USF World News

Graduate Students Receive Prestigious International Fellowships to Conduct Research
April 17, 2014

Frank Alexander, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Electrical Engineering, and Michelle Guitard, a graduate student in College of Marine Science have received funding to conduct research in Germany and Japan.

Frank Alexander

Frank is the first USF student to be awarded a prestigious Whitaker International Program Scholarship grant. He will conduct postdoctoral research at cellasys GmbH a biomedical engineering company in Munich, where he will work on the development of several organ-on-a-chip models for in vitro drug testing and analysis.

Frank is a recipient of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) and the NSF Florida-Georgia LSAMP Bridge to the Doctorate fellowship program. During his doctoral program, he participated in NSF supported summer biomedical engineering internships with Optofluidics, Inc. (2013) in Philadelphia, PA, and Time Medical (2010) in Shanghai, China. Frank’s dissertation research seeks to combine bioimpedance spectroscopy measurements of three dimensional (3D) tumor cell models with simultaneous pH measurements to correlate morphological changes with environmental changes for a more accurate drug screening platform.

Frank has been advised by Shekhar Bhansali, professor and chair in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Florida International University, and Andrew Hoff, professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at USF.

Michelle Guitard

Michelle, a graduate student in geological oceanography at the College of Marine Science, has been awarded an NSF East Asia Pacific Summer Institute (EAPS) fellowship.  This summer, she will work with Dr. Yusuke Yokoyama at the University of Tokyo. Michelle will investigate late Quaternary (125-0 ka) variations in the Amery Ice Shelf system (AIS), a marine-based outlet glacier that drains ~15% of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet in Prydz Bay, East Antarctica.

Michelle is advised by Amelia Shevenell, assistant professor of geological oceanography, at the College of Marine Science. The Shevenell group recently spent six weeks on an NSF sponsored research expedition off the coast of eastern Antarctica, collecting oceanographic and geologic data. Read more about her work in Antarctica here>>

In addition to the EAPSI award, Michelle is the recipient of the NSF Florida-Georgia LSAMP fellowship, Alfred P. Sloan Minority Ph.D. Scholarship, College of Marine Science Bridge to the Doctorate Endowed fellowship, and the Florida Education Fund’s McKnight Doctoral Fellowship.

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