UVM CEM Spire Flash - March 2010

Undergrad Advances Research on
the Mechanical Function of the Lung

Katie Accomando, an undergraduate student, is the expert operator of a plethysmograph, a complex piece of equipment designed to help measure the volume of the air in a mouse's lungs. How did Accomando start to care about the air volume of a mouse's lungs?

As a sophomore mechanical engineering major in the UVM College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, Accomando wanted hands-on experience in a bio-engineering lab. She contacted Jason Bates, a research professor of medicine and molecular physiology and biophysics in the College of Medicine seeking such an opportunity. Bates, recently appointed Interim Director of the School of Engineering (SoE) in the UVM College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, splits his time between these two positions.

After meeting the young engineer, Bates offered her the opportunity to operate a prototype piece of equipment in his lab. "I saw in Katie a bright, young student with engineering quantitative experience, which is exactly what I wanted," Bates says.

Bates researches lung function and the quantitative evaluation of lung mechanics. "Mice are the main species that are used in biomedical research in all disease areas," Bates says, "including lung disease, which is our specialty here." continued

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