sriram Balasubramanian, Ph.D., our new U.S. Department of Education Ph.D. Training Grant: Research and Engineering for Pediatrics by Interdisciplinary Collaboration Leveraging Education and Partnerships for Pediatric Healthcare (R-EPIC LEAP for Pediatric Healthcare). This program consists of 30+ faculty and clinical mentors conducting interdisciplinary pediatric research at Drexel University School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, Drexel University College of Medicine, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania, Thomas Jefferson University, and St. Christopher's Hospital for Children. The importance of having a well-trained workforce to tackle unmet clinical needs in the pediatric population, coupled with engineering’s role in innovating in pediatric healthcare industries, inspired us to establish this Ph.D. training program. ($913k, 3-years, 8+ Ph.D. students)

Dr. Throckmorton is honored to collaborate with Vakhtang Tchantchaleishvili, MD, of Thomas Jefferson University. Their team is the 2021 winner of the ISHLT/O.H. Frazier Award, supported by Medtronic. This research project explores the impact of continuous flow blood pumps on cerebrospinal fluid motility.

Under Dr. Throckmorton’s leadership, the Drexel Face Shield Team partnered with Allegheny Educational Systems and Stratasys to donate 17,350 shields to India during their resurgence this past spring and summer. Shields were sent to the States of Haryana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Gujarat, as well as to Chennai City. A special thank you to Dr. Sriram Balasubramanian for his coordination assistance and connections.

Dr. Throckmorton and partners were honored to have been invited to write an Editorial on "The Newly Emerging Field of Pediatric Engineering: Innovation for Our Next Generation." We are featured on the AO cover! Co-Authors are Ellen Garven, Randy Stevens MD, Jamie Leigh Wells, MD, FAAP, and Matt Hirschhorn. Here we share our progress to establish the first concentration/minor degree program in Pediatric Engineering at Drexel University School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems -- we will continue to build our global footprint!

Dr. Throckmorton leads the establishment of the Nation’s First Minor Degree in Pediatric Engineering. Current medical interventions treat our children as if they are little adults. Children have unique anatomy and physiology that dramatically change during growth and development, and pediatric diseases are complex and distinct from adult diseases. Our children deserve personalized therapeutics and our very best in medical care, technology and treatment. Senior team, including Shaelynn Fisher, Emily Rabinovich, Peyton Paschell, and Rebecca Genovese, were voted as 3rd Place Winner, BIOMED Senior Design Student Choice Award, for their 2020-2021 project entitled “Rapidly Deployable Pediatric Blood Conduit.” Advised by Amy Throckmorton, PhD, and Randy Stevens, MD.

Senior Design team, including Bryan Ferrick, Danika Meldrum, Kristen Shema, and Amber Thomas, won a 2019 ASTM International Project Grant, for their project entitled “Hemocompatible Blood Shunt for Treatment of Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome in Neonates.” This team is advised by Amy Throckmorton, PhD, Kara Spiller, PhD, and Randy Stevens, MD.

Tiffany Tse, a former graduate student at Drexel and current medical student at Jefferson, was accepted into the competitive University of Pennsylvania’s 2019 Summer Anesthesia Research Fellowship Program.

Sergio López -Isaza, a former undergraduate international intern, became an Assistant Professor at EIA University in Envigado, Colombia.

Matthew Hirschhorn was awarded a 2018-2019 Drexel iCARE for Healthcare GAANN fellowship.

Dhyaa Kaafgy, a former Master’s student, became an Assistant Professor at the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma after completing this postdoctoral position at George Mason University in Virginia.

Steven Chopski, Ph.D., and postdoc, is honored to be selected for the U.S. FDA Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) Fellowship Program for 2019.

Ellen Garven’s interview was highlighted in an article entitled, “In the Flesh: Drexel Biomedical Engineering Students Gain Surgical Insight in Clinical Settings” on DrexelNow.

Evan Bisirri is graduating in June 2018 with his BS/MS in Biomedical Engineering, and he is pursuing his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Krianthan Govender is graduating in June 2018 with his BS/MS in Biomedical Engineering, and he is pursuing his Ph.D. at the University of California at San Diego working with Dr. Pedro Cabrales.

Carson Fox received a prestigious 2018 American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship for his dissertation research.

Dr. Throckmorton is awarded a prestigious 2016 Individual Biomedical Research Award from The Hartwell Foundation. View the 2016 Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Awards

Jennifer Patten, Khyati Prasad, Sherika Gordon, Ashley Ramirez, and Sarah Haynes (senior design team 3) was voted as a top senior design presentation by the freshmen students who attended those talks and selected as the third place winner for Senior Design Projects for the 2016-2017 Academic Year by the Course Instructors.

Samantha Cassel, Kelsey Chung, Kelly Fox, Raymond Dulman, and Maneesha Sahni (senior design team 17) was awarded 2nd Place in the 1st Annual Senior Design Showcase Event in May of 2017 at the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Healthy Systems.

Andy Abbate earned the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) “Student Member With Honors Award.” This designation honors students who have made outstanding contributions to the discipline and/or HFES during their tenure as students. Last year only one other student in the entire society was awarded the award. Also Andy is the first student from Drexel ever to earn the award.

Under the direction of faculty advisor, Dr. Michelle Rogers, Andy Abbate led the launching of the first Drexel University Student Chapter of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.

