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Below are this week's updates from the Robert E. Fischell Institute for Biomedical Devices, including reminders about upcoming events. Have a story item or event you want shared? Email

Robert "Smitty" Oakes Awarded $600K Veterans Affairs Grant for MS Research

Robert “Smitty” Oakes, a postdoctoral researcher in Fischell Department of Bioengineering (BIOE) Professor Christopher Jewell’s Immune Engineering Lab, was awarded a three-year, $600,000 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Career Development Program Level 2 Award (CDA-2). Jewell is also a Fischell Institute researcher and Minta Martin Professor of Bioengineering. This prestigious award will support Oakes’ transition toward developing an independent research laboratory. 

Oakes was recognized for his continued efforts to advance treatments for multiple sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disease that causes the body’s immune system to incorrectly recognize components of the central nervous system. 
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M-CERSI Hosts 2nd Successful Topical Drug Development Workshop

The University of Maryland Center for Excellence in Regulatory Science and Innovation (M-CERSI) hosted the virtual "Topical Drug Development - Evolution of Science  and Regulatory II" on July 23-24, 2020. This meeting brought together 569 attendees, including stakeholders from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), academia, and industry. 

Fischell Institute Director Bill Bentley (BIOE/IBBR) is co-prinicipal investigator of M-CERSI, alongside James Polli, the Shangraw/Noxell Endowed Chair in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Maryland’s School of Pharmacy. M-CERSI's efforts are funded by the FDA. 
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Johns Hopkins Medicine Highlights OtoPhoto

Johns Hopkins Medicine's online newsroom featured OtoPhoto - the smart otoscope that quickly and accurately aids diagnosis of ear infections. Fischell Institute chief engineer John Rzasa is a part of the OtoPhoto development team, which originated from the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. 

The team was recently awarded $20,000 in funding from a National Capital Consortium for Pediatric Device Development (NCC-PDI) competition. The medical innovation, dubbed a vehicle for “safer ear exams in a COVID-19 world” leverages machine learning technology, and is intended for home telehealth use.
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Calendar Updates

Fischell Institute Faculty Engagement Event
Robert E. Fischell Institute for Biomedical Devices
September 22
12 p.m. – 1 p.m.

Virtual Workshop - Assessing Changes in Pharmacokinetics of Drugs in Liver Disease
Maryland Center for Excellence in Regulatory Science Innovation
October 8 
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