BME Welcomes New Faculty
The Department of Biomedical Engineering is very pleased to welcome our new faculty who are joining us this academic year. Help us extend an OSU welcome to Drs. Daniel Conway, Sara McBride-Gagyi, Juliet Varghese, and Lufang Zhou. Learn more about each of them and their research below.
Dr. Conway has been an Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Virginia Commonwealth University since 2013. He received his undergraduate degree in Bioengineering from Rice University, his PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the joint program at Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, and completed his post-doctoral training at the University of Virginia.
His research is focused on the role of mechanical forces at cell-cell adhesions (adherens junctions and desmosomes) as well as the nucleus (LINC complex, nuclear lamins, and histones). His group has developed a number of FRET-based force biosensors to measure mechanical forces within these regions of the cell with protein-specific resolution, applying these techniques to single cells, 2D monolayers, and 3D tissue structures. A major goal of his research is to understand how these forces contribute to both cellular and tissue structure, function, and homeostasis, especially in the context of epithelial biology.
Dr. McBride-Gagyi completed her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Clemson University, her MS and PhD degrees in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University and completed post-doctoral training at Washington University in St. Louis in the Department of Orthopedics. Dr. McBride-Gagyi was previously an Assistant Professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at St. Louis University and has an active NIH research program in the area of orthopedic bioengineering.
Dr. McBride-Gagyi is a mechanical and biomedical engineer whose research focuses on bone development and repair. Her lab routinely uses rodent genetic and surgical models in conjunction with biological, mechanical, and imaging-based experimental techniques to assess bone form and function. She also collaborates with engineers and chemists to develop new tools for use with microCT. Currently, her main research focus is elucidating the biological mechanisms that support massive graft survival and bone reconstruction using Masquelet's Induced Membrane Technique for segmental bone defect repair. Studying this procedure will not only allow for technique optimization and the development of better diagnostics and therapeutics but also likely reveal novel bone biology that could be applied to other anabolic bone scenarios. Dr. McBride-Gagyi is also especially passionate about increasing diversity in all STEMM fields and is looking forward to having a more active role in developing the next generation of biomedical engineers.
Dr. Varghese obtained her B.Tech. in Biomedical Engineering from Sahrdaya College of Engineering and Technology, University of Calicut, Kerala, India, and her MS and PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the Ohio State University. Dr. Varghese was previously a post-doctoral scholar in the Department of Internal Medicine at Ohio State and has an active NIH research program in the area of cardiovascular MRI.
Dr. Varghese’s research involves developing cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging applications for non-invasive imaging and diagnosis. She is specifically interested in implementing comprehensive CMR exams for evaluation of acquired and congenital heart disease, to serve as an alternative to repeated and invasive diagnostic cardiac catheterization, which involves radiation exposure. Her work includes studies on large animals, and human subjects including healthy volunteers and cardiovascular patients and focuses on developing an accurate and non-invasive MR based technique to measure intra-cardiac oxygen saturation for heart failure, pulmonary hypertension and congenital heart disease assessment, and on optimizing and implementing comprehensive cardio-pulmonary MR exams at a novel, ultra-wide bore, low magnetic field strength MR system. She is also interested in characterizing exercise-induced systemic and regional responses with MRI.
Dr. Zhou received his Ph.D. degree in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University. He next pursued a post-doctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Brian O’Rourke at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Zhou was an Associate Professor at University of Alabama at Birmingham before joining OSU. His research has been continuously funded by NIH, AHA, and DOD. He was named a Fellow of the American Heart Association (FAHA) in 2016.
Research in his laboratory lies at the intersection of bioengineering, biology, and medicine, with the long-term goal of developing novel mitochondrial-targeted therapies. Specifically, his laboratory utilizes genetic animal models and state-of-the-art techniques to explore the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in the pathophysiology of human diseases. This includes the translation of findings toward developing novel therapeutic interventions, particularly targeting mitochondrial function. More recently, he has developed exciting new optogenetic technologies that, for the first time, allow for dynamic and cell-type-specific control of mitochondrial function both in vitro and in live animals. Currently, his laboratory is employing this innovative technology to study how mitochondrial dysfunction contributes to the progression of heart failure and to develop novel mitochondrial-targeted gene therapies for treating triple-negative breast cancer.