Student Awarded Mazilu Engineering Research Fellowship

April 8, 2015

Beichen Dai
Mazilu Fellow Beichen Dai '16

Beichen Dai '16, Dartmouth biomedical engineering sciences major with a minor in human-centered design, was awarded The Mazilu Engineering Research Fellowship for 2015–2016. The award will support Dai's work toward "constructing and evaluating a bed-side imaging system used to assess surgical margins on resected prostates."

"I feel very honored to have received the Mazilu Fellowship," says Dai. "This award will enable me to continue my work on developing a thermal imaging algorithm and device capable of intraoperatively assessing surgical margins following the resection of a prostate tumor. This technology seeks to significantly reduce the rate of prostate cancer recurrence in patients by guiding surgeons to remove as much malignant tissue from the body as possible. This project has been an amazing hands-on learning experience, and I am grateful to both the Mazilu family for allowing my continued involvement in the project, and Professor Ryan Halter for all the support and guidance he has given me."

"Bei joined my lab as an sophomore who was interested in conducting some 'biomedical research,'" says Professor Halter. "A graduate student [Shadab Khan] and I had this idea of building a new imaging system for cancer detection based on mapping the thermal properties of the tissue. Bei came to the lab and his job was to figure out if this idea was even worth pursuing. He took this charge and ran with it. Bei's independence, creativity, and versatility have already enabled him to develop a bench top model for producing these images and he has created the first ever temporally derived thermal property images of tissue. Bei started on this project as an independent undergraduate researcher, then continued exploration as part of the Presidential Scholarship program, and I am truly excited to have him continuing this work through the generous funding of the Mazilu family. As part of this Fellowship, Bei is going to specifically explore how this technology might be translated to the bedside with the goal of ultimately making an impact on clinical care of patients undergoing cancer surgery."