Chemical engineer wins SEAS Graduate Poster Competition

Ogechi Ogoke receives first place in the 2019 SEAS Graduate Student Poster Competition.

By Sarah D'Iorio

Published April 23, 2019

Ogechi Ogoke, a PhD candidate in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and founder of seed stage biotech company Livandala, won first place for his research poster in the annual SEAS Graduate Student Poster Competition.

Ogoke’s research explores the development of a patient-specific cell therapy that can be used as an alternative to a liver transplant. The poster was titled “An in Vitro 3D Model of Liver Development Using Human Pluripotent Stem Cells.” His advisor is assistant professor Natesh Parashurama.

"The development of functional liver tissue from pluripotent stem cells addresses a need for improved drug toxicity and drug development assays. Functional stem cell derived liver tissue can also be used directly as cell therapy in liver regenerative medicine for patients with acute or chronic liver failure,” Ogoke says. “Our goal in the lab is to develop miniaturized self-renewable liver organoids that can address these two capacities.”

Ogoke’s research is also the basis for his start-up company, Livandala, for which he earned the top award in this year’s Henry A. Panasci Jr. Technology Entrepreneurship Competition (Panasci TEC). He will receive $25,000 in startup capital and in-kind services valued at $27,000 for his endeavor.

The second place award went to Behnoosh Sattari Baboukani, Department of Materials Design and Innovation, for her poster, “Shear Response of 2D Confined N-Hexadecane Molecules.” Her advisor is Assistant Professor Prathima C. Nalam.

Sina Basereh, Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, earned third place for his poster, “Retrofit of Reinforced Concrete Shear Walls Using Weakening and Self-Centering: Numerical Modeling.” His advisor is Assistant Professor Pinar Okumus.

Graduate students from across the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences presented their research posters to faculty, staff, fellow students, and members of the community during the annual Graduate Student Poster Competition, which was held on April 2. Sixteen students from across the school participated in the event. Judges included 15 faculty members representing all eight of the school’s departments.

The awards were presented at a reception in Davis Hall following the competition.

2019 SEAS Graduate Student Poster Competition