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Engineering Undergraduates Win Regional Poster Competition for National Industry Association

Robert McGrane displays a sample of chitosan thin-films, the subject of his award-winning research.
Robert McGrane displays a sample of chitosan thin-films, the subject of his award-winning research.

The Delaware Valley Chapter (DVC) of the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE) awarded first and second place in its Student Poster Competition to two Villanova University College of Engineering undergraduates. Robert McGrane '14 ChE and Jeshipio Yoon '15 ChE took first and second place, respectively, in a poster presentation that consisted of a visual display of research findings combined with an interactive question and answer period with a panel of judges.

Under the advisement of Assistant Professor Noelle Comolli, PhD, Department of Chemical Engineering, both students researched methods for targeting specific sites within the body for medical treatment. Jeshipio's work was titled "PLA-PEG Micelles Targeting Lungs for Severe Asthma,” and Robert conducted research on “Chitosan Thin-Films for Post-Surgical Drug Delivery." In addition to his first place DVC ISPE award, Robert’s work also earned him the University’s 2014 Falvey Scholar Award for the College of Engineering.

Lauding their accomplishments, Dr. Comolli praised these two exceptional students: "I am impressed by their dedication, and the amount of research they have achieved as undergraduates."

As a junior, Jeshipio noted that he is excited to compete again next year. "It was a great experience for me, as I have never done this sort of thing before, and I met a lot of great people." Robert appreciated the opportunity to practice his research presentation skills, which he will need next year as a graduate student studying tissue engineering at George Washington University. He added, "The judges were great and provided me with a lot of good feedback. And, I am very excited to present at the annual meeting." As the DVC first place winner, Robert will advance to the International Student Poster Competition at the ISPE Annual Meeting in Las Vegas in October 2014. Winners of the international competition will receive cash awards and the opportunity to publish research in ISPE’s magazine, Pharmaceutical Engineering.