Casey Named ARCS Fellow
Fischell Department of Bioengineering graduate student Brendan Casey, advised by Professor Peter Kofinas, was awarded a 2009 Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Fellowship at a U.S. Supreme Court reception on Oct. 8. This is Casey's third year as an ARCS Fellow.
ARCS fellowships provide recipients with a renewable award of $15K per year and are sponsored by the Metropolitan Washington Chapter of the ARCS Foundation, Inc. ARCS provides science, medicine and engineering scholarships to outstanding students who are U.S. citizens contributing to the advancement of science and technology.
"The whole experience was pretty amazing, and something I will remember for the rest of my life," Casey says of the reception. "I was able to meet Justice Anthony Kennedy, which was a thrill for me. The award presentation took place inside the actual Supreme Court. Both Ralph J. Cicerone (President of the National Academy of Sciences) and Justice Kennedy gave great speeches, and I felt honored [to be] there listening to them."
Since his first year as an ARCS Fellow, Casey has been involved in several research projects at Kofinas' Functional Macromolecular Laboratory. His current efforts center on the development of a synthetic blood-clotting polymer hydrogel that can be used to control surgical or traumatic bleeding without the need for stitches or sutures. He has been studying the interactions between the hydrogel and the proteins present in the natural blood clotting process in order to optimize the material's ability to control or enhance it. Casey, Kofinas and their colleagues have launched a startup company called Trauma Solutions, Inc. to market the new technology, which is currently undergoing animal studies at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Casey has presented the group's work at recent Biomedical Engineering Society and American Chemical Society conferences.
Casey says his time as an ARCS Fellow has had a substantial impact on his graduate school experience. "The financial award is a major contributor to my stipend and gives me and my advisor the freedom to focus on research rather than worrying about finding those funds to support me. Besides the financial aspect, the ARCS staff has been absolutely amazing in their support of me and my research, for which I am truly grateful. I consider them family."
Senator Ted Kaufman (D-Delaware), husband of ARCS member Lynn Kaufman, read a statement about the ARCS Scholar Awards and a list of this year's ARCS Fellows into the Congressional Record.
October 16, 2009
"The financial award...gives me and my advisor the freedom to focus on research rather than worrying about finding those funds to support me....the ARCS staff has been absolutely amazing in their support of me and my research."