I have been living in the Upper Peninsula for 5 years and began my Ph.D. at Michigan Tech in 2015. I am currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Integrative Physiology program. I have always loved the outdoors and exercise. Therefore, my research is focused on understanding how environmental demands and thermal interventions (hot/cold water immersion) influence performance and the perception of fatigue during physical exercise. We use a variety of techniques to quantify muscle and brain activation during these fatiguing tasks. This research may provide us with important implications for improving athletic performance and managing the perception of pain in clinical populations. I would like to thank the Portage Health Foundation, Michigan Tech, and my mentors. Their support has provided me with an incredible opportunity to accomplish my goals.
I am a Ph.D. candidate in Integrative Physiology at Michigan Tech. My line of research involves adapting new types of exercise to different clinical and healthy populations. I have worked on many projects including the development of a new exercise device for wheelchair users and creating a home-based rehabilitation program for those with ACL injury. I have been living in the Upper Peninsula for the past 9 years. When I’m not working on my research you can find me out exploring the Keweenaw with my wife and dog. We love hiking, skiing, and biking on the many trail systems in the area.
I received my Master’s degree in organic chemistry from Nepal. The final touch that shaped my interest in organic chemistry came after studying different iconic organic reactions and synthesis that had pushed the limit of human endeavors to synthesize molecules to catch up with the escalating need of drug, and brought new avenues in the field of chemistry. I began my PhD at Michigan Tech in Jan 2012. I published different papers in peer-reviewed journal. My research focuses on stepwise solid phase synthesis of PEGs and measurement of mechanical force of single covalent bond.
The Portage Health Foundation fellowship helps me to write my dissertation. I would like to thank my advisor, Graduate School and Portage Health Foundation for the achievement.
I came from China in January 2013, and joined Dr. Lanrong Bi’s group in the Department of Chemistry at Michigan Tech. My research focuses on the design and synthesis of fluorescent dyes. These fluorescent dyes could target and label the organelles, thus shining light on cell’s inner workings. When these dyes work, we can see a glowing image of the organelle, thus helping us to detect unhealthy cells. My ultimate goal is to see our probes becoming commercially available at affordable price, improving health of countless people and benefiting the society.
Thanks to the Portage Health Fellowship, I will be able to focus on my research so that I could expect to graduate sooner. I want to give my sincere thanks to Portage Health Foundation and Graduate School. I am also thankful to my advisor and alumni donors for this fellowship.
The sciences have been an interest of mine ever since my high-school years, but it was studying how the human body functions (and its numerous dysfunctions) that I found the most fascinating. This interest might be contributed to my (rather unfortunate) exposure to a variety of health problems that have impacted a number of my family and friends over the years. While people close to me have suffered from a variety of health concerns, but it was having to watch a family member struggle with neurological damage that I found the hardest to deal with. It wasn’t just how neurological damage can forever change a person, but it was also seeing how much the person’s family and friends also suffer when these conditions strike a loved one.
I pursued a degree in biology in college, and knew that after my undergraduate education I wanted to focus on health research. I was fortunate enough after college to begin working alongside a multidisciplinary research group that brought together talent from clinicians, nurse scientists, and engineers to study a variety of complex health issues. It was during this time that I was able to see just how much advances in technology lead the way in researching medical conditions and impacting the next generation of health. This drove me to pursue my graduate education and research in a place where I could combine my academic interests in health with current advances in technology. I have been lucky enough to find such an ideal place with the community here at Michigan Tech.
While neurological damage can come from a variety of places, a particular source can come from intracranial aneurysms: ballooned sections of blood vessels in the brain. When an aneurysm ruptures, it can damage a person’s brain, leading to a lifelong struggle dealing with the loss to both their physical and cognitive function (if a person survives at all). Now current surgical treatments used to prevent aneurysm rupture have proven be highly beneficial for many people, but these treatments carry their own potential risk to cause brain damage. So we have a paradox: aneurysm rupture is devastating but not all aneurysms rupture, and treatment options can save lives but also may lead to the same outcomes as an aneurysm rupture itself. So, it would be best to limit surgery only to patients who are at risk of aneurysm rupture. If we were to better predict which aneurysms may rupture, we may be able to spare some patients from potentially unneeded surgery, only intervening when an aneurysm is at serious rupture risk. This could help reduce the number of people who may have to struggle with neurological damage, whether it be from the aneurysm itself, or surgical intervention.
Michigan Tech has been perfect for allowing me to tackle this profoundly deviating source of neurological damage. My current research combines computer-modeling, fluid dynamics, medical imaging, and vascular biology to computationally study how complex blood flow patterns within aneurysms could be used to better predict which aneurysms are at a risk of rupturing. It is my hope at the very least, that my work could help protect individuals (and those that care for them) from having to suffer the tragedy and heartbreak stemming from neurological damage: either from aneurysm rupture, or from (unneeded) surgery.
Thanks to the funding from the Portage Health Foundation, I can perform this first crucial step in my research to better understanding the complex nature of aneurysms and their potential to rupture. The work I do here could set the groundwork for potential future studies for not only myself, but other health science researcher as well. Future studies could be based off of my current work could help to determine just what specific changes to aneurysms are caused by blood flow patterns and could help lead to improved treatment option. With the help of the PHF, I hope to make strides in protecting others and their loved ones from having to struggle with the tragic outcomes of the neurological damage that can come from having an intracranial aneurysm.
I received my Master degree in organic chemistry from Nepal. The final touch that shaped my interest in organic chemistry came after studying different iconic organic reactions and synthesis that had pushed the limit of human endeavors to synthesize molecules to catch up with the escalating need for the drug, and brought new avenues in the field of chemistry. I began my PhD at Michigan Tech in Jan 2012. I published different papers in peer-reviewed journal. My research focuses on stepwise solid phase synthesis of PEGs and measurement of mechanical force of single covalent bond.
This Portage Health Foundation fellowship helps me to write my dissertation. I would like to thank my advisor, graduate school and Portage Health Foundation for the achievement.
My name is Wenkai (Vicky) Jia, and I am from a seaside city located in northeast China. My interests are in biology and chemistry and I chose Bio-functional Materials as my undergraduate major in Beijing University of Chemical Technology. I joined Dr. Feng Zhao’s lab in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and kept working in the area of tissue engineering from 2015. My current research is applying stem cells as regenerative medicine to treat lymphedema and investigating the mechanism underneath. We anticipate that stem cell therapy could cure lymphedema and it would perform better and be more promising than conventional treatments.
The Graduate School is pleased to announce the awarding of the Portage Health Foundation Graduate Assistantships to provide support to PhD candidates. These assistantships are available through the generosity of the Portage Health Foundation. They are intended to recognize outstanding PhD talent in health-oriented research areas.
Summer 2016 Recipients
Fall 2016 Recipients