Tag Archives: hugh hampton young

June 11, 2015


Hugh Hampton Young Fellowship celebrates 50 years

Named for the pioneering medical researcher, the Hugh Hampton Young Fellowship is one of the Office of the Dean for Graduate Education’s (ODGE) most prestigious awards. A famed urologist, Young was not only an innovator in medical science, his curiosity and intellectual drive also stirred him in other endeavors such as civic enhancement, the arts, and the burgeoning field of aviation. Established in 1965 through an anonymous donor, roughly 150 students have benefited from this award over the last 50 years.

The committee has selected seven new recipients as the 2015-16 fellowship cohort: John Arroyo, Or Gadish, Steven Keating, Georgia Lagoudas, William Li, Mitali Thakor and Iris Zielski. They will join a legacy of exceptional individuals, and will hopefully go on to make positive impacts on society in the tradition of Young himself. (Accomplishments of former Hugh Hampton Young Fellowship recipients can be seen on the ODGE website.) Learn more about the new fellows are at MIT News.

June 5, 2015


Spotlight on Heldt and a model for the future of health

Thomas Heldt, core faculty at MIT’s Institute for Medical Engineering & Science (IMES) and former MIT Hugh Hampton Young Fellow, believes in the power of patient data—the physiological measurements collected in intensive care units, operating rooms and emergency rooms—from medical devices logging hundreds of samples per second.

“What if we didn’t throw away all that data?” Heldt asks. He and his research colleagues at IMES analyze patient data in an effort to help clinicians deepen and personalize patient care, and potentially alert them to crises. “What if we could move away from a care paradigm that is reactive . . . to one that is predictive?” Yet the first hurdle, even in the age of big data, is harnessing the information.

“The infrastructure in the hospital was never set up to keep that data…. (Plus) devices from different vendors don’t really communicate. It’s very difficult to get data on a common time axis, so you can see what happened with that particular patient.” Partnerships with medical device manufacturers are extremely helpful. And when that doesn’t work, there is always “hacking,” Heldt says. Yet getting at the data is only the beginning. To move beyond hypotheses, Heldt’s group uses mathematical modeling and model-based data integration. Read the full article at IMES

April 23, 2015

cell phone radiation expert

Wang: Chief Science Officer for Pong Research on Cell Phone Radiation

Dr. Rong Wang, former MIT Hugh Hampton Young Fellow, leads the Pong scientific team and has been involved since its inception. Dr. Wang is responsible for the scientific integrity of Pong’s published content and serves as lead technical/scientific writer and media representative on scientific matters. She also participates in product research and development and helps identify and qualify new technologies and applications complementary to Pong. She is the resident expert on the biological and health effects of cell phone radiation and the ongoing studies surrounding this subject. Dr. Wang’s unique and solid training in both engineering and health disciplines from MIT and Harvard empowered her to work with a team of colleagues to develop the early prototypes for Pong’s internationally patented coupling antenna technology. A link to her most influential posts and research can be found in the full article at Pongcase.com

March 31, 2015

Cell Barcodes

Ankrum wins prize at NIH’s Follow that Cell Challenge

James Ankrum, a 2013 Ph.D. alumnus from the Medical Engineering and Medical Physics, Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences & Technology, and MIT former Hugh Hampton Young Fellow, submitted research for a self-destructing cellular barcode, a versatile tool for single cell analysis, and took home one of the top prizes at the The National Institutes of Health: Follow that Cell Challenge (Phase 1). Of critical importance for studying single cell activity is the ability to identify and track a single cell over time. This solution proposes a method for uniquely labeling thousands of single cells. The proposed label lasts for several weeks, is transferred to cell progeny, and self-destructs when the cell dies. The technique would be useful for determining stem cell fate and lineage. Read the full entry at National Institutes of Health.

December 18, 2014


Schroedel playing an active role in studying voter suppression of Native Americans

Like African Americans and women before them, Native Americans are effectively being denied the ability to vote. The issue is national in scope, affecting tribes in Montana, South Dakota, New Mexico, Alaska, and other states. For many tribes, the civic duties of registering to vote and casting a ballot have become profoundly problematic tasks impeded by the obstacles of distance, race, and poverty. But a team of CGU researchers—led by Jean Schroedel, former MIT alumni and Hugh Hampton Young Fellow, a professor in the university’s Division of Politics and Economics and a leading expert on Native American voter suppression, and including Robert Saporito—is playing an active role in studying the disenfranchisement and voter suppression of Native Americans. In a recent case, the team’s extensive research served as key evidence in a federal case involving voter access for isolated tribes in Montana. Read the full article on The Flame.

September 22, 2014

Sun powered desalination

Wright and Winter work on sun-powered desalination

Around the world, there is more salty groundwater than fresh, drinkable groundwater. For example, 60 percent of India is underlain by salty water — and much of that area is not served by an electric grid that could run conventional reverse-osmosis desalination plants.
Now an analysis by MIT researchers shows that a different desalination technology called electrodialysis, powered by solar panels, could provide enough clean, palatable drinking water to supply the needs of a typical village. The study, by MIT graduate student Natasha Wright and Amos Winter, the Robert N. Noyce Career Development Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, appears in the journal Desalination. Continue reading this article on MIT News.

