Aboutaleb wins Beckman Institute Graduate Fellowship

5/12/2022

Jenna Kurtzweil, Beckman Institute

Sohaila Aboutaleb
Sohaila Aboutaleb

The Beckman Institute has announced MechSE graduate student Sohaila Aboutaleb as one of seven 2022 Beckman Institute Graduate Fellows.

Aboutaleb is pursuing a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering after earning her M.S. in mechanical engineering from UIUC in 2021, and her B.S. in mechanical engineering from The American University in Cairo.

Her research focuses on improving bone regeneration and repair in patients suffering from fractures and degenerative diseases like osteoporosis. Often, these conditions are treated with bone grafting: using bone from the patient’s body to repair the damaged portion. However, grafting is not always available to clinicians, and may increase the risk of complications. Aboutaleb is investigating an alternative method called scaffold-based bone regeneration that uses 3D-printed scaffolds instead of bone. She'll use Beckman’s state-of-the-art imaging technology to study how the scaffolds’ mechanical and biological properties can be optimized for bone repair.

Aboutaleb will collaborate with Amy Wagoner Johnson and Randy Ewoldt, both professors of mechanical science and engineering; Mariana Kersh, an associate professor of mechanical science and engineering; and Rohit Bhargava, a professor of bioengineering and the director of the Cancer Center at Illinois.

In addition to Aboutaleb, the other fellowship winners were Megan Finnegan, psychology and neuroscience; Defne Gorgun Ozgulbas, the Center for Biophysics and Quantitative Biology; Zhengchang Kou, electrical and computer engineering; Jialu Li, electrical and computer engineering; Yunyan Sun, chemistry; and Zepeng Wang, bioengineering.