More about the admissions process for the BME graduate program can be found at the BME website. Applications for graduate school are due in the Fall and if selected, students will be invited for one of three recruiting weekends in the Spring. Students interested in our graduate program are strongly encouraged to send a contact request to the center for a phone call to learn more about opportunities well before the application deadline.
4th Year Ph.D Candidate
"When I joined Dr. Ramanujam’s lab, I knew I wanted to continue learning about cancer and performing research to better understand the underlying behavior of cancer. Being in Duke’s BME program has provided me with many opportunities to explore the many facets of cancer research and how our health care system treats it. I have found this extremely important in forming a well-rounded base and launching pad into my Ph.D work. Dr. Ramanujam constantly challenges me to explore different aspects of my project: studying metabolic changing in tumor growth, regression, dormancy, and recurrence. I am currently working on 3D microscopy to explore the metabolic heterogeneity of tumor cells during different stages in a tumor’s timeline. Working in an optics lab, I have also had the opportunity to assist in building and validating imaging systems constructed in our own lab as well as Duke’s vast and extensive collection of powerful microscopes. On top of the great opportunities Duke and Dr. Ramanujam has offered me in my research, I knew when I was considering joining different labs, I wanted to be surrounded by fellow graduate students and other researchers that were as passionate about cancer as I was. I am constantly impressed but never surprised by the level of work performed by my fellow graduate students. This group of people have truly shaped my graduate research experience and served as great mentors and support team in and out of the lab. We’re a family!"
Breast Cancer Diagnostics
BME, Duke University '17, Alumni
When I was first looking at graduate schools, I was unsure whether I wanted to focus on a project that was primarily pre-clinical or clinical. Upon finding the Ramanujam lab, I realized I wouldn’t have to decide. During my time in the lab, I have been exposed to both pre-clinical and clinical research, developing skills in both spheres which will prepare me for a variety of career opportunities after graduate school. Additionally, as a graduate student, I have been provided with numerous opportunities to mentor young researchers in short-term summer REU type experiences, and longer term experiences for Duke undergraduate students. The Ramanujam has been a great place to work as it aligns with my interests in highly translational research and desire to mentor future researchers.
"During my time here, I leveraged my passion for electronics, fabrication, physics, and cancer biology to develop a portable, low-cost device that can help breast cancer surgeons better understand the state of tissue removed during surgery, the idea being that more tissue can be removed if it appears to have residual disease. My time in the Ramanujam lab has been exceptionally rewarding both in technical and personal growth. I would describe Dr. Ramanujam as a pragmatic visionary; her approach allows researchers to meaningfully impact the clinical standard of care. Her style of mentorship allows each member of the lab to explore their interests yet maintain focus on a meaningful clinical goal. Personally, Dr. Ramanujam has shown me how to utilize my talents while learning new skills and phenomena, all in a manner that is disciplined and exacting. My lab experience has been nothing short of wonderful, in addition to my own growth, I have the privilege of interacting with an incredible staff and gifted lab members, all of which provide a rewarding environment that facilitates innovation and learning."
Breast Margin Assessment
BME, Duke University '16, Alumni
Breast Cancer Treatment
3rd Year Ph.D Candidate
"I joined the GWHT lab because I wanted to use engineering in the context of global health. Here we have the opportunity to use emerging technologies and to collaborate with specialists all over the world. I currently work on developing a low-cost cancer therapy. We have seen encouraging results using ethanol ablation, and we hope to get this technology into clinics soon. "
Cervical Cancer Treatment
5th Year Ph.D Candidate
"When I joined this lab I knew I wanted to develop skills beyond doing research in order to better prepare me for my career after my PhD. Throughout my time here I've gotten the opportunity to serve as a research mentor to high school and undergraduate students and have grown a lot in my ability to preform in those roles. Additionally I've had numerous opportunities to teach both undergraduate and graduate students, which helped me gain the confidence to teach a night class at a local community college. These experiences have been incredibly valuable to me and I'm fortunate to be in this environment. "
Cervical Cancer Screening
BME, Duke University '17, Alumni
"Being in Dr. Ramanujam's GWHT laboratory has allowed me to actively explore my interests in global health and biomedical engineering during my dissertation research. The diverse coursework and seminars options have helped improve and broaden my technical skillset. In addition, my mentor has been beyond supportive for my pursuit of a Certificate in Global Health concurrent with my PhD and even allowed me to take a Haitian Creole language course to help improve my dissertation research experience. My project has focused on developing a low cost portable mobile device based imaging platform for cervical cancer screening. I'm currently working to increase the integrated capabilities of the platform to include automated detection of vasculature patterns and using fluorescent biomarker probes to improve sensitivity for precancerous diagnosis. I've had the opportunity to design and fabricate using cutting edge equipment such as: 3D printers and CNC machining equipment. I've also had the clinical experiences evaluating prototype systems here at Duke University Medical Center, and gain invaluable field work experiences at international clinical partner sites in the Caribbean, Latin/Central America, and Africa. Lastly, our lab have a great group of people that I get to collaborate with everyday. I'm unsure of many other labs which allow such opportunities for the exploration of my dual passions. I highly recommend that one seriously consider this lab if they are interested in integrating addressing global health issues with innovations in biomedical engineering!"