September 11, 2014

New Sloan Healthcare Cert

Hashmi: One of first students to earn MIT Sloan’s Healthcare Certificate

This past spring, Dr. Sahar Hashmi, SM ’11, became one of the first two students to earn MIT Sloan’s new Healthcare Certificate. A medical doctor, a graduate of MIT’s System Design and Management program, and a full-time PhD candidate in MIT’s Engineering Systems Division, Hashmi is a recipient of the Hugh Hampton Young Memorial Fund Fellowship, which recognizes both academic achievement and the perceived potential of the candidate to have a positive impact on humanity. In 2013 she also received MIT’s Bridge Builder Award, which honors civic leaders who have formed partnerships across racial, social, economic, and geographic barriers for the betterment of their communities. Recently, Hashmi shared her thoughts on her career and education with MIT Sloan.

September 2, 2014


McGovern study shows forward osmosis desalination not energy efficient

In a recent study published in the Journal of Membrane Science, MIT professor John Lienhard and postdoc Ronan McGovern (former Hugh Hampton Young Fellow), both of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, reported that, contrary to popular support, forward osmosis desalination of seawater is significantly less energy efficient, compared to reverse osmosis.

In forward osmosis, water is drawn from the seawater into a concentrated salt solution, known as a draw solution. Then, a second step is required to regenerate the concentrated draw solution and produce purified water. With reverse osmosis, the seawater is directly desalinated by being pressurized and driven through a membrane that only allows water to pass through.

McGovern, performed an energetic comparison of reverse osmosis and forward osmosis to identify their respective energy consumptions. The problem, he says, is that even if the second step of draw regeneration — in which the concentrated salt solution is dewatered, producing fresh water — can achieve the same level of efficiency as the reverse osmosis process, the actual energy consumption of forward osmosis will consistently surpass that of reverse osmosis. This is because the salt solution that results from the first step of forward osmosis is necessarily more highly concentrated than standard seawater, meaning it always requires a higher level of energy for regeneration. Full article at MIT News

August 25, 2014

Cancer Immunotherapy

Behrens: New direction in cancer immunotherapy

Jeff Behrens, CEO of Siamab and former MIT Hugh Hampton Young fellow uses research to target abnormal carbohydrates, or glycans, that are only found on the outer surface of cancer cells. These tumor-associated carbohydrate antigens, or TACAs, are common in the majority of solid tumors, Siamab said. The TACAs are “exploited” by tumor cells to “hijack” certain cellular processes to their advantage, allowing for tumor growth and dissemination.

“The space of targeting carbohydrates in cancer is an area that has been for some degree known for a long time, it’s technically hard to do,” Behrens said. “We’re able to rapidly and very efficiently make a large number of really high quality antibodies against these carbohydrates.” Read the full article on the new direction Behrens company is taking on MedCity News. Photo: Xconomy


July 8, 2014


Brunskill Receives NSF CAREER Award

Emma Brunskill, an MIT alumna and current assistant professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University, is the recipient of the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award, the agency’s most prestigious award for junior faculty.

The five-year, $670,000 award will support her research on data-driven, machine learning algorithms for automatically constructing personalized strategies. Brunskill will use these methods to help create self-improving tutoring systems that provide individualized learning experiences, focusing on mathematics education.

Brunskill, who joined the faculty of the Computer Science Department in 2011, received a 2012 Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowship, which recognizes pioneering young academic computer scientists. She was selected as a 2012-2013 Wimmer Faculty Fellow by the Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence at Carnegie Mellon. Continue reading about Brunskill’s accomplishments at Carnegie Mellon University News.

June 3, 2014


Stock models a two-gear construct for envisioning blended learning

Elisabeth Stock, CEO and Co-Founder of CFY, the nonprofit behind PowerMyLearning, and former MIT Hugh Hampton Young Fellow, recently released a simplified approach to blended learning formalized in two gears: The first gear represents a cycle in which educational activities are selected for each student from a vast array of choices, then instruction is delivered through a number of modalities, then student learning is assessed, and finally that assessment data is used to select a new set of activities for each student so that the cycle can repeat again.

The second gear represents a cycle in which students drive their own learning at their own pace, receive immediate feedback, and try again. Students can find help with a topic they are struggling with in school (self-remediation), or they can explore something based on their own interests (self-enrichment). This cycle promotes the development of student ownership of learning — recognized as an essential element to college and career readiness. Read the full article on her research at EDUTOPIA

May 18, 2014


Lester welcomed into Energy Points Advisory Board

MIT Professor Richard K. Lester (former MIT Hugh Hampton Young Fellow) is internationally known for his leadership in energy research. His most recent book, Unlocking Energy Innovation: How America Can Build a Low-Cost, Low-Carbon Energy System (co-authored with David Hart), proposes innovation strategies to address the great 21st century energy-related challenges of global climate change, worldwide energy supply insecurity, and rapidly expanding global energy demand. He recently joined the advisory board at Energy Points which provides source energy intelligence software. Organizations use its SaaS platform to manage and optimize their energy supply chains. It is the only company to analyze source energy—measuring total energy use from the source through the site of consumption, while accounting for resource risk and environmental impact. The Energy Points platform functions as a calculation engine for source energy. It takes customers’ on-site energy consumption data and maps it to a database of geospatial source energy data and analytics, conducting a full energy lifecycle analysis of electricity, water, fuels, and materials. By quantifying source energy the company is able to measure these different resources with a single energy metric, enabling decision-making across them. Read the full article at 3BL Media.

March 27, 2014


Alumna Zurovcik’s WiCare named finalist for Hult Prize

MIT spinoff WiCare, founded by mechanical engineering alumna Danielle Zurovcik SM ’07, PhD ’12, has been named one of six finalists in this year’s Hult Prize competition. The Hult Prize Foundation is a nonprofit organization focused on supporting social entrepreneurs. This year’s challenge is to solve non-communicable disease in urban slums, and winners receive $1M in seed funding. Zurovcik, who developed a revolutionary negative pressure wound therapy pump (NPWT) as a PhD student in MechE, started WiCare (Worldwide Innovative Healthcare Inc.) with the goal of bringing high-quality medical devices to low-income countries. She is currently a fellow in the D-Lab Scale-Ups fellowship program. Continue reading about Zurovcik’s project at MIT News.

