Biomedical engineering student receives National Science Foundation research fellowship


Rachel Manthe presented a poster titled "Fabrication of nanofibrous membranes via electrospinning of novel L-tyrosine based polyurethane" at a meeting of the Microscopy Society of Northeastern Ohio, hosted at UA.

Rachel Manthe, a senior undergraduate biomedical engineering student at The University of Akron, has been selected to receive a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship.

This program is the oldest of its kind and has a long history of selecting recipients who achieve high levels of success in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines. Past recipients include numerous Nobel Prize winners, a U.S. Secretary of Energy and the founder of Google.

Manthe, of Randolph, was selected based on her outstanding abilities and achievements, as well as her potential to contribute highly developed research to U.S. science and engineering endeavors, says Dr. Yang Yun, UA associate professor of biomedical engineering.

"It is not a surprise to me that Rachel has been recognized by the NSF," says Yun, who has mentored Manthe since 2007. "She has always shown a remarkable work ethic, initiative, creativity and a deep desire to broaden her scientific and engineering knowledge. These qualities have helped Rachel to become an independent researcher and leader among her peers."

Focus on effective treatment systems

Manthe, a University Scholar in the Honors College, will graduate from UA this spring with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering, summa cum laude. She plans to focus her graduate studies on developing therapeutic delivery systems for the treatment of numerous disorders, ranging from cancer to lysosomal storage disorders. In conjunction, she wants to study pharmacokinetics with the goal of engineering novel therapeutic compounds and delivery vehicles.

"As a first-generation college student, I understand the challenges underprivileged students face," Manthe says. "I want to reach out to these students and encourage them to pursue careers in science and engineering."

Manthe has accepted admission into the bioengineering doctoral program at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Soon-to-be alumna hopes to teach at college level

After completing her graduate degree, Manthe hopes to obtain a faculty position in biomedical engineering or a related field.

"I am honored to receive this prestigious award and hope my personal experiences will help motivate underrepresented individuals into following their dreams and striving to do their best," Manthe says.

Specifically, the fellowship ensures Manthe's opportunity to work with faculty of her choice and conduct research of her interest. She also plans to take advantage of the international research programs offered by the NSF fellowship2. Fellows are given a stipend of $30,000 for 12 months, in increments of $2,500 a month, and are awarded for a maximum of three years over a five-year period.

Media contacts: Paige Poleondakis, 330-972-6482 or, or Denise Henry, 330-972-6477 or

See also: College of Engineering