McAlpine Group Researcher Meghan Griffin Wins Prestigious NSF Fellowship

Meghan Griffin, a biomedical engineering PhD student advised by ME Professor Michael McAlpine, was awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, a highly competitive award that recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who have demonstrated the potential to be high achieving scientists and engineers. 

Griffin's area of expertise is cardiac tissue engineering and 3D bioprinting. Her project — "Directed Cardiomyocyte Alignment to Mimic the Native Myocardium in 3D Bioprinted Tissue" — uses 3D bioprinting techniques in cardiac tissue engineering to recreate the biomechanical properties of native tissue. This research could result in improved disease models and, eventually, tissue therapies for clinical use, like creating an engineered tissue to transplant into a human. 

"I think that having your own funding, rather than being paid from your PI's grants, allows you more scientific exploration and lets you pursue research that might be newer or more risky," said Griffin about her award. "I'm the first person to pursue this project in my lab, and I had the privilege of crafting the research question and aims from the ground up."

Griffin is part of ME's McAlpine Group. Applications of her research range from improving our understanding of heart failure and heart attacks to testing new drugs and medical procedures. McAlpine describes her research as an "exciting new direction for our group, which involves using next generation 3D printing methods for cardiac tissue engineering. This work involves creating near-native cardiac tissue in the lab, on a custom-built 3D printing tool, with applications in disease modeling and treatment development. Meghan is deserving of the NSF GRFP both for her exceptional scientific vision and developing potential as a researcher."