February 25, 2014


Meyer chosen in startup project to prevent PTSD

Startups aiming to prevent PTSD, treat a rare genetic disease with no current treatment, measure a diabetic’s blood sugar with no need to draw blood and lower the cost of HIV treatment worldwide, have all been named to participate in MassCONNECT. MassCONNECT, MassBio’s life sciences and healthcare entrepreneur mentorship program, kicked off its first cycle of 2014 with a Technology Showcase, where the chosen entrepreneurs presented their ideas to a room of industry executives and potential mentors. For the next 8-10 weeks, these entrepreneurs (one of whom is Retsina Meyer, MIT alumna and former MIT Hugh Hampton Young Fellow) —chosen for their innovative technologies, products, or services—are paired with seasoned life sciences professionals for evaluation and advice as they work toward developing business plans, launching companies, and raising capital. Read about Meyer’s startup idea on MassBio. Photo by Kiran Foster

January 21, 2014


Shulman re-envisions the early history of public opinion research

The Twitter account @HistOpinion is utterly simple and endlessly fascinating. The brainchild of Case Western history professor, MIT alumni and MIT Hugh Hampton Young Fellow, Peter Shulman, the account tweets findings from public opinion surveys taken between 1935 and 1946, inserting results from Depression- and WWII-era opinion polls into your feed at the rate of three tweets a day. The volume that supplies source material for the tweets is Public Opinion, 1935-1946, by Princeton psychologist Hadley Cantril. Cantril was a pioneer in the field of public opinion research, which took off in the mid-1930s after pollsters George Gallup, Elmo Roper, and Archibald Crossley successfully predicted FDR’s victory using statistical sampling in 1936. A few months after starting the feed, Shulman hit upon the idea of creating graphics based on the poll results. The charts make the tweets pop on your timeline, and they also give Shulman a way to pack more information on the source of the poll, and its methods, into a tweet. Read the full article about his popular online blog on Slate.

January 16, 2014


Laurencin elected AAAS fellow and awarded grants

Former Hugh Hampton Young Fellow Dr. Cato Laurencin has been elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Currently a professor at the University of Connecticut, he has also been named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors and received a grant for the Institute for Regenerative Engineering, where he conducts research, through the National Science Foundation’s Accelerating Innovation Research (AIR) Program. He is currently working with other researchers on developing a new kind of material with the strength of bone and the potential to be used for implants to repair spinal fractures. He is also researching new technologies to heal long bone fractures and regenerate tendons.

January 14, 2014


Ankrum develops new method to control cells after transplant

Harvard stem cell researchers working at MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital have demonstrated a new method of controlling cells after transplant, making them do the necessary behavior such as correcting a defect on a cancer cell or replenishing lost tissue.

The study led by Jeffrey Karp and James Ankrum (MIT graduate alumnus and former Hugh Hampton Young Fellow) of Harvard Stem Cell Institute at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital discussed how they used microparticles which supplied the cells with cues on how they should function over a period of time.

“Regardless of where the cell is in the body, it’s going to be receiving its cues from the inside,” Karp said in a news release. “This is a completely different strategy than the current method of placing cells onto drug-doped microcarriers or scaffolds, which is limiting because the cells need to remain in close proximity to those materials in order to function. Also these types of materials are too large to be infused into the bloodstream.”

Continue reading on Headlines and Global News.

January 9, 2014


Van Alstyne submits idea to boost advertising mail

The Postal Service could help sustain its advertising mail business by adding a scannable code for recipients to provide feedback to advertisers, a report from the office of inspector general says.

With their mobile devices, recipients of advertising mail could scan a code or symbol, such as a QR code, to access a feedback form with questions from advertisers. Participants would receive some kind of coupon as a reward.

The OIG received the idea from Marshall Van Alstyne, a Boston University management professor and MIT former Hugh Hampton Young Fellow, and Geoff Parker, a professor at Tulane University’s business school. The pair proposed the digital feedback system in a paper enclosed in the OIG report, dated Dec. 11.

Continue reading on Fierce Government IT.

December 24, 2013


Thiers Brings Down The Cost Of Clinical Trials

“Pharma and CROs don’t have all of the information they need to properly select the right sites,” says Fabio Thiers, ViS founder and CEO and former MIT Hugh Hampton Young Fellow. “As a result, pharma firms and CROs may well end up with centers that don’t recruit any patients, and trials that take twice as long as they should. This lack of available information on trial sites will therefore drive up the cost of trials.” To help solve the problem, ViS spent a decade creating a map of over 400,000 sites that exist around the world. The company’s online feasibility platform makes information on those sites, such as patient populations, investigators, and disease-specific specialties, accessible to sponsors and CROs. Read the full article on the impact of his research at Clinical Leader. Photo: Arquivo pessoal

November 6, 2013


Prabal on the Working Cities Challenge

Living Cities is proud to join state and private sector partners to support the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s innovative effort to catalyze collective impact to improve the lives of low-income people in smaller cities in the state of Massachusetts. Since launching the Working Cities Challenge, Boston Fed staff in the Regional and Community Outreach department have been working closely with the applicant cities on proposals that seek to enhance collaborative leadership and improve the lives of low-income residents. Vice President Prabal Chakrabarti (former MIT Hugh Hampton Young Fellow) provided an update in an interview on the Working Cities site. Read the interview at Living Cities to learn more.