Andy Abbate defended his dissertation in March 2017. Andy under the direction of Dr. Ellen Bass and myself, his research provided an integrated formal methods framework enabling the holistic modeling and verification of safety-critical system usability.

Carson Fox received a 2017 fellowship award from The Koerner Family Awards for Graduate Students in the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems.

Samantha Cassel was awarded a Drexel University Graduate School Travel Award for funding to present her senior design project at the 63rd Annual Conference of the American Society for Artificial Internal Organs in Chicago, IL, USA, June 21-24, 2017.

Carson Fox was honored as a semifinalist for the 2017 Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation (SMART) fellowship competition by the Department of Defense.

Samantha Cassel was accepted into 5 top graduate schools in order to pursue her Ph.D. in bioengineering or chemical engineering. The graduate schools included Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Delaware, University of Pennsylvania, Renesselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the University of Virginia.

Evan Bisirri was honored an Honorable Mention as a 2017 Goldwater Fellowship Applicant for his work entitled, "Conduct research in biomedical engineering and pioneer new devices and surgical procedures to improve patient quality of life."

Kelsey Chung, Maneesha Sahni, and Samantha Cassel (senior design team) were awarded a Drexel University Office of Undergraduate Studies Travel Award to present her senior design project at the 63rd Annual Conference of the American Society for Artificial Internal Organs in Chicago, IL, USA, June 21-24, 2017.

Nohra Murad, former STAR undergraduate scholar and Drexel Steinbright Research Co-Op Fellow in the BioCirc Lab, was selected to represent Drexel BIOMED on the Provost's Advisory Student Circle, also known as the Drexel Dragon '24.

Dhyaa Kafagy, former graduate student of Dr. Throckmorton's, was awarded the Bellwether Fellowship at University of Tulsa for his dissertation research. Dr. Throckmorton supported his application with an excellent recommendation letter. He recently graduated with his doctorate from the University of Tulsa.

John Rozolis secured an employment position as a Vaccine Formulations Scientist for Eurofins Lancaster Laboratories.

Jay Patel recently accepted a full time engineering position with a Johnson & Johnson company, DePuy-Synthes in Warsaw, Indiana. He also won an Encore Award in August 2105 for his exemplary work during a stability build at his Co-Op.

Andy Abbate was awarded a 2015-2017 Drexel iCARE for Healthcare GAANN fellowship.

Andy Abbate converted a course assignment into an abstract submission (poster) to the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. After reviewing his submission, the Program Chair for the Safety Technical Group upgraded Andy's abstract from the poster group to a slide presentation in one of the sessions. In addition, Andy received news that he was selected for a Travel Award. The title of his talk is "Using Computational Tree Logic Methods to Analyze User Documentation Navigation: A Formal Reachability Approach," which will be presented at the 59th Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. October 26–30, 2015, Los Angeles, CA.

Kelli McKenna, former BioCirc Research Intern, received notification of her being selected for the prestigious and competitive engineering position with Altria Group in Richmond, VA. This employment position is part of the Altria Engineering Leadership Development Program as an elite engineering and management training program. The training program include a rotational internship time period in various business units in Altria before a more permanent career pathway is determined.

Tiffany Tse was accepted into the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) exchange program for their Spring 2015 semester.

Andy Abbate, PhD Candidate, is the 2nd place winner of the 2015 Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) Safety Technical Group Student Paper Award. He received a monetary award and a certificate at the business meeting of the Safety Technical Group. Congratulations, Andy!

Dr. Throckmorton was nominated for a 2014-2015 Outstanding STAR Faculty Award to honor her contributions to undergraduate research and student mentoring at Drexel University

Nohra Murad, 2015 STAR Scholar, and her research project were featured in the DrexelNOW article entitled, ‘STAR Scholars: Broadening Horizons on Summer Break.’ Congratulations, Nohra!

Nohra Murad received the Steinbright Research Co-op Award for Fall/Winter 2015.

Shravani Birewar, an undergraduate student, was selected for an Operations Engineer Co-Op Internship at Terumo Medical Corporation in the endovascular devices department.

Jay Patel, a graduate student, was selected for an Engineering Co-Op Position with Ethicon Johnson & Johnson during the Winter, Spring, and Summer terms of 2015.

Kelli McKenna completed her internship in the BioCirc Lab and then was selected for the competitive Engineering Parallel Co-Op/Internship at Phillip Morris USA in Richmond, Virginia.

Michelle Riddle was selected in Fall 2014 for a prestigious Co-Op at Johnson & Johnson after performing research in the BioCirc lab as a Drexel STAR Scholar.

Dr. Steven Chopski received the American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellowship Award for 2015-2016.

The BioCirc Lab was host to two senior design groups for the 2014-2015 school year. Both groups were highly successful and provided new research objectives for our lab.

Michelle Riddle, a first-year student, presented her research on "Design and Experimental Testing of New Medical Device for Patients with Only One Heart Ventricle" as part of the STAR (Students Tackling Advanced Research) Scholars program on Aug. 27, 2014.

Dr. Throckmorton's research program was selected to represent Drexel University in the Philadelphia-University Consortium, including Drexel University, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and Hebrew University, for Innovative Pediatric Research.

Dr. Steven Chopski successfully defended his Ph.D. at VCU in Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering on Thursday, October 10, 2013.