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Our research is focused on engineering novel materials and therapeutic systems to stimulate damaged peripheral and spinal neurons to regenerate. We take a unique approach to this problem – we use electrically conducting polymers and natural-based materials (e.g., hyaluronic acid-based biomaterials, decellularized tissues) to create therapies that can electrically, chemically, biologically and mechanically trigger neurons, at both the macroscopic and nanometer-scales.

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Christine E. Schmidt, Ph.D.
The B.F. Goodrich Endowed Professor
The Department of Biomedical Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin
1 University Station, C0800
Austin, TX 78712
(512) 471-1690

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Biomimetic Conducting Polymers
Biomimetic Conducting PolymersOur lab is developing and studying advanced electronic materials specifically tailored and optimized for biomedical applications such as neural regeneration strategies and neural microelectrodes.
Natural-Based Biomaterials
Natural-Based BiomaterialsOur group is utilizing novel techniques to process natural based materials (e.g., hyaluronan) for therapeutic applications. In a parallel approach, we are investigating decellularized tissues for use as regeneration scaffolds.
Mechanisms of Cell-Materials Interactions
Mechanisms of Cell-Materials InteractionsThe goal for this aspect of our research is to use experimental approaches, theoretical modeling and computational simulation to better understand how cells and biomolecules interface with materials.

December 2012: Dr. Schmidt has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world's largest general scientific society and the publisher of the journal Science. “AAAS fellows are elected by their peers, and fewer than 1 percent of the association's members are elected each year. Fellows are selected for their efforts to advance science or scientific applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished.” Dr. Schmidt will be inducted in Boston in February 2013 during the AAAS Annual Meeting.

Hieu NguyenNov. 20, 2012: Congratulations to Hieu Nguyen for successfully defending his Ph.D.! Way to go Dr. Nguyen!

Sydney GeisslerNov. 19, 2012: BME graduate student Sydney Geissler passes her Prelim Exam/Ph.D. Research Proposal. Congratulations Sydney!

Journal of Materials ChemistryNov. 5, 2012: Dr. Schmidt is honored with her recent appointment as the Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the new Journal of Materials Chemistry B and member of the Executive Editorial Board for Journal of Materials Chemistry A, B and C. The Journal of Materials Chemistry has seen much success over the last few years, and because of this success, has recently been divided into three new journals, by the intended application of the materials studied. Journal of Materials Chemistry B focuses on materials for biology and medicine.

Dr. Zin KhaingOct. 27, 2012: Congratulations to Dr. Zin Khaing, who was the first prize poster award winner at the NeuroTexas Institute Neuroscience Symposium 2012.

Dr. Stephanie SeidlitsOct. 12, 2012: Schmidt lab alum, Dr. Stephanie Seidlits, receives a competitive NIH postdoctoral fellowship for her current studies with Dr. Lonnie Shea at Northwestern University. Congrats Stephanie!

Eric SpiveyAug. 1, 2012: Congratulations to Eric Spivey for having his manuscript, “Multiphoton lithography of unconstrained three-dimensional protein microstructures”, accepted for publication (without revisions) in Advanced Functional Materials (Impact Factor = 10.179)!

click to see pdfJuly 30, 2012: Scott Zawko publishes a mini review article in the SurFACTS newsletter highlighting different methods developed in our laboratory to integrate structure and architecture into soft hydrogels. Congrats Scott on a job well done!

Derek HernandezJuly 9, 2012: Congratulations to Derek Hernandez for passing his Oral Ph.D. Preliminary Exam/Research Proposal! Great job!!

chocolate gatorJuly 6, 2012: Dr. Schmidt will become the Chair of the J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Florida starting in January 2013. Her labs will move to UF in Spring 2013. Sarah congratulates Dr. Schmidt with an awesome dark chocolate alligator (see photos). Read more.

Sarah Mayes
July 2, 2012:
Congratulations to Sarah Mayes for passing her Prelim/Research Proposal! Way to go!


Chase Cornelison
May 30, 2012:
Congratulations to Chase Cornelison who recently passed his ChE qualifying exams!!


