Student Successes

We are very proud of our undergraduate students conducting research and want to share their achievements!  If you would like to share your Student Success stories with us, please email your information to:


Martina Velichkovska is a sophomore, majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, with minors in Public Health, Chemistry, and Theatre.  She is currently conducting research with Michal Toborek, MD, PHD, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.  Martina has presented her research at various conferences/forums: The Society of Personalized Nanomedicine Annual Conference, The Society of  Neuro Immune Pharmacology National Conference, the 50th Miami Winter Symposium: Stem Cells, BMB Research Day at UM Miller School of Medicine, Research, Creativity and Innovation Forum at UM, Life Sciences of South Florida Symposium at FIU and the ACC Meeting of the Minds conference at Boston College.  Of her experiences, she says “You learn about the latest research, get even more motivated to advance your own project, and create an amazing network of inspiring individuals; which is why I think that presenting at conferences is one of the essential components for one's growth as a researcher.”

UM Undergrads Minh Van, Suhas Seshadri, Martina Velichkovska, Jack Stahl, Sofia Vignolo, Maria Lozada, Alina Diaz Garcia, Kenny Goodrich, Jessica Garcia, Sathvik Palakurty, Dilraj Cambo, Claudia Cabrera, Mudalegundi Shwetha, Maria Troncoso, Benjamin Smith, Obianeze Okolo and Frederic Vallejo all presented at the 6th Annual Life Sciences South Florida STEM Undergraduate Research Symposium, hosted by Florida International Universtiy.  Mudalegundi Shwetha was awarded 2nd place in the Oral presentation category.


UM Undergrads Claudia Cabrera, Dilraj Cambow, Zoe Cosner, Alyssa Laffitte, Esmail Miyanji, Xiaoyao Qiao, Divya Sha and Frederic Vallejo presented at the 5th Annual Life Sciences South Florida STEM Undergraduate Research Symposium, hosted by Palm Beach State College.  Zoe Cosner was awarded 2nd place in the poster competition for her project.


Student: Sarah Dia
Faculty Mentor: Kaufui Vincent Wong, Ph.D., Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department
Produced a mini review journal paper that has been accepted by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Journal of Energy Resources Technology. Research sourced as Reference 28 in Wikipedia article on Energy Density.


UM undergrads Amelia Bahamonde, Stephanie Cheng, Alyson Essex, Mark Keroles, Hannah Lockwood and Grace Snyder presented at the 2016 Life Sciences South Florida STEM Undergraduate Research Symposium on April 2, 2016, hosted by Broward College. Amanda Bahamonde was one of three 1st place winners in the poster presentation category. Stephanie Cheng won 1st place in the oral presentations category.


Student: Simone Douglas
Faculty Mentor: Noel Ziebarth, Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering Department
"I graduated from the University of Miami in 2015 with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering. In my sophomore year, I started workingin the Atomic Force Microscopy Laboratory under the mentorship and guidance of Dr. Noel Ziebarth. I assisted on a project to quantify the mechanical anisotropy of the cornea through its depth which led to my first co-authorship on a paper. I also developed methods to standardize the creation of flaps in the cornea at different depths using a microkeratome. During the summer of 2014, I attended the Leadership Alliance Summer Research- Early Identification Program where I was mentored by Dr. Qian Chen and Dr. Yupeng Chen at Brown University. I worked on the research and development of nanopieces, a self-assembled, synthetic delivery vehicle. I presented a poster on this work at the Leadership Alliance National Symposium and UM Research, Creativity, Innovation Forum. Additionally, I submitted an abstract on my summer work and was selected as a finalist in the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Undergraduate Poster Competition.

My participation in FGLSAMP (Florida Georgia Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation) has provided me the opportunity to network with likeminded individuals. The weekly meetings were encouraging as we were able to discuss our projects in our respective labs. This gave me the opportunity to practice speaking to scientific audiences, accept peer feedback, and critique the work of others. One memorable experience was going to the FGLSAMP Research Expo where I attended seminars on how to succeed as a minority in STEM and learn about graduate school opportunities. This is where I learned the benefits of graduate school, how to present myself as a competitive applicant, and where to find resources in order to be successful in graduate school. It was an enriching experience to be a part of FGLSAMP and I am proud to be one of the students the program has helped be accepted into a PhD program.

In addition to research, I was a leader in the College of Engineering community serving as. I was the High School Outreach Coordinator and Vice President of SWE, as well as President of the Engineering Advisory Board. Currently, I am a first year PhD student at the Georgia Institute of Technology, working in the laboratory of Dr. Manu Platt and a new trainee in the Emergent Behaviors of Integrated Cellular Systems (EBICS) program."