New Grant Will Support Biomedical Engineering Graduate Students


Ki Chon, department head of biomedical engineering. (Chris Larosa/ UConn Photo)

The University of Connecticut’s School of Engineering has secured a highly selective federal grant to attract graduate students who will specialize in medical devices for public health.

The U.S. Department of Education recently notified the biomedical engineering department that it will receive a three-year grant totaling $879,000 as part of the Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) program. It will support six graduate students, with Biomedical Engineering Department Head Ki Chon administering the program.  Dr. Cato Laurencin and Assistant Professor Sabato Santaniello are the co-primary investigators of the grant.

“This is the foremost fellowship program to train and prepare students for careers in academia, industry, government and entrepreneurship. For UConn BME to be a part of such a prestigious program speaks to the great strides the department has made in such a short period of time. We are proud to be a part of the ongoing collaboration between UConn and the Department of Education,” said Chon.

Cato Laurencin at his office at UConn Health in Farmington on Oct. 6, 2014. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Cato Laurencin, director of The Institute for Regenerative Engineering and a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, materials science and engineering, and biomedical engineering. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

The program will provide the training necessary to create and design advanced medical devices from both an engineering and biological standpoint- these devices require a deep understanding of the workings of the human body, in addition to the advanced engineering skills that UConn engineering graduate students are known for.


Assistant Professor Sabato Santaniello (UConn Photo).

The GAANN program fellowships assist graduate students with excellent records who demonstrate financial need and plan to purse doctoral degrees in their course of study. The GAANN program gives selected grad students a fellowship that covers tuition and provides a stipend, allowing the student to focus on their research topic. The fellows must be citizens, nationals or permanent residents of the United States.

The Medical Devices for Public Health GAANN is focused on increasing the number of underrepresented minorities and women in the STEM fields. The Program administrators will invite underrepresented students to work in their laboratories, work with existing minority recruitment efforts at UConn and visit Minority Serving Institutions to recruit directly to the program. GAANN fellows and faculty will participate in activities organized by professional societies dedicated to underrepresented groups, such as the National Society of Black Engineers and the Society of Women Engineers.

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