October 28, 2013

Ronan McGovern

McGovern recognized by International Desalination Association

MIT doctoral candidate and Hugh Hampton Young Fellow Ronan K. McGovern SM ’12 has received the Best Presentation Award of the Young Leaders Program at this year’s World Congress on Desalination and Water Reuse, hosted by the International Desalination Association.

The award was presented “in recognition of superior technical content and oral presentation made at the 2013 IDA World Congress. The award committee judged this paper to have the best combination of scientific and technical innovation, relevance to the theme of the Congress, and style of presentation by a member of the IDA Young Leader’s Program.”

The paper in question, titled “Design and Optimization of Hybrid ED-RO Systems for the Treatment of Highly Saline Brines,” was authored by R.K. McGovern, S.M. Zubair, and J.H. Lienhard V. Continue reading on MIT News.

July 11, 2013

Joaquin Blaya

Blaya and mobile-based U.S. Healthcare

The Global Health Delivery Project (GHD) has provided a virtual community for healthcare experts trying to tackle obstacles in delivering quality care in developing countries since 2007. Now, the initiative run by Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School has launched a U.S. network with the aim of improving care for underserved populations across the country.

Joaquin Blaya, (former MIT research fellow and former MIT Hugh Hampton Young Fellow) who has moderated discussions about healthcare innovation on the GHD network, sees the U.S. Communities Initiative as a good opportunity. Blaya is chief technology officer at eHealth Systems, which recently launched a mobile-based network called MiDoctor aimed at encouraging engagement among patients with chronic diseases by using automated phone calls and text-message reminders about medications and doctors appointments.

He is working to bring the service to the United States, with an initial focus on the Hispanic community. Adopting the system will take some “cultural tweaking,” he said, as well as adjustments to address regulations like privacy rules under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA. Read the full article at Healthbiz Decoded.

July 2, 2013

Doshi NY Times

Doshi on The NY Times: Breaking the Seal on Drug Research

Dr. Peter Doshi’s (former MIT Hugh Hampton Young Fellow) renown comes not from solving the puzzles of cancer or discovering the next blockbuster drug, but from pushing the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies to open their records to outsiders in an effort to better understand the benefits and potential harms of the drugs that billions of people take every day. Together with a band of far-flung researchers and activists, he is trying to unearth data from clinical trials — complex studies that last for years and often involve thousands of patients across many countries — and make it public. Read the New York Times full article. Photo by Steve Ruark, NY Times

May 24, 2013


2013-14 Hugh Hampton Young Fellows Named

Four new graduate students and one continuing recipient have been chosen to receive the prestigious Hugh Hampton Young Memorial Fund Fellowship in 2013-14. The fellowship, named for the pioneering medical researcher Hugh Hampton Young, is a highly selective research fellowship at MIT. Recipients are chosen not only for academic achievement, but also exceptional personal and character strengths, weighing heavily the perceived overall potential of the candidate to have a positive impact on humanity.

Painting by Eric G. Haupt; oil on canvas, 39.5 by 31.5 inches, 1931. Read more

May 14, 2013


Fleming receives 2013 Elsevier/VSS Young Investigator Award

Roland W. Fleming is the 2013 winner of the VSS Young Investigator Award. Dr. Fleming is the Kurt Koffka Junior Professor of Experimental Psychology at University of Giessen in Giessen, Germany. His work combines deep insight about perceptual processes with rigorous experimentation and computational analysis, and he communicates his findings with exemplary clarity. Roland is well-known for his transformative work connecting the perception of object material properties with image statistics. Equally important is his work on shape estimation from ‘orientation fields’, which has been widely appreciated for highlighting raw information in the image that is diagnostic of 3D shape. Roland has also applied insights from perception to the advancement of computer graphics. He takes an interdisciplinary approach that combines neural modelling, psychophysical experiments, and advanced image synthesis and analysis methods. In addition to his formidable array of intellectual contributions, Roland has been a tireless contributor to the academic community, serving on editorial boards, organizing symposia and short courses, and training first rate students and postdocs. Source: Vision Sciences Society site.

March 11, 2013

Aaron A Salzberg

Salzberg receives President’s Award from US Water Alliance

The US Water Alliance is honoring Dr. Aaron Salzberg, Special Coordinator for Water Resources in the Bureau of Oceans, Environment, and Science Affairs at the U.S. State Department. The President’s Award recognizes Dr. Salzberg for his public service as a U.S. water diplomat, providing environmental and humanitarian assistance to those in need and advancing global water security, at home and abroad. Dr. Salzberg manages the development and implementation of U.S. policies on drinking water and sanitation, water resources management, and transboundary water. At several international events on water, including the G8, the World Summit on Sustainable Development, the UN Commision on Sustainable Development, and the World Water Forums, he has served as the lead water representative for the United States.

February 5, 2013


Cato T. Laurencin Wins 2012 AAAS Mentor Award

The 2012 AAAS Mentor Award will be presented to Cato T. Laurencin (former Hugh Hampton Young fellow) “for his transformative impact and scientific contributions toward mentoring students in the field of biomedical engineering.” He will receive the award during a 15 February ceremony at the 2013 AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts.

Laurencin is the Albert and Wilda Van Dusen Distinguished Chair Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Professor of Chemical, Materials, and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Connecticut. The director of both the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Center and the Institute for Regenerative Engineering at the University of Connecticut, he is one of only two designated University Professors at the school.

Read the rest of the article on AAAS.

