Join us in welcoming UWIN’s newest undergraduate and post-baccalaureate fellows!  Six undergraduate students and five post-baccalaureate researchers were awarded 2020 UWIN Fellowships.  You can read all about their exciting research below, and follow the links to see all of UWIN’s undergraduate and post-baccalaureate fellows.

2020 UWIN Undergraduate Fellows

 Hailey Chadwick, one of the UWIN undergraduate fellows in neuroengineering Hailey Chadwick (2020 fellow) is an undergraduate student in Biology working with Samira Moorjani in the department of Physiology and Biophysics. Hailey’s project focuses on changes in functional connectivity in the corticospinal tract during recovery from chronic spinal-cord injury. By using environmental enrichment in combination with neuromodulator delivery to promote behavioral recovery in a rat model of spinal cord injury, while documenting changes in neuronal connectivity related to motor function in the paralyzed limb, Hailey’s project hopes to develop novel treatments for patients suffering from spinal-cord injuries.
Shivalika Chavan , one of the UWIN undergraduate fellows in neuroengineering Shivalika Chavan (2020 fellow) is an undergraduate student in Bioengineering with a minor in Applied Mathematics. She is working with Azadeh Yazdan-Shahmorad in the Bioengineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering departments. Shivalika’s research focuses on the characterization of neural network connectivity, specifically the functional and anatomical changes that occur due to cortical lesions in non-human primates. Knowledge of these changes is critical for developing stimulation-based therapies for stroke, in which these networks are manipulated.
Qilang Ding , one of the UWIN undergraduate fellows in neuroengineering Qilang Ding (2020 fellow) is an undergraduate student in Mechanical Engineering: Mechatronics. His research with Kat Steele in the Ability & Innovation Lab is on the fabrication, assembly, and tuning of a dynamic walking bipedal robot. The robot will serve as a testbed for validating the Ability & Innovation Lab’s simulation framework used to evaluate whether discrepancy modeling with data-driven approaches enables more accurate dynamic solutions of bipedal movement with both unaltered and altered control.
Tom McIlwain , one of the UWIN undergraduate fellows in neuroengineering Tom McIlwain (2020 fellow) is an undergraduate student in Bioengineering working with Amy Orsborn in the Electrical Engineering and Bioengineering departments. Tom’s research focus is in computational neural engineering, and his current project is exploring the use of machine learning algorithms in high-dimensional brain-machine interface tasks. In the future, Tom hopes to pursue a Master’s degree and develop devices for neuro-rehabilitation in industry.
Lauren Peterson, one of the UWIN post-baccalaureate fellows in neuroengineering Lauren Peterson (2020 fellow) is an undergraduate student in Electrical Engineering. She works with Sam Burden and Momona Yamagami in the Biorobotics Lab to investigate how individuals learn to use continuous robotic systems. Currently, she collects and analyzes data on how individuals with and without motor impairments transfer their understanding of the continuous robotic system between their dominant and non-dominant hands, with the overall goal of improving rehabilitation techniques for individuals recovering from stroke.
Katie Rupp, one of the UWIN post-baccalaureate fellows in neuroengineering Katie Rupp (2020 fellow) is an undergraduate student in Applied and Computational Mathematical Sciences with a concentration in Biological and Life Sciences. She is working with John Tuthill in the Physiology and Biophysics department. Katie’s research uses computational methods to study the leg kinematics of walking and grooming in fruit flies. Her current project involves analyzing leg joint positions and angles to characterize the types of movements that the fly produces during site-specific grooming behaviors. These analyses will be used to determine the degree of stereotypy that is present among different grooming behaviors and will allow her to theorize about the underlying neural circuitry that gives rise to grooming.

2020 UWIN Post-baccalaureate Fellows

Abbey Green, one of the UWIN post-baccalaureate fellows in neuroengineering Abbey Green (2020 fellow) is a post-baccalaureate researcher working with Rajiv Saigal in the department of Neurological Surgery. Abbey’s research focuses on determining which method of electrical stimulation, epidural or transcutaneous, in combination with physical therapy, best improves the long-term locomotive abilities of individuals with incomplete spinal cord injuries. In addition, Abbey is involved with a preclinical project focused on the development of implantable polymer devices for drug delivery, which are aimed to improve patient outcomes following traumatic spinal cord injury. Abbey graduated from Middlebury College with a Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience and a minor in Global Health.
John Kruper, one of the UWIN post-baccalaureate fellows in neuroengineering John Kruper (2020 fellow) is a post-baccalaureate researcher working with Ariel Rokem at the eScience Institute. John’s research is on the analysis of diffusion MRI, which is used to find major white matter fascicles in the living human brain. He is helping develop a software called Automated Fiber Quantification in Python (pyAFQ; https://github.com/yeatmanlab/pyAFQ) which automatically models the white matter of the brain and extracts diffusion measurements along major tracts given dMRI data that has undergone standard preprocessing. This kind of analysis aids learning about how connections within the human brain interact with cognitive abilities, diverse behaviors, and neurological and psychiatric disorders. John will graduate from the University of Washington in 2020 with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering.
Augusto Millevolte, one of the UWIN post-baccalaureate fellows in neuroengineering Augusto Millevolte (2020 fellow) is a post-baccalaureate researcher working with Amy Orsborn in the Bioengineering department. Augusto’s research focuses on how network connectivity relates to learning in a brain-machine interface (BMI), mapping functional connectivity through optogenetic stimulation and electrical recording in the sensorimotor cortex. Through understanding how this functional connectivity changes over time, he aims to optimize the initial implementation of a BMI and improve learning rates for control. This work will translate into more intuitive neuroprosthetics for patients requiring functional restoration of damaged or impaired limbs. Augusto’s passion for this work follows from experience in the military, after which he received a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Neurobiology from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
Adree Songco Aguas, one of the UWIN post-baccalaureate fellows in neuroengineering Adree Songco Aguas (2020 fellow) is a post-baccalaurate researcher working with Fred Rieke and Gabrielle Gutierrez in the Physiology and Biophysics department. Adree is interested in how visual processing occurs in the rod-cone retinal circuitry, particularly in the context of how we process motion in dim lighting. She develops computational models trained on electrophysiological data in conjunction with designing human psychophysics experiments. Findings from her research provide insight into how parallel processing in neural circuits underlie sensory encoding and human perception. Adree received her Bachelor’s degree from University of Washington, where she majored in Neuroscience and minored in Applied Mathematics.
Abby von Hagel , one of the UWIN post-baccalaureate fellows in neuroengineering Abby von Hagel (2020 fellow) is a post-baccalaureate researcher working with Tom Daniel and Alison Weber in the Department of Biology. Abby is conducting research that aims to identify the features of the mechanical stimuli that drive neuronal responses. Using the insect model Manduca sexta (Hawkmoth), she hopes to understand how limited information about wing deformation is encoded to enable flight control through electrophysiological recording, high-speed image-tracking, and computational techniques. Abby attended the University of Washington where she received Bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Neuroscience with Interdisciplinary Honors.