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Eleven graduate students — whose research interests range from tidal creek accretion to pediatric obesity — have received the 2023 Impact Awards for their contributions to North Carolina.

This article was originally written by Elizabeth Poindexter from the Graduate School and can be read here.

The content was edited for context for the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering by Kathleen Clardy.

The Graduate School’s Impact Awards are designed to recognize the significance of graduate student research and their contributions to North Carolina in areas of educational, economic, physical, social or cultural well-being.

The eleven students, whose research interests range from tidal creek accretion to pediatric obesity, are emblematic of graduate students and their dedication to improving the lives of North Carolinians.

Graduate students and recent graduate alumni apply for the annual awards and are nominated by their academic departments; this year, students representing more than 15 programs applied for the awards.

The Impact Awards are generously supported by The Graduate School’s Graduate Education Advancement Board (GEAB).

More than 300 individuals have received Impact Awards since their inception. A cross-disciplinary team reviews the nominations and selects award recipients based on the significance of their work to North Carolina and on their ability to effectively communicate their research.

“This year’s Impact Award recipients are creating new knowledge in order to respond to our society’s greatest challenges,” said The Graduate School’s Dean Beth Mayer-Davis. “In a state where the workforce and intellectual ecosystem continues to advance, we need graduate student research to help us continue to prosper. It’s all part of how we serve our state.”

The Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering is excited to announce that one of the 11 Graduate Student Impact Awards was granted to the following recipient:

Keerthi S. Anand (‘18, Ph.D.) candidate
UNC-Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University

High Framerate Carotid Plaque Imaging with Concurrent Assessment of Blood Flow and Wall Shear Stress to Predict Stroke Risk

Anand’s research focuses on ischemic strokes, which affect close to 300,000 North Carolinians annually. Anand is developing a rapid, real-time realizable, and non-invasive method of ultrasound plaque imaging. Ultimately, this research hopes to better predict stroke risk and reduce the number of unneeded surgeries.


Collage image of recipients of the impact award

Additional 2023 Impact Award Recipients from UNC

Adams Bailey, Ph.D. candidate
Department of Public Policy, College of Arts and Sciences

Molly Bost ‘13 (‘16 MS; ‘22 Ph.D.)
Earth, Marine and Environmental Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences

Emily Duffy‘12, (‘14 MS), Ph.D. candidate
Department of Nutrition, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

Emily Fennell‘17
Department of Pharmacology, Ph.D., UNC School of Medicine

Amy Kryston, Master of Public Health graduate student
UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

Anna Naples, Master of Public Administration graduate student
UNC School of Government

Haley Plaas, Ph.D. candidate
Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

Sophie Ravanbakht, Ph.D. candidate
Department of Health Policy and Management, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

Brittany Rickard, Ph.D. candidate
Curriculum in toxicology and environmental medicine, UNC School of Medicine

Adrien Wilkie, (‘21 Ph.D.)
Department of Epidemiology, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

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