Biomedical engineering students awarded 2017 AFS Distinguished Graduate Student Award

AFS-Story-Picture_aweb.jpgGraduate students Nima Jalili, Rachael Muschalek and Landon Nash from the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Texas A&M University have each been awarded the Association of Former Students (AFS) Distinguished Graduate Student Award.

Students who are selected are presented with the award in one of three categories: excellence in research-doctoral, excellence in research-master’s or excellence in teaching. Jalili and Muschalek were each selected for their excellence in research in their master’s studies, and Nash was selected for his excellence within research during his doctoral studies. 

Muschalek and Nash both conducted their research under the guidance of Dr. Duncan Maitland within his biomedical device laboratory. Jalili conducted his research under the guidance of Dr. Akhilesh Gaharwar within his inspired nanomaterials and tissue engineering laboratory.  

Jalili graduated with a Master of Science degree in May of 2016. His thesis is titled, “Nanoengineered Injectable Hydrogel for On-demand and Localize Therapeutic Delivery.” He is currently employed as a quality assurance engineer at Alcon, a Novartis division in Houston, Texas.

Muschalek is graduating with a Master of Science degree in May. Her thesis is titled, “Effects of Sterilization on Shape Memory Polyurethane Embolic Foam Devices.” She will begin her medical degree program at the Baylor School of Medicine this summer.

Nash is graduating with a Ph.D. in May. His dissertation is titled, “Material Modifications for Improved Performance of Shape Memory Polymer Medical Devices.” He is currently employed as a senior engineer at a medical device startup company founded by Maitland, Shape Memory Medical, Inc. (Santa Clara, CA).

Nominations for the award come from faculty advisors or departments, and the nomination itself represents a true honor and accomplishment due to the strenuous eligibility requirements.

A panel of reviewers, including faculty and administrators, choose award recipients based on  the student’s academic record and contributions in research. Students were honored at a ceremony April 24.

For more information about the award please visit: