College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Expanded BioMaP undergrad research program underway with 18 students

BioMaP REU students group photo
BioMaP REU students group photo
This year’s BioMap students get together for a group photo on their first official day of the program


BioMaP students outside CBE lab during orientation session
BioMaP students learn about CBE labs during their orientation session

Students from Iowa State University and around the nation are settling in for a summer of hands-on research work with ISU’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering (CBE).

The BioMaP Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates is hosting a larger number of participants this year – 18 students, which includes several seniors from the home department who are part of the research group of Professor Eric Cochran.

BioMaP students at orientation session
Students are set for their department orientation session

With funding from the National Science Foundation, the Biological Materials and Processes Research Experience for Undergraduates (BioMaP REU) provides mentored research for selected students who are pursuing bachleor’s degrees in chemical engineering or a related curriculum. Each student is paired with a CBE faculty member to work on a research project.

This year’s participants were chosen from 87 applicants. The students, the institutions they attend, their research project, and faculty mentor, include:

  • Alexis Anderson, Iowa State University, Poly(acrylated glycerol) as a stabilizer for micronized rubber particle modified asphalt pavements, Eric Cochran
  • Amy Apgar, Trine University, Probiotic Engineering, Thomas Mansell
  • Ruth Conlin, Drake University, Microbial Cell Factories for Lipid Conversion, Laura Jarboe
  • Axl Escarcega, Des Moines Area Community College, Model Validation for Photosynthetically Active Radiation Transport in Algal Photobioreactors, Dennis Vigil
  • Nicholas Herbst, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Toward Real-Time Control of Cell Differentiation Using Reinforcement Learning, Nigel Reuel
  • Emma Kroll, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Drug and Gene Delivery, Surya Mallapragada
  • Ashley Marker, Iowa State University, Poly(acrylated glycerol) as a stabilizer for micronized rubber particle modified asphalt pavements, Eric Cochran
  • Anna McCaslin, Iowa State University, Bioadvantaged Polyamides – Michael Adducts of 3-hexenedioic acid, Eric Cochran
  • Lily Mesyk, Bethel University, Controlling Structure and Mechanical Properties to Understand and Guide Cell Migration, Ian Schneider
  • Paige Myers, Iowa State University, Bioadvantaged Polyamides – Novel monomers from muconic acid, Eric Cochran
  • Michael O’Sullivan, Weslayan University, Fabrication and Characterization of Optical Metamaterials Using DNA Origami Templates, Andrew Hillier
  • Jacob Oyler, Missouri Western State University, The Artificial Pancreas Project, Derrick Rollins
  • Hannah Rudewick, Texas A&M University, Immunomodulatory Nanovaccines Against Infectious Diseases, Balaji Narasimhan
  • Abby Stanlick, Iowa State University, The Little-known Nylon: Nylon 59 properties, Eric Cochran
  • Cassie Volpe, Iowa State University, Bio-based Core-shell Impact Modifiers to Increase Toughness of Composites and Adhesives, Eric Cochran
  • Virginia Walker, Coe College, Impedance Spectroscopy Studies of Ion Conducting Glasses, Steve Martin
  • Ellise Waller, McGill University, Novel Probes for Screening Polymer Degrading Enzymes, Nigel Reuel
  • Valentina Vega, Loras College, Trojan Horse Repeat Sequences for Triggered Chemical Recycling of Polyesters for Films and Bottles, Eric Cochran
BioMaP students looking over department materials at orientation
BioMaP students look over department information at the orientation session

The program is coordinated by CBE faculty members Monica Lamm and Ian Schneider. Iowa State chemical engineering graduate student Brianna White will serve as the programs’ graduate student mentor.

Participants also interact with department graduate students and post-doctoral researchers, and participate in seminars, meetings, professional development workshops and social events. The program will conclude with each participant presenting a research poster summarizing their summer project that will be part of a campus-wide poster session in early August.

Learn more about the BioMaP REU program.