16:02 PM

17 Bioengineering Students Receive Fellowships in AY21

Bioengineering graduate students at the University of Pittsburgh continue to demonstrate the positive impact of the department’s effort to encourage students to compete for external fellowships. Seventeen PhD students received awards in the 2021 academic year (AY21), contributing to the overall increase in the department’s external funding.

The workshops held by the Swanson School of Engineering help guide students through the application process, and this overall effort is meant to provide a well-rounded educational experience.

Ande Marini, a bioengineering graduate student researcher, received a T32 fellowship in the Cardiovascular Bioengineering Training Program (CBTP) for her work in the Vascular Bioengineering Laboratory. She has benefitted from this program by interacting with like-minded researchers and connecting with colleagues who can help to advance her career.

“Our monthly meetings have provided a great avenue to present my work and see research from other students in the program,” she said. “Additionally, I’ve been able to ask more senior graduate students about applying for fellowships such as the American Heart Association and the F31 Predoctoral Fellowship through the NIH.”

Brittany Egnot, who works with Drs. Pamela Moalli and Steven Abramowitch, was awarded a Biomechanics in Regenerative Medicine (BiRM) T32 fellowship for their work on a pelvic organ prolapse repair graft.

“Participating in the BiRM T32 program has helped me hone my skills in scientific communication through proposal writing and oral presentations and has elevated my literacy in essential concepts and techniques in biomechanics research,” they said. “I am grateful for the opportunity to network with and learn from researchers at Pitt and neighboring institutions.”

Through a competitive application process, a new cohort of students are appointed to the training grants each year. The following students were appointed as training grant fellows during the 2021 academic year, Sept. 1, 2020 – Aug. 31, 2021.

Training grants within the Department of Bioengineering

Cardiovascular Bioengineering Training Program (CBTP)

Christopher Cover (PI: Alberto Vasquez)

Mark Freithaler (PI: Ramakrishna Mukkamala)

Ande Marini (PI: Justin Weinbaum)

Biomechanics in Regenerative Medicine (BiRM)

Brittany Egnot (PI: Steven Abramowitch)

Dorota Jazwinska (PI: Ioannis Zervantonakis)

Bioengineering in Psychiatry (BiP)

Natalie Bick (PI: Rakié Cham)

Andrea Sajewski (PI: Tamer Ibrahim)

Cellular Approaches to Tissue Engineering and Regeneration (CATER)

Josh Hislop (PI: Mo Ebrahimkhani)

Matthew Poskus (PI: Ioannis Zervantonakis)

Training grants outside of the Department of Bioengineering


Marissa Behun (PI: Bryan Brown)

Julie Rekant (PI: April Chambers)

In addition to these T32 training grants, the following bioengineering PhD students received external fellowships in AY21 to enhance their education and research efforts.


Steven Wellman (PI: TK Kozai)

Ford Foundation

Shaniel Bowen (PI: Steven Abramowitch)


Brittany Rodriguez (PI: David Vorp)

Bevier Fellowship

Michelle Karabin (PI: Mark Redfern)

Berenfield Fellowship

Nandan Pitre (PI: Sachin Velankar)

Wesley Pickard Fellowship

Linggang Luo (PI: Fang-Cheng (Frank) Yeh)