Keegan Yates, a third-year biomedical engineering major, has been selected to participate in the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates, to be held this summer at Virginia Tech.
He is among 10 students selected nationwide to participate in the program, which will focus on multiscale approaches to biomechanics.
Yates has been working on research projects in Assistant Professor Feng Zhao’s (Biomedical Engineering) Stem Cell and Tissue Engineering Laboratory since his freshman year. His major focus has been on the development and characterization of naturally derived biomaterials for tissue engineering. Dr. Zhao said “Keegan is a very smart, reliable, highly motivated and independent student who has good sense of science. Keegan has great potential to become an outstanding scientist.”
He has coauthored three papers and presented at the Biomedical Engineering Society national meeting in 2013, as well as twice at the Biotech Research Center’s student research forum, where he won a merit award in 2013 and a grand prize for best poster in 2014.
Yates will investigate mechanical properties of structures ranging from cellular component to the whole body and determine how this knowledge can help create devices to prevent, diagnose and treat injuries and disease.
The award includes a $4,000 stipend, lodging and transportation to Virginia Tech.