Biomedical student selected for 2017 SMART fellowship

JoseWippold-tall.ljpg.jpgJose Wippold, a student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Texas A&M University, has been selected to be the 2017 recipient for the Science, Mathematics & Research for Transformation (SMART) Fellowship with the Department of Defense (DoD).

The SMART fellowship is funded through the National Defense Education program that selects applicants within the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

The fellowship is available to undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students. Funding is guaranteed for five years and upon graduation, award recipients are placed into careers within DoD laboratories and agencies.

Wippold is currently using microfluidic platforms to study infectious diseases. The microfluidic device Wippold is developing determines the ability of cells to produce neutralizing antibodies. The project has been given the name Platform for the Rapid Evaluation of vaccine SucCess Using Integrated microfluidics ENabled Technology.

“The end goal of the project is to combat emerging and existing threats,” said Wippold. “By using this device, we can rapidly screen a human B cell repertoire and isolate those that produce the necessary antibodies.”

Wippold hopes the award will help him to better focus his efforts into his research without having the stress of worrying about financial obligations.