Biomedical engineering student honored as 2017 Phil Gramm Fellow

Phil Gramm.pngJake Carrow, a doctoral student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Texas A&M University, was recently honored with the 2017 Phil Gramm Fellowship. The award of $5,000 will help to support Carrow’s research as he pursues his degree in Dr. Akhilesh Gaharwar’s research group. 

Carrow is one of eight Texas A&M doctoral students honored this year with the prestigious award, established in 2006 with the support of Phil Gramm, the former senator from Texas who served as a professor of economics at Texas A&M for 12 years before being elected to Congress.

Carrow is currently investigating new nanomaterials for the regeneration of cartilage and combat of osteoarthritis in Gaharwar’s laboratory. Through the use of molecular and genetic analysis techniques, Carrow has begun to understand the changes in stem cell behavior after being treated with nanomaterials.

The nanomaterials are formulated from bioactive minerals and can be incorporated into polymer hydrogels as bioinks for the printing of patient-specific cartilage implants. This technology has the potential to greatly impact current clinical practices and improve a patient’s quality of life in comparison to methods that are currently being used. 

“It was an honor to meet Senator Gramm upon receiving this award,” said Carrow. “I think the recognition from this award will help distinguish me as a communicator and mentor, in addition to being a more productive engineer.” 

“Jake has exceeded our expectations and I am confident that he will continue this trajectory at the next level,” said Gaharwar, assistant professor in the department. “His combination of intelligence, leadership, work ethic and research talent is unique.”

The Gramm Fellowship was established to promote, encourage and reward outstanding teaching and research by doctoral students whose command of their respective disciplines exemplifies the meaning of scholar/mentor in the highest sense.