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We are excited to announce and celebrate the outstanding winners of BME’s Fall 2023 Achievement Awards!

The award committee recognizes the following recipients for their exceptional talents, accomplishments and dedication to the department across the following categories:

The Faculty Teaching & Mentorship award goes to Mike Gamcsik. During his 16+ years in BME, Mike has created four courses, including a required first-year graduate course. As a result, he has mentored every graduate student coming through the department in grant writing. Mike puts an enormous amount of effort into this, including holding a mock NIH study section to give hands-on experience and providing detailed feedback on every student’s proposal. Additionally, he has come up with novel approaches to promote student engagement in his classes that have since been adopted by other instructors. For example, he organizes students into English Soccer Club teams to promote camaraderie among new students and encourage everyone to participate. Mike excels at being supportive and encouraging of all of his students.


The Staff Teaching & Mentorship award goes to Joseph Sharp. Joseph has extensive Makerspace and electronics fabrication experience, and during his senior year, he taught some of his peers how to design and fabricate circuit boards. Since joining us full-time, Joseph has implemented improved access to existing equipment such as the 3D printers, commissioned new equipment, written new training procedures, trained design class UAs and also conducts several workshop training sessions per week. Joseph has been outstanding in making the fabrication facilities available to undergraduate and graduate students. His ongoing support of the undergraduate design program has also been crucial in extending the range of technical modules offered to students in the sophomore and junior-level classes.


The Staff Service award goes to Nicholas Niemuth. Nicholas goes FAR beyond the expectations set to help his colleagues and students–he operates independently to create the best possible experience for our design students. He is the entire reason that our design program at UNC has been able to expand into the biological design space. He has done an incredible job of coordinating, planning, implementing and managing the BME biological labs. He has done an incredible job of outfitting the spaces, creating materials for students to use in learning and really is bringing all of his knowledge into the classroom for our students.




The Staff Service award goes to Kat Clardy. Kat has been an incredible asset to BME since joining as our communications specialist. She revolutionized our department website and took the important lead in creating a well-being resource page in service to our students, postdocs, staff and faculty. She has championed our department branding initiatives as well through social media – a much-needed effort that has a significant potential for return on investment. She frequently goes above and beyond her defined service in order to contribute to department and student success in their research, teaching/mentoring and service. She does this by spending the necessary time to reach an in-depth understanding of their activities and then conveying this understanding to the department and the world in a clear and compelling fashion. Further, because she understands communications are so directly impactful, Kat always considers others and acts as a BME team player in the performance and content of her work.


The Postdoc Research award goes to Jasmine King. During her time with the department, Jasmine has formed research collaborations with PIs at the UNC School of Pharmacy, UNC School of Medicine and Duke Pratt School of Engineering, as well as authored/co-authored five publications. Jasmine has received several awards, including the 2023 Merck Best Poster Award, the Controlled Release Society’s Women’s Health Symposium Top Oral Presentation Award, the UNC-Duke Clinical Pharmacology Fellowship Award and multiple awards from the Eshelman Institute for Innovation. She was also recently elected as a member of the CRS Young Scientist Committee. In addition to these contributions to the scientific community, Jasmine is immensely involved in training graduate and undergraduate students and also applying for external grant funding opportunities, including playing a key role in an R01 submission in 2023. Jasmine has also taken the initiative to oversee day-to-day lab operations, improving the lab’s overall productivity.


The Postdoc Teaching & Mentorship award goes to Yu Shi. As a postdoc, Yu has been truly exceptional. Despite joining a month before COVID-19, Yu has been incredibly productive, producing three first-author and one co-author manuscripts in only 3.5 years, including publications in Nature Communications and Nature Methods. Yu’s work requires him to cross between scientific disciplines, and he is one of the rare scientists who can do so with ease. Yu is also a spectacular team player. In addition to contributing to many group member’s projects by helping with data analysis, he directly mentors rotating graduate students. He leads by example – working tirelessly on his own projects while also patiently helping the new students climb up the learning curve for their own work. He has also stepped in to teach several lectures of a BME course. He guided the students through the core material and was able to articulately answer the student’s questions.


The Ph.D. Student Research award goes to Keerthi Anand & Andrew Shelton.

Keerthi puts extraordinary effort into his doctoral research while simultaneously being a team player in the lab and maintaining his focus on science outreach in the community. His research efforts have resulted in numerous competitive conference presentations and being awarded an NIH F31 fellowship. His contributions have resulted in the advancement of other students’ research efforts, including those of a junior graduate student who is learning to take over Keethi’s project. His commitment to science outreach has resulted in inspiring countless middle and high school students across North Carolina, for which he was recently featured on WRAL!



Andy is a 4th year Ph.D. candidate in BME and has several recent and extraordinary accomplishments. Most notably, he recently secured an individual NIH F31 fellowship to support his research at the interface of muscle fatigue and balance in aging, and he completed his 193rd(!) and final data collection in human participants. This is a significant and unprecedented effort! In addition, his research has led to 5 manuscripts accepted or submitted for publication and 15 conference abstracts. Equally important, Andy is an incredible mentor. He has a team of undergraduates who themselves have gone on to their own independent research success.


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