Roanna Ruiz, a second-year Ph.D. student in the field of biomedical engineering, has been selected out of more than 2,900 applicants to receive a 2011 National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship awarded by the Department of Defense.
The scholarship provides tuition and a stipend for three years of study. The fellowships are awarded "to individuals who have demonstrated the ability and special aptitude for advanced training in science and engineering," in fields of interest to national defense.
Ruiz, a native of Boston, came to Cornell in 2009 after earning her B.S. in biomedical engineering from Harvard University. Her research at Cornell, advised by Dan Luo, professor of biological and environmental engineering, combines the specialty of the Luo lab -- where DNA is used as a material for constructing nanoscale structures, and not as a genetic material -- with microfluidic systems in which biological materials can be moved through nanometer-sized tubes on a silicon chip. She plans to create devices to develop novel drugs, produce proteins without requiring cells, and enhance point-of-care medical devices.