FACSS Student Award and Tomas A. Hirschfeld Award

FACSS Student and Hirschfeld Award Application PDF


Mustafa Unal earned his B.Sc. degree in mechanical engineering from Selcuk University in Turkey. His success in B.Sc. was recognized with M.Sc. and PhD fellowships from Turkish Government. In 2012, he received his M.Sc. degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), where he has been involved in musculoskeletal research for the first time. He is currently a PhD candidate under the supervision of Prof. Ozan Akkus at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). During his first year at CWRU, he discovered the power of vibrational spectroscopy to assess the changes in the molecular constituents of musculoskeletal tissues due to diseases and aging which led him to focus his doctoral research efforts in the development of novel spectroscopic techniques as tools for assessment of bone and cartilage quality. His current research includes Raman spectroscopic analysis of the changes in composition of bone and cartilage with diseases and aging. More specifically, he has focused on developing novel Raman spectroscopic techniques to assess the involvement of water and collagen in bone and cartilage quality. He has recently developed Raman spectroscopy-based a novel nondestructive modality to assess the hydration status in bone and cartilage. It was the first time in the literature that OH-stretching band region was characterized for bone and cartilage to identify different water compartments as a novel tool to assess bone and cartilage quality. He has further worked on several side projects including the novel use of Raman spectroscopic techniques for point of care testing devices such as diagnosis of microcrystals in urine for early detection of kidney stone and diagnosis of crystals-induced arthropathies. Up to now, he has published 6 peer-reviewed papers and 1 book chapter, and presented 14 poster/oral presentations in scientific conferences.  He has been recognized as a promising young investigator in the field of biomedical vibrational spectroscopy and musculoskeletal research, as evidenced by several national and international prestigious awards, including Coblentz Student Award, SAS Barbara Stull Graduate Student Award, ORS Osteoarthritis Young Investigator Award, Baxter Young Investigator Award, The Victor M. Goldberg Award, and The George W. Codrington Charitable Foundation Student Research Award. He has also been selected as one of the ten finalists of 2016 CIMIT Student Technology Prize for Primary Healthcare.


TOMAS HIRSCHFELD SCHOLAR AWARDEES:  Kyle Doty and Mario Saucedo-Espinosa

Kyle C. Doty completed a dual degree program at Buffalo State College (Buffalo, NY) in 2009 where he received a B.A. degree in Chemistry and a B.S. degree in Forensic Chemistry, with a minor in Criminal Justice. During his undergraduate studies Kyle performed research under the mentorship of Dr. Zeki Al-Saigh on projects involving the synthesis and analysis of biodegradable polymers. In the summer of 2008 Kyle participated in an American Chemical Society IREU (International Research Experience for Undergraduates) program where he performed organic synthesis research for a project dealing with supramolecular polymers. For this IREU program he worked with Professor Bruno Andrioletti at the Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 in Lyon, France. Before entering graduate school Kyle worked for two years as a formulation scientist at Bausch + Lomb, Inc. (Rochester, NY). He is about to enter into his fifth year of the Chemistry doctoral program at the University at Albany where he is currently a Ph.D. candidate. He has recently received a prestigious National Institute of Justice STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fellowship for carrying out novel research, under the mentorship of Dr. Igor K. Lednev, which will help to solve forensically-relevant problems related to bloodstains. Specifically, his graduate research projects utilize Raman spectroscopy and multivariate statistical analyses to analyze bloodstains to: determine the (a) time since deposition and (b) age of the blood donor, as well as differentiate human blood from that of (c) a variety of animal species’ blood and (d) potential false positive substances. Kyle is also a 2016 recipient of the New York Society for Applied Spectroscopy graduate student award and the University at Albany Graduate Student Award for Excellence in Research.


Mario A. Saucedo-Espinosa received his B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from the Autonomous University of Nuevo León (UANL), Mexico, in 2008. As an undergraduate student, he received the Academic Merit Award for the highest GPA in his [BL1] class. His interest in computational modeling and optimization attracted him to obtain a M.Sc. in Systems Engineering from the same institution in 2012. His work, focused on the development of learning algorithms by means of Bayesian statistics and machine learning, was recognized nationwide with the Award to the Best Master Thesis on Artificial Intelligence, granted by the Mexican Society for Artificial Intelligence. As part of his graduate education, he was a visiting researcher at the Laboratory of Physics of Complex Systems at the University of Florence, Italy. Currently, Mario is a Ph.D. Candidate in Microsystems Engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology, where he joined the Microscale Bioseparations Laboratory under the supervision of Prof. Blanca Lapizco-Encinas. His current work, funded by both the National Science Foundation and the National Council for Science and Technology (CONACyT) of Mexico, focuses in the development of electrokinetic devices, with particular focus on insulator-based dielectrophoresis (iDEP), for the analysis of complex biological mixtures. His recent achievements include the design of optimal iDEP devices that reduce up to 84% the electric potential requirements without sacrificing performance, the design of a novel iDEP device that allows larger and more fragile particles/cells to be isolated promptly, and the development of a hybrid device that combines the advantages of iDEP with those of electrode-based dielectrophoresis. During his academic path, Mario has been the recipient of multiple awards, including a Fulbright-García Robles Scholarship, and First Places in the 2015 AES Electrophoresis Society Graduate Student Poster Competition and the 2016 AES/BioMicrofluidics Art in Science Competition.


These awards recognize the most outstanding papers submitted to the conference by a graduate student. Recipients, who must be a graduate student at the time of application, will receive economy travel to the meeting, complimentary registration, and up to 6 nights complimentary hotel accommodations.  In order to have their presentation considered for a Tomas Hirschfeld Award or FACSS Student Award, students should submit their abstract using the SciX web site and indicate on the abstract submission form their interest in the award, complete this form, and submit form and following information electronically to facss@facss.org

a) This form. 

b) 350 word abstract of the proposed presentation for the SciX conference which is presented by FACSS. 

c) Two letters of nomination, one by the student’s mentor. An explanation of the inventive contributions by the student to the work should be given. Creativity was a primary characteristic of Tomas's work, and thus should be a characteristic of the awardee.

d) A copy of the candidates resumé. 

e) A copy of the candidate's graduate transcript. 

f) Copies of reprints and/or preprints of research accomplished. 

The recipients will be included in a session highlighting young scientists and their work.

Deadline is April 30.

Name of Candidate:___________________________________________________________







Expected date of Ph.D.:_____________

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