The Department of Biomedical Engineering welcomes associate professor Maribel Vazquez who joins Rutgers Engineering with professional experience in combining microfabrication with cell biology for human health. Her research projects develop microfluidic systems for neural cell-based repair and have been funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and Department of Defense.
She brings extensive academic experience as a co-founding faculty of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at The City College of New York (CCNY), the first biomedical engineering department in a public, minority-serving institution. She is a recipient of many awards, including the CCNY President’s Award for Excellence, Biomedical Engineering Society Diversity Award, Young Leadership Award from 100 Hispanic Women Inc., and CUNY-Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Mentoring Award. She holds a doctoral degree in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
What do you hope to achieve at BME?
I hope to continue to elevate the excitement of BME at Rutgers! I was most attracted by the variety of cellular-based projects in the nervous system and the collaborative spirit of this research in the BME department and with biologists. I hope to engage our students through development of technologies that advance therapies for Human health.
Why are you excited to be here?
I am thrilled to join a community of world class researchers in regenerative medicine and biotechnology. I look forward to working with the excellent students in our undergraduate and graduate programs through research, teaching and our new co-operative program with industry.
What classes will you teach?
At the undergraduate level I will begin teaching Transport Phenomena and am developing a Microfluidics Design course for graduate students. I will also work with the Global Health Institute to create course content that addresses the ethical and societal impacts of health disparities from an engineering and technology perspective.
How do you hope to engage with students through your research?
My research focuses on developing microfluidic systems to advance regenerative therapies in the nervous system. Projects in the lab have helped undergraduate and graduate researchers design and manufacture devices for cell-based therapies in retina as well as adult injury models for the neuromuscular junction. We also integrate engineering awareness of existing health disparities to reduce these impacts in the development of future therapies.
Take Five with Maribel Vazquez
Guilty Pleasure: Double Tall Skim Latte
Favorite App: iHeart Radio
Vacation Spot: Aruba
Good Read: Elantris Brandon Sanderson
One Thing/Person that Recently Inspired You: EMTs, everyday!