Larsen Lab attends BMES Annual Meeting

October 12, 2021

The Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) is an organization focused on advancing human health and well-being. Each year, they host an annual meeting where students, faculty, and industry have the opportunity to connect and present their scientific work. This year, the meeting was hosted in Orlando, Florida from October 6th to the 9th. The Larsen Lab submitted abstracts that were selected for two podium presentations and six poster presentations. Through funding from Creative Inquiry and Dr. Larsen’s grants, a team of 14 students were able to attend. The projects that receiving a coveted podium presentation were led by Ph.D. Student Bipin Paruchuri and undergraduate student team Chlo Forenzo, Danielle LaVigne, and Vaishnavi Kanduri.


The first in-person podium presentation ever given by the Larsen Lab was presented by senior ChBE Chlo Forenzo, on Friday October 9th, which is a significant honor for an undergraduate researcher. Her team, comprised of Danielle LaVigne, junior genetics major, Sara Edgecomb, recent ChBE graduate, and Vaishnavi Kanduri, sophomore BioE, looks at the use of polymersomes as Cas9 delivery vehicles as gene knockdown tools to create therapeutic edits.

Minhyun Shin, junior BioE, and Emmeline Bagwell, senior biochemistry major, presented their work on the development of a zebrafish model of Parkinson’s disease and the characterization of new treatment modalities on Friday October 9th.

Undergraduate students, Kayleigh Trumbull and Conner Lumb during their poster presentation.

Two ChBE undergraduate students, Kayleigh Trumbull, sophomore, and Conner Lumb, junior, presented on their SC EPSCoR funded work to characterize most appropriate polymersomes for nerve regeneration applications on Friday October 9th.

A creative inquiry team, Taylor Hamas, senior BioE, Jess Jager, senior ChBE, and Joey Lavalla, senior BioE, co-advised by Dr. Angela Alexander-Bryant in Bioengineering and her PhD student Megan Pitz, presented their work on novel CT imaging agents to enhance glioblastoma detection in a poster on Friday October 9th.

Christopher Pierce, ChBE senior, gave a virtual poster on his work modulating polymersome shape to enhance cellular uptake, leading towards delivery of drugs through the blood-brain barrier.

Morgan Ethridge, junior biochemistry major, presented on behalf of her creative inquiry team on their SC INBRE funded work to determine the validity of enzyme activities as biomarkers of neurodegenerative disease GM1 gangliosidosis on Saturday October 10th.

Ph.D. Student Bipin Paruchuri during podium presentation.

Bipin Paruchuri, 5th year PhD student in ChBE, presented on his work to develop pH and enzyme responsive polymersomes to enhance enzyme replacement therapy in neurodegenerative disease GM1 gangliosidosis on Saturday October 10th. His results were a significant part of Dr. Larsen’s NSF CAREER proposal that was funded earlier this year.

Mark Pitman, fourth year PhD student in ChBE, presented on his work, funded through the CU SEED program, on the development of thermally-responsive, citrate-based hydrogels, as iron chelating biomaterials to improve microenvironment after nerve injury, promoting nerve regeneration on Saturday October 10th.

Not only was great science presented, but the team was able to take a day away from the conference and enjoy their hard work with a trip to Disney’s Animal Kingdom on Thursday October 8th.

On Friday, BMES shut down part of the Universal Islands of Adventure park for their big BMES bash where the team got to enjoy countless rides with no line!

Larsen Lab is grateful to have had the opportunity to present their work and to enjoy time bonding as a team.