Mary Beth Monroe

Biomedical and Chemical Engineering Professor Mary Beth Monroe’s Research Team Receives Multiple Awards at the 2022 Society for Biomaterials Conference

Biomedical and chemical engineering Professor Mary Beth Monroe attended the Society for Biomaterials (SFB) 2022 meeting in Baltimore with Ph.D. students Anand Vakil, Henry Beaman, Changling Du, Maryam Ramezani, master’s student Natalie Petryk ’21, G’22 and undergraduate students Caitlyn Greene ‘22, Grace Haas ‘23, and Avery Gunderson ‘23. This national conference included over 850 presentations from all over the world. The Monroe lab’s research abstracts and presentations were recognized in several competitions that took place during the conference, highlighting the excellent biomaterials work at Syracuse University.

Henry Beaman Receives a Ph.D. Student Award for Outstanding Research

Student Award for Outstanding Research: This is the highest student award that SFB gives, recognizing student researchers who have shown outstanding achievement in biomaterials research. Henry Beaman, a 4th year Ph.D. student, was one of two students selected in the Ph.D. student category. He was recognized for his work on shape memory polymer hydrogel foams with cell-responsive degradation mechanisms for Crohn’s fistula filling. Natalie Petryk was selected in the master’s student category. She was recognized for her work on tuning the interconnectivity of shape memory polymer foams using off-the-shelf foaming agents. Published manuscripts from both projects are featured in a special issue of the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research.

Natalie Petryk Receives an Master’s Student Award for Outstanding Research

Student Travel Achievement Recognition (STAR) Award: STAR awardees are selected based on abstracts by each Special Interest Group (SIG) within SFB to recognize research excellence with an aim of developing future leaders within SFB. Out of >850 abstracts, there are 25 STAR awardees and 25 STAR honorable mentions. Maryam Ramezani, a 3rd year Ph.D. student, received a STAR award based on her research on bacteria-responsive shape memory polymers. Caitlyn Greene, a senior undergraduate, received honorable mention based on her work on incorporating antimicrobial phenolic acids into shape memory polymer hydrogels.

Dr. Rena Bizios Poster Award: This award program honors Rena Bizios, a founding and active member of the BIoInterfaces SIG.  These awards recognize outstanding BioInterfaces research by graduate students. Anand Vakil, a 4th year Ph.D. student, received first place based on his work on temporally-controlled drug release from shape memory polymers. Natalie Petryk won second place in the competition based on her research on tuning foam interconnectivity.

Biomaterials Education Challenge: This competition involves presenting a poster with an educational module that is designed for middle school students. The objectives are to

  • Improve widespread understanding of biomaterials-related science and careers in the middle school population.
  • To encourage SFB student chapters to participate in K-8 outreach efforts.
  • Reward the communication skills and creativity of the next generation of biomaterials researchers and educators.

As representatives of the Syracuse University SFB student chapter, Maryam Ramezani and Anand Vakil earned 1st place in this competition for their presentation on using cakes to teach concepts about polymers and foam fabrication. This award provides $1,500 for our student chapter to use for further development of outreach activities.

Biomedical and Chemical Engineering Student Profile: Natalie Petryk ’21, G’22

Biomedical and Chemical Engineering Graduate Student Natalie Petryk ’21, G’22 was named as a 2022 recipient of the All University Masters Prize.


Berkeley Heights, NJ

BMCE/ECS/other activities you have been involved with:

As an undergraduate student at SU, I was an Academic Excellence Workshop Facilitator and the Activities and Events Chair for Relay for Life. I was also involved with Alpha Omega Epsilon, Engineering World Health, and Excelerators. As a graduate student, I am conducting research on shape memory polymer foams with clinical applications in wound healing and post-surgical tissue regeneration in Dr. Mary Beth Monroe’s lab. I am also a TA for Biomaterials and Medical Devices (BEN 468/668).

Favorite thing about BMCE:

My favorite part about BMCE is the incredible support of every professor in the department. They have motivated me in the classroom and inspired me through my own research.

Favorite thing about SU:

My favorite thing about Syracuse University is the opportunity to get involved with research early on. I discovered a passion for biomaterials research starting my sophomore year, which ultimately shaped my future career goals, and I have built upon that work as part of my graduate studies.

Plan after graduation:

After completing my master’s thesis this spring, I will be continuing my research journey here as a Ph.D. student under Dr. Mary Beth Monroe.

Biomedical and Chemical Engineering Professors Mary Beth Monroe and Pranav Soman Discuss the Future of Biomedical Research with WCNY’s Cycle of Health

SU Campus
The Einhorn Family Walk stretches out in front of the Hall of Languages on a autumn day.

Professor Pranav Soman and Professor Mary Beth Monroe joined WCNY’s Cycle of Health show to discuss current research at Syracuse University’s BioInspired Institute and how new materials could make a difference in the medical field.

Click here to watch their episode titled “Biomedical Technology.”