Biomedical Engineering students take first place in research competition

Biomedical Engineering students Jalen Leyretana and Alex Alonzo took first place at the 36th CSULB Student Research Competition this February, for their project, "Computational Workflow to Design Patient-Specific Inferior Vena Cava Filters." 


The 4th-year students, led by Professor Kelly Suh, will represent CSULB at the CSU-wide competition at Cal Poly SLO in late April. This marks the third year in a row that Biomedical Engineering students have received the honor.

"I'm proud to say we're deeply committed to nurturing and encouraging all our students to reach their full potential. We place a strong emphasis on the value of undergraduate research, highlighting its crucial role in not only enhancing career prospects but also in opening doors to graduate programs," said Shadnaz Asgari, Biomedical Engineering Chair. "By actively supporting our faculty's research needs and fostering their engagement with students, we're able to offer unparalleled opportunities for hands-on learning and personal growth."

To complete their research, Leyretana and Alonzo not only needed the engineering principles, they also needed a strong knowledge of the cardiovascular system. IVC filters are placed in the bloodstream to combat clots. By using medical imaging and computational modeling, they were able to develop the design workflow to come up patient-specific IVC filters, which correct  several issues in current models. 

"Biomedical engineering stands at the intersection of multiple disciplines such as engineering, medicine, biology, physics and chemistry," said Asgari. "This requires our students to adopt a multifaceted perspective, integrating knowledge and techniques from diverse areas to innovate and solve complex healthcare challenges."

Another team of Biomedical Engineering students, Haley Obenshain and Bryant Lopez, also participated. With guidance from Assistant Professor Siavash Ahrar, their work, "Investigating Ciliary-Mediated Hydrodynamics of Sand Dollar Larvae via Microfluidics," is currently undergoing peer-review for scientific journal publication.

"Our faculty, including Dr. Suh and Dr. Ahrar, demostrate unwavering dedication to student development. Their commitment ensures that every student receives the necessary guidance and resources to excel," said Asgari. "This approach is instrumental in transforming student aspirations into tangible achievements."

Follow the Biomedical Engineering Linkedin to stay up-to-date on the Department's latest research, and check back in April to see how Leyretana and Alonzo do!