Research Projects

USC Ginsburg IBT welcomes students all year round to conduct research in a diverse spectrum of areas ranging from neural electronics, drug delivery and stem cells research.

The research opportunities are conducted on the HSC campus.  A shuttle is available for Students coming from the UPC campus.

Please contact our researchers below for more information.

  1. Device-based Therapies for Retinal Ischemic diseases

To modulate the oxygen supply and demand for the retina and to study its consequences.

References:

  • Scianmarello et al. Oxygen generation by electrolysis to treat retinal ischemia.In: 29th International Conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS), 2016. IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, pp. 399-402.
  • Martinez et al. Wireless Oxygen Generator to Treat Retinal Ischemia. 2018 ARVO meeting.  Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci.2018;59(9):5669.
  • Cook et al. Implantable phototherapy device to treat diabetic retinopathy, 2017 19th International Conference on Solid-State Sensors, Actuators and Microsystems (TRANSDUCERS), pp. 393-396, 2017
  • Cook et al. Phototherapeutic contact lens for diabetic retinopathy, Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) 2018 IEEE, pp. 62-65, 2018

Degree/Experience: Undergraduate or graduate degree in science or engineering.

Prerequisites:

  • Biomedical Engineering Major
  • Pre-med major
  • Biology/chemistry major
  • Biology or Biochemistry (1 semester)

Contact: Juan Carlos Martinez MD, juan.martinez@med.usc.edu

  1. Laser Therapy for AMD

To develop novel lasers for the treatment of retinal diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

Degree/Experience: Undergraduate or graduate degree in science or engineering.

Prerequisites:

  • Biomedical Engineering major
  • Pre-Med major
  • Biology/chemistry major

Contact : Juan Carlos Martinez MD, juan.martinez@med.usc.edu

  1. Treatment of Ocular Trauma

To develop novel treatments for penetrating ocular injuries.

Reference: Niki Bayat, Yi Zhang, Paulo Falabella, Roby Menefee, John J. Whalen III, Mark S. Humayun, Mark E. Thompson. A reversible thermoresponsive sealant for temporary closure of ocular trauma Science Translational Medicine  06 Dec 2017: Vol. 9, Issue 419, eaan3879 DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aan3879.

Degree/Experience: undergraduate and graduate level students

Required Prerequisites:

  • Biomedical Engineering major,
  • Pre-med major,
  • Biology or chemistry major.

Contact: Jack Whalen, PhD, jjwhalen@med.usc.edu

  1. Drug Delivery

To develop novel nanoscale drug delivery platforms for the eye and brain

Degree/Experience: undergraduate or graduate student

Prerequisites:

  • Biomedical Engineering major
  • Pharmacology/pharmacy major
  • Chemistry/Biology major
  • Pre-med major
  • Chemistry inorganic and organic (at least one semester)

Contact: Alejandra Gonzalez Calle, PhD, gonz762@usc.edu

  1. Auditory-Visual Interactions with Artificial Vision

To investigate artificial/electronic vision interactions with the other senses.

Reference:

  • Humayun, M. S. et al. Interim results from the international trial of Second Sight’s visual prosthesis. Ophthalmology 119, 779-788 (2012).
  • Zrenner, E. Fighting blindness with microelectronics. Science translational medicine 5, 210ps216 (2013).

Degree/Experience: Undergraduate students

Prerequisites:

  • Biomedical Engineering major,
  • Pre-med major,
  • Biology major
  • Biology/Neuroscience courses (1 semester)
  • Matlab coding experience

Contact: Noelle Stiles, PhD, nstiles@usc.edu

  1. Intraocular Gene Delivery Technique

To develop novel methods to deliver genes into the eye

Degree/Experience: Undergraduate and graduate

Prerequisites:

  • Biomedical Engineering major,
  • Pre-med major,
  • Biology or Chemistry major.
  • prior wet lab bench work experience (1-2 months).
  • molecular biology experience (1 semester)

Contact: Lan Yue, PhD, lyue@usc.edu

  1. Electrical Retinal Activation Study

To investigate the retinal responses to electrical stimulation using calcium imaging technique.

Degree/Experience: Undergraduate and graduate

Prerequisites:

  • Biomedical Engineering major,
  • Pre-med major,
  • Biology or Chemistry major.
  • prior wet lab bench work experience (1-2 months).
  • Calcium imaging and/or retinal electrophysiology is not required but preferred

Contact person for project: Lan Yue, PhD, lyue@usc.edu

     9. Stem cells for ocular diseases

To investigate the use of stem cell application for retinal diseases

Degree/Experience: Undergraduate and graduate

Prerequisites:

  • Biomedical Engineering major,
  • Pre-med major,
  • Biology or Chemistry major.

Contact person for project: Debbie Mitra, PhD ; Debbie.mitra@med.usc.edu