GradImpact: Developing Bioengineering Strategies to Combat Autoimmune Diseases

    Lisa Tostanoski, a PhD candidate in bioengineering at the University of Maryland, College Park, was awarded a prestigious Lemelson-MIT Student Prize for her efforts to develop new strategies to combat autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis (MS). As one of nine recipients across the country, Tostanoski is the first UMD student to win the highly-competitive prize.


    An estimated 2.3 million people are affected by MS and according to Tostanoski, current treatments provided important benefits but, “lack cure-potential, which means patients receive regular, lifelong treatments.” One of Tostanoski’s bioengineered treatments has reversed paralysis in lab mice using an innovative approach that targets specific T-cells and changes them from bad cells to good ones. This is a significant departure from current treatments that suppress the entire immune system.


    Ms. Tostanoski’s work has the potential to change the landscape of human health and patient care and transform treatment options for patients with MS, type 1 diabetes, lupus, and more. To learn more about Lisa and her research, visit the University of Maryland website.


    **Photo Credit: University of Maryland, College Park


    The CGS GRADIMPACT project draws from member examples to tell the larger story of graduate education. Our goal is to demonstrate the importance of graduate education not only to degree holders, but also to the communities where we live and work. Do you have a great story to share about the impact of master’s or doctoral education? Visit our WEBSITE for more information.


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