Stephanie SeidlitsMay 25, 2012: Former lab member, Dr. Stephanie Seidlits, visits Austin. Stephanie is currently a postdoc with Dr. Lonnie Shea at Northwestern. More

May 24, 2012: The Distinguished Engineering Graduates, including Dr. Schmidt (BS, ChE 1988), were featured at last week’s engineering graduation ceremony and in the recent issue of the Alcalde. Dr. Schmidt was also honored by her wonderful students, who surprised her with a fun roast and gifts (and a uniquely decorated office!).

Dr. Zhaing with Kyle MarshallMay 17, 2012: Kyle Marshall, a BME undergraduate student who works with Dr. Zin Khaing, has received one of seven summer BME internships. This is a competitive award that provides a $4000 stipend for UG students to perform research in a BME laboratory over the summer. Congrats to Kyle!

Genevieve LimApril 16, 2012: Congratulations to Chemical Engineering GLUE student, Genevieve Lim, for receiving a $50 award for being among the top-5 posters in the Poster Exhibition Engineering Research Symposium (PEERS) on April 11. The PEERS research poster competition is for all engineering undergraduate students at UT Austin, so this is a prestigious honor! Genevieve works with graduate student Craig Milroy, and presented on "Permeability of Conductive Polymers". Congrats Genevieve!!

Eric SpiveyApril 13, 2012: Congratulations to Eric Spivey who successfully defended his Ph.D. today. Way to go Dr. Spivey!


Hyma DurgamApril 13, 2012: Research Associate Hyma Durgam will receive her 15 year staff service award for her work with the University of Texas (almost 12 years in Dr. Schmidt’s lab at UT Austin). Hyma will be recognized at The President’s Staff Awards Ceremony on Friday, May 4, 2012, 10 am in the LBJ Auditorium. Congratulations Hyma! View photos here.

Craig H. Neilsen FoundationApril 11, 2012: Dr. Schmidt and Dr. Zin Khaing receive a $300,000 research grant from the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation to support research on regeneration after spinal cord injury using bioengineered scaffolds in combination with an antagonist to minimize inhibitor scar components. This work will be performed in collaboration with a world renowned neurobiologist Dr. Jerry Silver from Case Western Reserve University.

Richelle ThomasApril 10, 2012: BME undergraduate student, George (Ross) Malik, receives a prestigious fellowship from the Whitaker International Fellows and Scholars Program. Ross currently works with graduate student Ryan Nagao, and will be using his fellowship to study with Dr. Jose Luis Jorcano at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid in Spain. Congratulations Ross!

April 4, 2012: Congratulations (again!) to Craig Milroy who was selected for a Whitaker International Summer Grant. This, along with his other awards, will be used to support his international studies with Dr. Gordon Wallace at the University of Wollongong.

Richelle Thomas
March 21, 2012: Richelle Thomas
successfully passes her oral PhD qualifying exam. Congrats Richelle!

Leo ForcinitiMarch 1, 2012: Congratulations to our former graduate student, Dr. Leandro Forciniti, who recently accepted a position as Senior Tire Compounder-Latin American Support with Goodyear. Good luck Leo! Read more..

Craig MilroyFeb. 23, 2012: Congratulations to Craig Milroy who received two prestigious fellowships: the NSF East Asia Pacific Summer Institutes (EAPSI) award and the Burroughs Wellcome Collaborative Research Travel Grant (CRTG). Craig will use these awards to engage in travel to Australia to initiate a collaboration with Dr. Gordon Wallace at the University of Wollongong.

Richelle ThomasFeb. 23, 2012: Congratulations to Richelle Thomas who received a prestigious Burroughs Wellcome Collaborative Research Travel Grant (CRTG). Richelle will use this award, along with her Fulbright award, to engage in collaborative research with Professor Clive Landis of the Chronic Disease Research Centre at the University of the West Indies in Barbados.

Jae LeeFeb. 22, 2012: Hieu Nguyen received an excellence in research top poster award at the recent GAIN (Graduate and Industry Networking) Event. The poster authors also included Hieu’s undergraduate students Claudia and Jacque. Way to go!

Feb. 21, 2012: Our undergraduate researchers received a large number of Undergraduate Research Fellowships (URFs). Congratulations to: Claudia Wei (Hieu), Lindsey Nguy (Hieu), Marc Alexander (Zin), Hunil Cha (John/Ryan), Albert Chen (Craig), Lea Sorret (Craig), Shela Gu (Craig), Jessica Scott (Sarah), Min Sohn (John) and Khan Tran (John). Wonderful job everyone!! We appreciate your dedication to the lab!

