Questions about the MPower Fellow application process?

Email Dr. Martha Wang

Dr. Martha Wang with 2019 MPower FellowsThe Robert E. Fischell Institute for Biomedical Devices established the MPowering the State Student Entrepreneurship Fellowship in 2017. The University of Maryland Strategic Partnership: MPowering the State (MPower) is a collaboration between the state of Maryland’s two most powerful public research engines: the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) and the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) — to strengthen and serve the state of Maryland and its citizens.

The MPowering the State Student Entrepreneurship Fellowship helps transition innovative medical device projects into great business ideas by utilizing programs offered through the University of Maryland – including the Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) program in bioengineering.

Those interested in applying for this fellowship should consider the following criteria:

  • The sponsored project(s) should utilize technology developed at the University of Maryland, College Park and University of Maryland, Baltimore.
  • The sponsored project(s) can be a continuation of a Senior Capstone project.
  • Funding is awarded for one to two years.

Current MPower Fellows:

Quinn Burke is working to develop and enhance a conformal respirator mask alongside ActivArmor, a medical device company headquartered in Pueblo, Colo. Burke's work involves testing the respirators to meet U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Institute for Occputational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards. One of his goals is to scale up the manufacturing of these enhanced masks in Maryland. This project focuses on the continued translation of one of the projects initiated by the Fischell Institute’s COVID-19 response.

“I am very excited to work on this project and within the Fischell Institute,” says Burke. “I believe this is a great opportunity for me to expand my skills and better prepare myself for a career with medical devices. I am also hopeful that the work being done on this mask project will help to make an impact in the fight against COVID-19.”

Burke’s clinical mentor is Lex Schultheis, M.D., a Fischell Institute research professor. 

Cio Defngin is working with MPower fellow Ainul Wadhihah Abdul Rahim on producing a hood-structure device that uses both active noise cancellation and blue-light filtering to help ICU patients maintain a healthy sleep cycle. 

“ICU wards can be very high-stress environments from harsh bright lighting that is typically kept on throughout the day as well as lots of noise from intercom alert beeping, machinery, ambient conversation, and ventilators/monitoring equipment,” the pair explains. “These things can inhibit ICU patients from sleeping well, which can cause a whole host of physiological problems in the short and long term.”

Ainul Wadhihah Abdul Rahim is working with MPower Fellow Cio Defngin. The teammates’ device – tentatively called the “Sleep Good Hood” –  aims to allow patients to rest comfortably at night without impeding necessary ICU workflow (nurses/doctors performing intubation, diagnostics, etc). Their clinical mentor is Jeffrey Hasday, Professor of Medicine, Pathology and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Head of the Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Division at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.  






David Garvey’s research interest centers on cervical cancer, the fourth most common cancer among women worldwide. Women in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) face disproportionately lower survival rates due to a variety of factors including limited access to trained providers and biomedical technologies needed to diagnose and treat cervical precancer before it becomes cancer. 

In 2021, Garvey and his fellow bioengineering Senior Capstone Design team members worked with Fischell Department of Bioengineering (BIOE) Assistant Professor and Fischell Institute faculty member Jenna Mueller to develop a handheld ethyl cellulose-ethanol (ECE) injector that could be used to treat precancerous lesions of the cervix. In order to deliver ECE to LMICs, the team proposed a low-cost, portable, handheld device that uses a rechargeable battery-powered injection system, a mechanical needle actuation system, and a dual needle design to decrease treatment time. 

Garvey’s clinical mentor is Martha Wang, Fischell Institute researcher. 

As a computer science undergraduate, Jonathan Lin participated in UMD’s Gemstone Honors program – a unique, multidisciplinary, four-year research program for selected undergraduate Honors College students. Lin joined Team CONTACT – a group that worked to improve and lower the cost of glaucoma detection, a chronic disease of the eye linked to increased intraocular pressure that eventually results in blindness.  Fischell Institute faculty member and BIOE Associate Professor Giuliano Scarcelli served as Team CONTACT’s mentor. 

Screening for glaucoma is most often conducted using what are known as tonometers, which focus on the accurate measurement of IOP. Existing non-contact tonometers forgo the use of probes and plungers.  Team CONTACT worked to develop improved techniques for non-contact tonometry using deep neural networks, in conjunction with structured light projection, to calculate the movement of the entire corneal surface. Put simply, neural networks are the functional units of deep learning. They use a series of algorithms to mimic the way the human brain operates in order to solve complex problems. 

Lin’s clinical mentor is also Martha Wang, Fischell Institute researcher. 

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