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Dr. Annie Bowles Awarded 2019 Postdoctoral Fellow Shooting Star Award

Annie Bowles, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) and Biomedical Nanotechnology Institute at the University of Miami (BioNIUM), has been selected to receive the 2019 Shooting Star Award from the Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering (CMBE) Conference for her outstanding work in the field of cell and molecular bioengineering.

Bowles will attend the 2019 Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES)-CMBE conference from January 2–6 in San Diego, where she will give a scientific presentation about some of her research, specifically a model she developed to mimic transplantation of pancreatic islets. As a stem cell researcher, Bowles further investigates the effects of using adult stem cells to enhance the transplantation process in hopes of improving clinical outcomes in patients with type 1 diabetes.

“Dr. Bowles’ hard work and dedication to research and education serves as a model for postdoctoral leadership here at the College of Engineering,” says Ashutosh Agarwal, PhD, Bowles’ mentor and assistant professor in the College of Engineering’s Department of Biomedical Engineering and Associate Director of BioNIUM. “Her combination of high intelligence, strong work ethic and passion has contributed significantly to our lab’s focus on the development of human-relevant organ mimicking platforms for the discovery of therapies and drugs. Dr. Bowles’ great enthusiasm for the field has inspired others.”

In Agarwal’s Physiomimetic Microsystems Laboratory, innovative lab-on-chip devices are key elements to many of their investigations. “These devices drastically scale down the costs and risks associated with clinical trials and are leading-edge approaches to rapidly scale up mechanistic underpinnings of disease and cellular interactions as well as experimentally evaluate expected outcomes, whether beneficial or adverse effects,” says Bowles.

“The award is a great recognition of Dr. Bowles’ research excellence and outstanding achievements,” says Fabrice Manns, professor and chair of the College of Engineering’s Department Biomedical Engineering. “It also recognizes the quality of our research and training programs, and of the wonderful mentoring provided by Dr. Agarwal.”

After receiving the award, Bowles says she is excited for any opportunity to share her research. She also stated, “I appreciate all the researchers that I’m surrounded by and am lucky to have great mentors like Dr. Agarwal. My previous training as a stem cell researcher provided me valuable skills to understand cellular and molecular interactions. As a postdoc, I wanted to expand my skillset with bioengineering approaches to improve techniques to biological applications and understanding. My training here at the University of Miami has given me a competitive advantage for my future career as an independent investigator.”

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