9th Annual Engineering in Healthcare: Industry and Research Symposium (EHIRS)

groups of students stand with balloons and EHIRS banners around

On Saturday January 27th the Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) held its 9th annual Engineering in Healthcare: Industry and Research Symposium (EHIRS) that drew over 150 participants to Fontana Labs for a day of presentations, networking sessions, and an interactive workshop. EHIRS is designed for all undergraduate and graduate students interested in medicine and engineering to build connections between industry and academia. The event is organized by The Ohio State University’s Biomedical Engineering Society chapter (BMES) and supported by the Biomedical Engineering Graduate Student Association (BMEGSA).

“EHIRS is a crucial event for any student passionate about healthcare. This event provides BME students with valuable insights into both research and industry. EHIRS also facilitates networking opportunities with faculty, peers, and industry professionals seeking to hire students.” EHIRS Co-Chairs, Ethan Stamas and Avneesh Pradhan.

2024’s EHIRS featured two keynote speakers, each a leader in industry or research. Dr. Erandi De Silva, Co-Founder and Senior Vice President of Product Development at Forge Biologics presented on her journey in industry. And Dr. Jeffrey Brinker, Distinguished and Regent’s Professor, Emeritus Departments of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Chemistry, Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at the University of New Mexico presented his research on mammalian cell silicification. Both presentations were well attended by students curious to learn more about each speakers’ work.

Student presentations were another highlight of the symposium, where 8 undergraduates gave poster presentations, and 11 graduate students presented their research during a block of “Graduate Student Platform Presentations.” There were three awards given to the top undergraduate and graduate student presentations. Congratulations to this year’s winners!

Kimberly Denman presents her research on Osteoporosis
Kimberly Denman gives her award winning presentation

Graduate student presentations:

  • 1st place: Kimberly Denman
    • Title: “DDR1 in Aging Bone”
    • Advisor: Gunjan Agarwal, PhD
  • Tied for 2nd: Srija Chakraborty
    • Title: “Using Chemokine-Driven Natural Killer Cells to Enhance Immunotherapy in 3D Melanoma Organ-on-a-Chip Platform in Presence of Fibroblasts”
    • Advisor, Aleksander Skardal, PhD
  • Tied for 2nd: Tricia Oyster
    • Title: “Evaluating the Effect of Immune Cells on Epithelial Injury During Ventilation”
    • Advisor, Samir Ghadiali, PhD

Undergraduate presentations:

  • Tied for 1st place: Shreya Agarwal
    • Title: “Effect of Increased Afterload on Right Ventricular Waveform Shape in an Animal Model of Pulmonary Hypertension and Patients with Pulmonary Hypertension”
    • Faculty mentor: Rebecca Vanderpool, PhD
  • Tied for 1st place: Andrew Gotschall
    • Title: “Non-viral Co-transfection of Placticity-Inducing and β Cell Patterning Transcription Factors Mediates Pro-β Cell Reprogramming in Fibroblast Cultures”
    • Faculty mentor: Daniel Gallego-Perez, PhD
  • 3rd place: Luigi Melaragno and Myra Garzanich
    • Title: “Exploring CT Pixel Voxel Size Effect on Anatomic Modeling in Mandibular Reconstruction”
    • Faculty mentor: Kyle VanKoevering
three female presenting students crafting a medical device out of paper and paperclips

Following student presentations, Biomedical Engineering Associate Professor of Practice, Tanya Nocera, PhD and Olivia Hillrich, M.S. gave a Medical Solutions Workshop that offered students skills in medical product development and collaboration. The workshop challenged teams of students to design a mock-up device that could control hemorrhage in a military setting using various craft supplies. Following the challenge, Dr. Nocera discussed how her start-up company, HDO Health, has been tackling this same challenge for the past several years. The workshop was a huge success and students had a blast working together to develop their mockups. Congratulations to the team whose device was chosen as the winner!

Workshop winners:

  • Emma Randall, Mihir Joshi, Ahmad Madhwala, and Grant Schrieber
    • Project title: “The Life Cup”

There were two major industry events at this year’s EHIRS featuring representatives from KLS Martin, Amgen, Biosense Webster, Azzur Group and EWI. The industry representatives presented an enlightening Industry Panel that offered students the opportunity to explore various companies and learn about the personal journeys of their representatives. The panel was followed by an Industry Networking Session that facilitated networking opportunities for students.

a white man and a man of color both wearing suits and ties stand below an EHIRS sign
EHIRS Co-Chairs, Ethan Stamas (left), Avneesh Pradhan (right).

EHIRS has evolved to meet student needs and interests over the past 9 years. What initially began as a research event has grown to a research and industry symposium. We in BME@OSU are excited to see how EHIRS continues to grow. Current EHIRS Co-Chairs shared a similar sentiment: “Our vision for the future of EHIRS involves continued growth and impact. We hope to see an expansion of the event's reach, attracting a broader audience of students interested in healthcare. We envision EHIRS evolving into a premier platform that not only showcases current trends in healthcare research and industry but also fosters meaningful connections and collaborations among students, faculty, and industry professionals.”

It takes a village to put together such an event. BMES has a talented team who works together to make this event happen each year. This year’s EHIRS Co-Chairs were Ethan Stamas and Avneesh Pradhan, who encourage students to apply for the position of Co-Chair: “Being a Co-Chair for EHIRS is a highly rewarding and impactful opportunity. It allows you to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of EHIRS and contributing to the growth of one of the largest BMES events of the year. It offers a platform to develop leadership skills, foster connections with professionals in healthcare, and make a lasting impact on the experiences of fellow students.”

Sponsors are another important part of what makes EHIRS possible. Thank you to this year’s sponsors: Atricure, Accenture, Avalign Technologies, Oakwood Labs, AmplifyBio, Biosense, Webster, KLS Martin.

If you would like to be part of what makes EHIRS possible, consider making a one-time gift to the Department of Biomedical Engineering.


an auditorium style room filled with students
A full audience for Dr. Erandi De Silva's presentation
a full room during the undergraduate presentations
Undergraduate student presentations
two students listen as an undergrad shares her research
Undergraduate Skylar Lynch presents her research
three students smile while folding paper
Students in the Medical Solutions Workshop
A white man gives a presentation
Graduate Student Jon Fritz presents his research
a woman of color presents her poster presentation
Undergraduate Anna Le presents her research to BME faculty