Jae LeeFeb. 16, 2012: Former graduate student Dr. Jae Lee accepts a faculty position at GIST (Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology) in Korea. Congratulations and good luck to Jae (and his family)!

Christine SchmidtJan. 30, 2012: The Cockrell School of Engineering has honored Professor Christine Schmidt as a Distinguished Engineering Graduate, the highest honor bestowed on alumni. Read more

nerve regenerationJan. 25, 2012: Collaborative research in the labs of Dr. Schmidt and Dr. Jason Shear are highlighted by the NSF on (this research is funded by the NSF). Read the highlight.

Scott ZawkoJan. 1, 2012: Welcome back Dr. Scott Zawko to our team! Scott will be working in our lab as a Research Associate helping to head up our hydrogel team.

Ryan NagaoDec. 16, 2011: Ryan Nagao successfully passes his oral PhD qualifying exam. Congratulations Ryan!

Kin ZhaingDec. 3, 2011: Dr. Zin Khaing received 2nd Place for the Overall Best Poster Competition at the Mission Connect Symposium in Houston. Congratulations Zin!

Hieu NguyenNov. 29, 2011: Great job Hieu Nguyen who passed his Research Proposal (Prelim). Awesome job Hieu!

Yafei OuyangNov. 4, 2011: Congratulations to Yafei Ouyang in our lab (UG working with Ryan Nagao) on his oral presentation on “Characterization of decellularized lung tissue using vascular corrosion casting” presented at the “World Conference on Regenerative Medicine 2011” in Leipzig, Germany. More....

Oct. 21, 2011: Congratulations to our undergraduate students for receiving competitive Undergraduate Research Fellowships (URFs): Tushar Garg, Jong Min Kim, Hetian (Tian) Li and David Mouser who are mentored by Dr. John Hardy, Nikolas Irizarry, Wesley Ehlert and George Parker who are mentored by Craig, Dan Strayve and Glendon Plumton who are mentored by Dr. Zin Khaing, and Daniel Joh who is mentored by Derek. Congrats to you all for this terrific honor!

Sept. 22, 2011: Dr. Schmidt is elected to the Board of Directors of the Biomedical Engineering Society.

group with FonnerSept. 2011: Dr. Schmidt’s research vision and the science outreach activities of her research team are featured on the main UT website.

group with FonnerAug. 10, 2011: Congratulations to John Fonner for successfully defending his Ph.D.! Wonderful work John! More.

Fox News 7June 14, 2011: Dr. Schmidt and Sarah Mayes discuss research in our lab with Keri Bellacosa on Fox 7 News’ Good Day Austin.

Jae LeeJune 2, 2011: Our former student, Dr. Jae Lee, receives an American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellowship. Jae is working with Professor Randall Lee (UCSF) and Professor Luke Lee (Berkeley) on cardiac tissue regeneration using nanoparticles.

Brian MilmanMay 20, 2011: Brian Milman, who works in our lab with Dr. Zin Khaing, receives one of ten summer Biomedical Engineering Internships. The fellowship provides a $4,000 stipend for a 10 week research project for this summer. Way to go Brian!

May 11, 2011: The Schmidt Lab Outstanding Undergraduate Student Presentation Awards have been announced! The top overall presenters are: 1st Place: Isha Suri (works with Zin), Isha Suri 2nd Place: Shan Modi (works with Richelle), and 3rd Place: Ross Malik (works with Ryan). The top 1st time presenter is Laura Fuentes (works with Craig). Congratulations to everyone!!

Yafei Ouyang May 6, 2011: Congratulations to Yafei Ouyang who was named a UT Beckman Scholar for 2011-2012! Yafei is a BME undergraduate who works with Ryan. The Beckman Scholars Program provides a $19,000 scholarship for research training and personal development of select students in chemistry, biochemistry, and the biological and medical sciences. The selection process for the UT Beckman Scholarship is extensive and demanding. The semifinalists must propose a research project that is new to them and they are subjected to a PhD style oral examination.

May 5, 2011: Congratulations to Leo Forciniti who successfully defended his PhD today. Terrific job Dr. Leo!!

April 15, 2011: Congratulations to Richelle Thomas who received a Fulbright Scholarship to study in Barbados for the summer. What a prestigious honor. Great job Richelle!!

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