August 25, 2016

Cornell Professor Honored as ‘Young Innovator’

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Prof. Minglin Ma, biological and environmental engineering, is one of 10 researchers to receive a Young Innovator Award from the journal of Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering, according to a University press release.

Ma’s research, which will be published in the journal’s September issue, pioneered a new technique for coating cells in nanoparticles that aid in drug delivery.

His lab focuses more broadly on methods of “packaging” cells for use in biophysical studies and therapy and attempts to stop cancer cell growth to treating type I diabetes, according to the lab’s official website.

“We are interested in using the concept of ‘cell packaging’ to solve problems in life science and medicine,” the website states.

Members of the Biomedical Engineering Society were able to nominate themselves for the Young Innovator award last year, and judges evaluated them on their biosketches and abstracts, according to Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering.

“The application pool was outstanding and as a result, the Young Innovators featured here include many of the best and brightest working in the field,” the journal said in the introduction to its September issue.

Rebecca Varghese ’18, an undergraduate working with Ma, said she is currently researching a device that will aid in cell patterning. A former graduate student in the lab and Ma read an article about a similar device and decided to make their own, according to Varghese.

“I believe it was Professor Ma’s idea to expand on the device and try to make it more affordable to make as well as help with advancing the device to serve a more biological approach,” she said.

Ma and the other young innovators will speak about their research during the 2016 Annual Biomedical Engineering Society meeting in Minneapolis, which runs from October 5 to 8.