Pair of Students Honored in The Edwards Lifesciences Center for Advanced Cardiovascular Technology

Luis Alonzo and Nicole Mendoza Honored

A pair of students in The Henry Samueli School of Engineering have been awarded opportunities to conduct research in Europe this summer. Both students conduct research under Professor Steven C. George, Ph.D., director of The Edwards Lifesciences Center for Advanced Cardiovascular Technology in the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

Luis F. Alonzo, a third-year doctoral student in George’s Laboratory of Transport and Tissue Remodeling. Alonzo was awarded a grant from the Whitaker Summer Grants Program to perform research at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland. Alonzo will work under the mentorship of Professor Melody A. Swartz, Ph.D. in the Laboratory of Lymphatic and Cancer Bioengineering on a project aimed at developing an engineered lymphatic model system to gain insight into the lymphangiogenesis process and its interaction with cancer cells. The goal of this research experience is to learn valuable techniques which could be applied to his doctoral research thesis: creating a model of the tumor microenvironment to study metastasis.

The Whitaker Summer Grants Program provides U.S. bioengineers and biomedical engineers funding to pursue eight weeks of high-quality research, internship in an industry setting or coursework relevant to their field of focus in an international setting.

Nicole L. Mendoza, an undergraduate researcher in the Laboratory of Transport and Tissue Remodeling, was selected by the UC Irvine’s Minority Science Programs (MSP) to participate in the Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training (MHIRT) Program. This research training will take place at King's College in the United Kingdom over the course of 10 weeks. The program aims to broaden the research efforts and scientific training of undergraduate and graduate students from health disparities populations to encompass international health issues.

"The summer fellowships that Nicole and Luis have received to spend the summer in Europe will be a fantastic experience for them and tremendous exposure for the Cardiovascular Center,” said George. “Students at both the undergraduate and graduate level are instrumental to accomplishing the mission of the Center, and these types of experiences add significant depth to their research skills in an ever increasing and competitive global research environment."