Posted April 29, 2009 Atlanta
Communcations & Marketing
Georgia Tech's Virgil Secasanu, a recent biomedical engineering (BME) graduate, has been named to USA Today's All Academic Team. Secasanu was one of 20 students named to the first-team; each winner will receive a $2,500 cash reward. Judges based the selection on grades, leadership, activities and, most importantly, how students extend their intellectual talents beyond the classroom.
"This award is very exciting to me," said Secasanu. "I'm humbled to be a part of this group of students and to have my hard work nationally recognized." Secasanu's accomplishments go well beyond the classroom. "I worked with another undergraduate student and a BME professor to almost quadruple the output of a laboratory technique used to control the micrometer-scale synthesis of cell scaffolds," said Secasanu. "We published this work and used the technique to synthesize neuron scaffolds for a nerve regeneration project (which could have strong benefits to curing nerve damage, and even paralysis)." Secasanu also worked with several physicians to design and develop medical devices.
"My most ambitious project was working with two additional BME students where we designed, developed, constructed and evaluated a minimally invasive device for treating atrial fibrillation (a cardiac disorder)," he said. "It has strong benefits to reducing healthcare costs and improving treatment availability." That work helped Secasanu land his current job as a research and development engineer at an Atlanta medical device startup (TransCardiac Therapeutics). As part of his work, he's been able to design, patent, evaluate and submit for FDA review several novel cardiac devices. He plans to go to medical school in the fall and says his long-term goals include melding his passion for medicine and bioengineering to help treat and eradicate ailments.