January 10, 2013


Banzaert: Wellesley’s first engineering faculty member

Lecturer and former MIT Hugh Hampton Young fellow Amy Banzaert joined Wellesley in the Spring of 2013 as the College’s first engineering faculty member; she is also a member of the 2013 Madeleine K. Albright Institute for Global Affairs Wintersession faculty. Along with Wellesley Professor of Physics Robert Berg and Associate Professor of Computer Science Franklyn Turbak—she will present to the Albright Fellows a session called “Building a Better World: Leadership, the Liberal Arts, and Engineering.”

She has been engaged in building a better world herself through her doctoral research and subsequent work. Her doctoral research determined the viability of waste-based cooking fuels intended for use in developing countries, considering combustion emissions and field feasibility. Her work demonstrated that carbonized fuels made from agricultural waste have promise from emissions and socioeconomic standpoints and that certain household and industrial waste fuels have hazardous emissions. Read the article at Wellesley News.


January 3, 2013


McIntyre on HPCwire’s People to Watch 2013

Cynthia R. McIntyre (former MIT Hugh Hampton Young Fellow) is the Senior Vice President at the Council on Competitiveness, a non-partisan, NGO, which is dedicated to developing public policy recommendations to enhance American competitiveness by creating new domestic jobs in the U.S. McIntyre has established herself as a driving force in influencing HPC development. She has a proven track record of cultivating government and private industry collaborations to create various new technology innovations.

McIntyre’s responsibilities include leading the High Performance Computing (HPC) Initiative that involves helping to develop policies to enhance the use of HPC in the private sector for greater economic return and competitive advantage. As a result of these efforts, the Council was asked by the White House in 2010 to create and lead a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) to help small- and medium-size manufacturers (SME) in the Midwest to use HPC modeling and simulation. The PPP is known as the National Digital Engineering and Manufacturing Consortium (NDEMC). Since its inception, several of these emerging enterprises have seen improvement to their product development process and bottom line sales projections. Read the full story on McIntyre at HPCwire.

December 15, 2012

Porcupine Quills

James Ankrum is Taking Inspiration from a Porcupine’s Quills

Anyone unfortunate enough to encounter a porcupine’s quills knows that once they go in, they are extremely difficult to remove. Researchers at MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital now hope to exploit the porcupine quill’s unique properties to develop new types of adhesives, needles and other medical devices.

To explore the possibility of making stronger adhesives, the researchers created a patch with an array of barbed quills on one side. They found that the energy required to remove this patch was 30 times greater than that needed for a control patch, which had quills but no barbs.

The system could also be tweaked so that it penetrates tissue easily but is not as difficult to remove as a porcupine quill, enabling design of less-painful needles for injections. “If you can still create the stress concentrations but without having a barb that catches tissue on removal, potentially you could create something with just easy insertion, without the adhesion,” says James Ankrum, a graduate student in HST, an author of the paper, and a Hugh Hampton Young fellow. Read the article on Science Daily.

December 7, 2012

Brain Tissue

Precisely engineering 3-D brain tissues

Borrowing from microfabrication techniques used in the semiconductor industry, MIT and Harvard Medical School (HMS) engineers have developed a simple and inexpensive way to create three-dimensional brain tissues in a lab dish. The new technique yields tissue constructs that closely mimic the cellular composition of those in the living brain, allowing scientists to study how neurons form connections and to predict how cells from individual patients might respond to different drugs. The work also paves the way for developing bioengineered implants to replace damaged tissue for organ systems, according to the researchers.

Demirci and Ed Boyden, associate professor of biological engineering and brain and cognitive sciences at MIT’s Media Lab and McGovern Institute, are senior authors of a paper describing the new technique, which appears in the Nov. 27 online edition of the journal Advanced Materials. The paper’s lead author is Umut Gurkan, a postdoc at HST, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Other authors of the paper are Yantao Fan, a visiting graduate student at HMS and HST; Feng Xu and Emel Sokullu Urkac, postdocs at HMS and HST; Gunes Parlakgul, a visiting medical student at HMS and HST; MIT graduate students Jacob Bernstein (former Hugh Hampton Young fellow) and Burcu Erkmen; and Wangli Xing, a professor at Tsinghua University. Read the rest of the article in MIT Media Relations.

September 12, 2012

Sarah Stewart Johnson

Sarah Stewart Johnson Explores New Worlds

During her final year in the Department of Atmospheric and Planetary Science at MIT, Sarah Stewart Johnson received the 2008 Hugh Hampton Young Fellowship. The fellowship opened her opportunities during graduate studies, giving her time to take on a side pursuit: Johnson joined the Energy and Environment Advisory Committee for the Obama ’08 campaign. When Obama won the election, this led to a position as a policy analyst with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Her time in public service gave her a different sense of her future career path than she would have had otherwise, she says. Read more at MIT News.

July 23, 2012


2012-13 Hugh Hampton Young Fellows Named

Five graduate students at MIT have been named recipients of the prestigious Hugh Hampton Young Memorial Fund Fellowship for the year 2012-13. The fellowship, named for the pioneering medical researcher Hugh Hampton Young, is a highly selective research fellowship at MIT. Recipients are chosen for traits that include academic achievement, demonstrated leadership skills, and research that shows breadth of vision and crosses disciplinary boundaries, as well as passion for a field that promises broad social impact. Candidates must display integrity and moral character, strong will and determination, coordination and leadership skills, broad interests, interdisciplinary development and creativity in cross-disciplinary concepts.

Painting by Eric G. Haupt; oil on canvas, 39.5 by 31.5 inches, 1931.

Read more

May 18, 2011


Locately Will Find Which 50% Of Your Advertising Is Wasted

Companies want insight into whether their ads have any effect on consumers’ driving route and what they purchase along the way. Delivering such insight is how Locately, a start-up founded by two MIT PhD graduates, is getting paid. And in the process of commercializing their technology, Locately is winning millions in grants from the U.S. government.

