Thompson Named 1 of 6 UMD Undergraduate Researchers of the Year

Clark School Fischell Department of Bioengineering (BioE) senior Joshua Thompson has been named one of the University of Maryland's six Undergraduate Researchers of the Year by the Maryland Center for Undergraduate Research. Thompson, who was selected from a highly competitive group of nominees working in diverse fields throughout the university, was recognized for his accomplishments in tissue engineering. He received his award was introduced by his advisor, BioE professor and associate chair John Fisher, at the opening ceremony of the 2013 Undergraduate Research Day on May 1.

Thompson has worked for Fisher in the Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials Laboratory since the summer of 2010. He joined the group because he felt it would be a "unique and exciting opportunity" to prepare for a career in medicine.

"In addition to his outstanding research performance," says Fisher, "Josh is known as a friendly and attentive worker who is ready to assist colleagues. He continually demonstrates his ability to quickly understand new concepts and master experimental techniques. He approaches his work with a high level of dedication. Overall, Josh has shown himself to be an excellent collaborator. I can confidently state that he ranks as one of the most gifted, qualified, and dedicated undergraduate researchers I have mentored."

Thompson has distinguished himself in undergraduate research throughout his time at the Clark School.

In the fall of 2012, Thompson was named one of the UMD's Philip Merrill Presidential Scholars. He also received a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Undergraduate Research Fellowship to support his study of the totoxicity of poly(propylene fumarate), a polymer with applications in bone tissue engineering; and a HHMI International Research Program Grant, which funded a semester abroad in Australia. There, at the University of Sydney, he worked with Professor Anthony Weiss, an expert in regenerative medicine and biomaterials.

In 2011, Thompson received the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute's Outstanding ASPIRE Research Award for his study of the efficacy of single component and multi component porous scaffolds as gene delivery devices for skeletal muscle regeneration, and subsequently co-authored a paper on the research that was published in Pharmaceutical Research, one of the top pharmacology journals.

This fall, Thompson will attend the Georgetown University School of Medicine.

Published May 2, 2013