BSE student Davidson earns NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

BSE student Davidson earns NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Calendar Icon Mar 31, 2016      Person Bust Icon By Karl Vogel     RSS Feed RSS

Christopher Davidson, a senior in biological systems engineering, has been chosen a recipient of a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.
Christopher Davidson, a senior in biological systems engineering, has been chosen a recipient of a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.
Christopher Davidson came to UNL expecting to pursue a career in medicine.

After deciding to get off the medical school track, Davidson is still interested in saving lives but is now moving full steam in a slightly different direction.

Recently, the senior in biological systems engineering was one of three current UNL students chosen to receive a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and plans to use the three-year grant to find ways to replace damaged organs or tissues in the human body.

“Coming into college, I was more interested in medical school,” Davidson said. “But after Dr. Angela Pannier came into one of my freshman classes and made a presentation about what goes on in her lab, I thought it was fascinating and was something I definitely wanted to pursue.”

Pannier, associate professor of biological systems engineering, added Davidson to her lab, which focuses its research on three themes – nonviral gene delivery, tissue engineering and protein cell-biomaterial interactions.

Davidson, who is from Omaha, said he plans to continue working in those areas after he graduates from UNL in May and begins work toward a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering at the University of Michigan.

“I’m most interested in cell and tissue engineering, but mostly in trying to understand the different factors that promote the cell decision-making processes and how that can correspond to tissue engineering,” Davidson said. “My plan, as of now, is to go into industry and work in research and development for a company working on those types of applications.”

Among the 2,000 students who were awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship are two Nebraska Engineering alumni – Hillary Stoll, a biological systems engineering graduate who is pursuing a doctorate in environmental engineering at North Carolina State University; and Michael Taylor, a chemical engineering graduate pursuing a doctorate in chemical engineering and petroleum engineering at the University of Pittsburgh.