In a May 13 interview with Locately co-founder and CEO, Dr. Thaddeus Fulford-Jones (former Hugh Hampton Young fellow), we started off our conversation watching a presentation that Fulford-Jones narrated of Nikki, a woman who volunteered to share her location data via the GPS chip in her mobile phone.

Location analytics revealed that Walmart (WMT) was a favorite shopping destination, with Nikki willing to drive past rivals Target (TGT) and Costco (COST) just to get there. But on Friday afternoons after leaving work early, she would head to the Family Dollar (FDO) instead, to avoid the after-school rush at her favorite Walmart. Continue reading the article on Forbes.

May 18, 2011


Thomas Heldt is Sensing Brain Pressure without Surgery

One of the most important things to monitor in patients who’ve sustained a severe blow to the head or a serious hemorrhage is pressure in the brain. This can reveal an increase in the brain’s volume, thanks to bleeding, swelling, or other factors, which can compress and damage brain tissue and starve the organ of blood. Increases in pressure have also been implicated in other, less critical neurological problems, such as migraines and repeated concussions. But current methods for monitoring intracranial pressure are highly invasive—a neurosurgeon drills a hole in the skull and inserts a catheter, which carries a risk of infection.

Thomas Heldt (former Hugh Hampton Young fellow), a research scientist at the Research Laboratory of Electronics at MIT, and collaborators Faisal Kashif and George Verghese, also at MIT, hope to change that with a new, noninvasive method for monitoring intracranial pressure. While the technology is still in its early stages of development, initial studies on data from comatose patients show that it is about as accurate as intracranial monitoring with a catheter and more accurate than other, less invasive options, which involve inserting a catheter into the tissue layers between the inner skull and the brain. Heldt presented the research at the Next-Generation Medical Electronic Systems workshop at MIT earlier this month. Continue reading the article in the MIT Technology Review.

May 10, 2011

Alan Davidson '89, SM '93

Alan Davidson to Discuss Issues of Privacy and Tracking with Congress

Representatives from Apple and Google are set to publicly speak about privacy matters next week. Guy Tribble, Apple VP of software technology and Alan Davidson (former Hugh Hampton Young fellow), Google’s director of public policy for the Americas will appear as witnesses at a congressional hearing on Tuesday.

Minnesota Sen. Al Franken, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law will preside on the hearing, which is titled, “Protecting Mobile Privacy: Your Smartphones, Tablets, Cell phones and your Privacy. Read the rest of the article on PCWorld.

November 15, 2010


Amos Winter is Lemelson-MIT Student Prize Finalist 2010

Amos Winter, a Ph.D student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, is dedicated to solving the problems of mobility in the developing world. Winter has used inspiration from the design of mountain bikes to invent the Leveraged Freedom Chair (LFC). The LFC utilizes a variable speed lever-drive gear train in an ingenious way, allowing the user to maneuver and drive the wheelchair on a variety of terrains. The chair is made of off-the-shelf bicycle parts, so it is easily affordable to users. For this invention, Winter was recently awarded a $50,000 grant from the Inter-American Bank for a trial in 2010. Winter and his Leveraged Freedom Chair have won many awards including the 2009 American Society of Mechanical Engineering’s Graduate Student Design Competition and the MIT IDEAS Competition for International Technology. Winters has a Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and is a 2003 graduate of Tufts University. For more information on Winter’s research, please see the original Lemelson-MIT article.

October 25, 2010


Benjamin Rapoport is working on fuel efficiency for marathoners

Most marathon runners know they need to consume carbohydrates before and during a race, but many don’t have a good fueling strategy. Now, one dedicated marathoner — an M.D./Ph.D. student in the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology — has taken a more rigorous approach to calculating just how much carbohydrate a runner needs to fuel himself or herself through 26.2 miles, and what pace that runner can reasonably expect to sustain.

The result is a new model, described in the Oct. 21 issue of the journal PLoS Computational Biology, which allows runners to calculate personalized targets using an estimate of their aerobic capacity.

The Harvard-MIT scientist, Benjamin Rapoport (former Hugh Hampton Young fellow), was inspired by his experience in the 2005 New York Marathon. As he entered Manhattan for the last several miles of the race, his legs just didn’t want to keep up the pace. He was experiencing a common phenomenon among marathoners, known as “hitting the wall.” Essentially, the body runs out of fuel, forcing the runner to slow down dramatically.

Continue reading the article in the Harvard Gazettephoto by Justin Ide

October 23, 2010


NASA missions uncover the moon’s buried treasures

Nearly a year after announcing the discovery of water molecules on the moon, scientists Thursday revealed new data uncovered by NASA’s Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS, and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO.

The missions found evidence that the lunar soil within shadowy craters is rich in useful materials, and the moon is chemically active and has a water cycle. Scientists, including co-author Maria Zuber, head of MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, also confirmed the water was in the form of mostly pure ice crystals in some places. The results are featured in six papers published in the Oct. 22 issue of Science.

“NASA has convincingly confirmed the presence of water ice and characterized its patchy distribution in permanently shadowed regions of the moon,” said Michael Wargo, chief lunar scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington and former Hugh Hampton Young fellow. “This major undertaking is the one of many steps NASA has taken to better understand our solar system, its resources, and its origin, evolution, and future.”

Continue reading the article in MIT Media Relations.

