The University of Texas at Dallas

Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science

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PhD Student Receives Fellowship for Bioengineering Research

PhD Student Receives Fellowship for Bioengineering Research

Ana Hernandez, a PhD student in the biomedical engineering program, has been awarded a four-year fellowship from the National Council of Science and Technology in Mexico (CONACYT) to pursue her research at UT Dallas.

Hernandez received her bachelor degree in biomedical engineering and master’s degree in computer science, both from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education campus Guadalajara in Mexico. Her research in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science at UT Dallas focuses on wireless neural interfaces for neuromodulation.

Specifically, Hernandez is working in bioelectronic medicine, which refers to the use of electrical stimulation delivered directly to the neural system in an attempt to control its behavior in order to treat a certain condition. She’s currently working on the development of wireless neural interfaces to treat urinary incontinence in women, by targeting peripheral nerves in the lower urinary tract to reverse the condition.

"Neural engineering is my passion, and this fellowship gives me the freedom to pursue it," Hernandez said. "I have worked hard to get to where I am, and I feel lucky to have been selected as a recipient. I feel honored to be able to work with such distinguished faculty in the Department of Bioengineering."

Her project is also in collaboration with Draper Laboratories in Boston, which works closely with academia and industry to identify and develop new technologies.

Hernandez works under the direction of Dr. Mario Romero-Ortega, an associate professor of bioengineering in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science and adjunct faculty in the surgery department at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW), the UTA Research Institute (UTARI) and Partner Researcher at the University of Wollongong, Australia.

"This is a highly prestigious fellowship that is given to the best students of Mexico," Romero said. "To be selected, students must have a promise to advance the field in an international setting, at a global level. Ana’s project demands excellent engineering skills and understanding of medical processes – she is well versed across many different fields. She illustrates the type of high-quality students the bioengineering program wants to attract."

Romero added that it is encouraging to see UT Dallas help provide an opportunity for women in science, particularly from other countries, to develop new technologies.

The National Council on Science and Technology (CONACYT) aims to promote the scientific development and technological modernization of Mexico through developing high level human resources, promoting and maintaining specific research projects, and disseminating scientific and technological information. Hernandez’ CONACYT fellowship is made possible by an agreement with UT system through the ConTex program, which is committed to fostering collaboration between the United States and Mexico through training, research and scientific discovery.

Hernandez

“Neural engineering is my passion, and this fellowship gives me the freedom to pursue it,” Hernandez said. “I have worked hard to get to where I am, and I feel lucky to have been selected as a recipient. I feel honored to be able to work with such distinguished faculty in the Department of Bioengineering.”


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