This year, the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) selected three USC Viterbi Department of Biomedical Engineering students as winners of the 2018 BMES Career Development Award: Nathan Cho, Davi Lyra-Leite and Joycelyn Yip. The award is given to underrepresented students or early career professionals in the field to offset travel expenses to the BMES Annual Meeting, held this year in Atlanta, Georgia in October.
Cho, Lyra-Leite and Yip are graduate students performing research in the Laboratory for Living Systems Engineering, led by Chonette Early Career Chair and Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering Megan McCain. Inspired by his family’s experience with heart attacks and a mission trip to Tijuana, Mexico, Cho is working to improve cardiovascular health by studying the biological mechanisms exhibited after heart attacks. Yip’s motivation comes from the cardiologists she met while being treated for Kawasaki Disease at four years old. Her current work aims to help doctors make more informed diagnoses and deliver more personalized treatment. In addition to his work in engineered cardiac tissues, Lyra-Leite enjoys participating in outreach activities including mentoring high school students through the SHINE program, giving lab tours and writing about public policy and science.