June 20, 2010


Researchers seek to put the squeeze on cancer

Cancer researchers have been studying angiogenesis — the growth of new blood vessels — since the early 1970s, when Judah Folkman first theorized that tumors could be destroyed by cutting off their blood supply. For most of that time, scientists have focused on the biochemical signals that promote angiogenesis, in hopes of finding drugs that can starve tumors by blocking their ability to release the proteins that promote vessel growth. More recently, a few scientists have taken a new approach: studying how contractions in nearby cells can stimulate angiogenesis.

In a paper published in April in the Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, Van Vliet, Herman and MIT students Sunyoung Lee (former Hugh Hampton Young fellow), Adam Zeiger and John Maloney and Tufts research associate Maciej Kotecki reported measuring and imaging the force of pericyte contractions using an atomic force microscope — the first time that had ever been done. Atomic force microscopy generates very high-resolution images (about 5-nanometer resolution) by “feeling” the surface of a sample with a tiny probe tip.

Continue reading the article on MIT News.

June 15, 2010


IDG Alum Elisabeth Stock’s NGO Awarded $23 Million to Improve Home Learning Environments

MIT International Development Group Alum Elisabeth Stock, former Hugh Hampton Young Fellow and named one of Crain’s 40 Under Forty for professional success, received an award of $23 million to improve the home learning environment of families in New York City and Los Angeles. For some years, Stock has headed a small NGO in New York, which she founded, called Computers for Youth (CFY). In February 2010, the U.S. Department of Education asked CFY to submit a letter to the department about their ideas on family involvement in children’s education. CFY urged the Department  to increase the percentage of Title I dollars set aside for family involvement, and the result was an award to CFY of $23 million. Read more to see Stock’s TEDxUSC talk titled “Can You Change a Child’s Education?” Read more

June 7, 2010


Matthew Angel and Mehmet Fatih Yanik Discover Sustainable RNA Transfection

MIT scientists Matthew Angel (former Hugh Hampton Young fellow) and Mehmet Fatih Yanik have discovered a method for transfecting mRNA into fibroblasts without triggering the immune response that normally defends cells against exogenous RNA infection. Cells are usually able to differentiate between endogenous and exogenous RNA through activation of pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs) that initiate a subsequent immune response. While this immune response is important for defending cells against unwanted viral RNA invasion, it also serves as a barrier for scientists interested in delivering protein-encoding mRNA into cells for a variety of purposes.

Why the need to deliver mRNA into cells? Why not just deliver DNA as is normally done utilizing traditional transfection techniques? Or, better yet, why not just skip the translational step altogether and deliver protein directly to the cells? Read the rest of the article in American Biotechnologist.

April 15, 2010

Danielle Zurovcik

Danielle Zurovcik is making better wound treatment for all

Nobody knows precisely why it works, but doctors have known for decades that the healing process for open wounds can be greatly speeded up by applying negative pressure — that is, suction — under a bandage sealed tightly over the affected area. The speculation is that it helps by drawing bacteria and fluid away from the wound, keeping it cleaner.

For patients, there is a benefit even beyond the speedier healing. Traditional dressings need to be removed and replaced — sometimes painfully — up to three times a day, but with the negative pressure system dressings can be left in place for a few days. But in the developing world, there’s a problem: The systems are expensive, and they need to be plugged in or powered by batteries that last only a few hours. In many developing nations, a reliable source of electricity is rarely available.

That’s the problem that students in an MIT mechanical engineering class decided to tackle a few years ago. With the help of Dr. Robert Sheridan from Massachusetts General Hospital, the students developed a simple, inexpensive and lightweight version of the system that required no power supply and could be left in place for days. One of those students, Danielle Zurovcik SM ’07 (2012-13 Hugh Hampton Young fellow), continued to work on the project and made it the subject of her master’s thesis. She has continued to work on it on the side as she pursues her doctorate. Continue reading the article on MIT Newsphoto by Melanie Gonick

October 18, 2009


Peter Doshi shows CDC mind-behavior control duping doctors and public to buy vaccine

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) officials are almost ready for their PR company to unleash a sophisticated, powerful H1N1 ‘swine flu’ vaccine multimedia marketing campaign to dupe doctors and exploit society’s most vulnerable through what social scientists call mind control that aims for behavior control.

In this case, the desired behavior is to accept a toxic spray or injection by obediently obeying the mind control marketing ploy, even against personal better judgment. Richard Gale and Dr. Gary Null reported today that Peter Doshi first brought public attention to a CDC public relations influenza strategy known as the Seven Step Recipe. Continue reading the article in The Examiner.

October 15, 2009

Joaquin Blaya

PDAs Aren’t Just for Checking Email

Joaquin Blaya, a 2007-09 Hugh Hampton Young Fellow, took a year off during his graduate studies to return to Chile, where he was born. During this time, he realized that the key to his studies was to focus on the population he wanted to help, instead of simply stating that he was a mechanical engineer and wondering what kind of device he could build. After returning to MIT, he took lecturer Amy Smith’s D-Lab course and got connected with Partners in Health, a non-profit whose mission is to promote health care in resource-poor areas. Blaya has since launched a project in Lima, Peru, to equip healthcare workers with PDAs so that patients’ test results could be more easily transmitted to their doctors. The average time for data to reach the doctors dropped from 23 to 8 days. Also, the problem of data going missing for several weeks or months was eliminated. Peruvian health care workers embraced the program and it has now been expanded into all five of Lima’s districts. The current version of the tracking software, OpenMRS, can be found at http://openmrs.org/. Blaya used an earlier version of the software for his Peru study. For the full story, please see the original article on the MIT Media Relations website.

July 8, 2009


SDM Alum Eric Cahill to Lead $10M X Prize Competition

MIT System Design and Management (SDM) alumnus Eric C. Cahill (former Hugh Hampton Young fellow) has been named senior director of the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE, a $10 million competition to design and build a production-capable super-efficient car. Sponsored by the nonprofit X PRIZE Foundation, the automotive competition follows in the tracks of the 2004 Ansari X PRIZE, which made headlines worldwide by awarding $10 million for the successful demonstration of privately funded, manned spaceflight. “The grand challenge format, which the X PRIZE Foundation is leading—is ideally suited to precipitate advances along technology pathways that are fundamental to human advancement,” said Cahill. Continue reading the article on MIT SDM.

August 7, 2007


MIT team cooks up simple fuel recipe

Deforestation is not only an environmental problem in that country, but it also makes life difficult for Haitians who rely on wood to cook their food. Now, a team of MIT students including Jules Walter is working to bring affordable, environmentally friendly cooking fuel to developing countries like Haiti. The technique, which grew out of an MIT class, offers a simple way to produce charcoal briquettes from organic material such as sugarcane waste. The students have formed a company to produce and distribute the charcoal to Haitian villagers. Their firm, which includes Walter, MIT graduate students Amy Banzaert (former Hugh Hampton Young fellow) and Kendra Leith, and Haitian community organizer Gerthy Lahens, recently won $30,000 in seed money from the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition. Read more at Phys.Org.

June 18, 2007

sunyoung lee

Sunyoung Lee Uses Force to Image of Cell Receptors

MIT researchers have found a way to glimpse interactions between molecules on the surface of a cell. By measuring the force generated by these cell surface interactions, the MIT team was able to image and measure the rate at which individual molecules join and separate from receptors on the cell surface. These interactions are not visible with traditional light microscopy.

“We were able to measure regions of strong intermolecular binding on the cell surfaces, which enabled us to map the locations of the receptors,” said Sunyoung Lee, a graduate student in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and lead author of a paper on the work in the June 5 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Lead author of the paper is graduate student and former Hugh Hampton Young fellow Sunyoung Lee. Continue reading on MIT News.

April 18, 2007

Ayanna Samuels

Ayanna Samuels Reaching for the Skies

Reach for the sky and you just might fall in a tree. Ayanna Samuels (former Hugh Hampton Young fellow) reached for outer space and by all appearances, she has strong prospects of getting there. As a young girl, Ayanna’s dream of becoming an astronaut led to her studying aerospace engineering at one of the most highly regarded technical institutions in the world, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in the United States.

“I was always intrigued by the idea of zero gravity and going out of space,” said Ayanna, who has the full support of her parents Pauline and Bert Samuels. “They made me believe that it was fully possible. They didn’t flinch,” the 26-year-old said. “Whenever my father heard information about astronauts and where they were educated, he would fill me in on what he had found, and MIT kept on coming up.” So MIT would be the school of choice but she would soon change her original path. Read the rest of the article in Jamaica Gleanerphoto by Ian Allen

June 18, 2006

Alan Davidson '89, SM '93

Alan Davidson is Applying Technology and Policy Expertise at Google

Alan Davidson ’89, SM ‘ 93 (former Hugh Hampton Young fellow) says that doing his job at Google is a lot like drinking from MIT’s legendary fire hose. Davidson joined the Google team in May 2005 as head of its Washington, DC, government affairs office. He quickly found himself dealing with a conflict with the U.S. Justice Department, censorship in China, and debates about the company’s future.

“Google is a very, very interesting place,” he says with a laugh. But Davidson is well qualified to meet the demands of engineers, lawyers, and politicians. He holds a JD from Yale Law School and has served as the associate director of the Center for Democracy and Technology, a nonprofit group in Washington, DC, dedicated to promoting civil liberties online. “I really had a front-row seat for the early legal battles surrounding the Internet,” he says. His role at Google involves advocacy and bridging the gap between engineering and government cultures.

Continue reading the article in the Infinite Connection: News & Views.

May 18, 2005


Sumila Gulyani Tackles Poverty from the Classroom and the Field

One of the hallmarks of Columbia is the ability of its faculty to combine scholarship and teaching with personal and professional commitment so as to use their knowledge to address the global issues of our times. Nowhere is this more evident than in recently arrived Sumila Gulyani (former Hugh Hampton Young fellow), a new assistant professor of urban planning at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. Gulyani balances her continuing interest and experience in helping to alleviate poverty in developing nations with a strong sense of how that experience can inform and energize her classroom teaching where she is intent on nurturing the next generation of leaders and professionals. Read the rest of the article in Columbia News.

May 1, 2000


Long-term safety of concrete for holding nuclear waste is focus of MIT study

Small cylinders of cement rolling to and fro in a gently rocking bath are key to MIT work that could aid efforts to safely contain nuclear waste. Temporary measures for storing such waste already employ cement, a material that binds together small particles to make concrete. Concrete, in turn, is used to encase steel containers holding the waste. For permanent storage, however, researchers would like to be able to predict how the concrete — specifically, the cement that makes it strong — will weather over hundreds of years.

Enter the MIT work. Engineers led by Franz-Josef Ulm, the Gilbert T. Winslow Career Development Associate Professor of civil and environmental engineering, have created a laboratory test that allows them to observe in one day what nature takes 300 years to accomplish. This accelerates concrete aging by a factor of three over what other researchers have achieved.

His coauthors are Franz H. Heukamp (former Hugh Hampton Young scholar), a graduate student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), and Dr. John T. Germaine, a CEE principal research associate. Two other key members of the team are Dr. Marc Mainguy, a CEE postdoctoral associate, and Jennifer Burtz, a CEE junior working on the project through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.

Read the rest of the article on MIT News.