Health Care Technology News

Mahsa Layazali with diploma
December 2016 graduate Mahsa Layazali.

For Mason Senior, a Short-term Assignment Creates a Long-term Goal

The three weeks that Mahsa Layazali spent with three classmates maintaining and repairing medical equipment in Mazatenango, Guatemala, last winter were full of stories. But the experience also set a long-term career vision for the bioengineering major. Her trip to Guatemala, through the organization Engineering World Health and the Bioengineering Department in Mason’s Volgenau School of Engineering, was transformative.


Lab of Nano

Carolina Salvador Morales

In the Laboratory of Nanotechnology -- Tiny Particles Have Far-reaching Implications

In the Laboratory of Nanotechnology Volgenau School of Engineering researchers study particles thinner than a hair on an infant's arm, smaller than a droplet of sea mist, and attachable to a single molecule. 

Assistant professor Carolina Salvador Morales focuses on the design and application of a wide range of carriers at the nano and micron scale to treat disesas. The research hold promise for revolutionizing the way scientists target cancer. Read more about the work of Dr. Salvador Morales


Dr. Wilsaan Joiner's Research Focuses on Motor Control Theory

Portrait of Volgenau's Wilsaan Joiner

Wilsaan Joiner

Good things come in small packages, and the human brain is no exception

Tipping the scales at a mere three pounds, the human brain is the most complex organ in the body. It contains a hundred billion nerve cells, with more than 10 billion of them linked to the motor system that controls movement. How do we learn to move?

Establishing the correct spatial and temporal patterns of activation is a complex process. It involves studying various muscles, sensory organs, neural levels, and numerous interactions.

Everyday movements -- walking, jumping, or running -- require a learning process we rarely think about unless we need to relearn these actions because of injury or disease. Read more about motor control research



Fine-tuning MRI Techniques to Help Patients

Advances in neuroimaging have revolutionized the way we understand neurodegenerative diseases and have laid the foundation for developing new ways to help patients. These advances have given us unique insight into the development and progression of brain lesions, brain atrophy and targeted therapeutic responses. Detecting such brain changes and unraveling patterns in them using different MRI techniques is the focus of Vasiliki Ikonomidou's work. Ikonomidou is an assistant professor in Mason's Bioengineering Department and has a joint appointment in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department in Volgenau. She came to Mason in 2009 from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, where she worked under Jeff Duyn in the Laboratory for Functional and Molecular Imaging, Advanced MRI Section, developing high-contrast anatomical MRI techniques. From 2006 on — as part of the Neuroimmunology Branch of NINDS — she specialized in brain imaging, using MRI and positron-emission tomography, in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Read more about MRI developments


Student Creates Bear-y Good Device for Special Needs Children

While many people get a warm, fuzzy feeling from helping others, senior Jade Garrett has created something warm and fuzzy that helps others, thanks to assistance from George Mason University’s entrepreneurial resources. Garrett, an applied technology major, invented a toy bear that doubles as a game controller for autistic children. The plush bear is easier for special-needs children to grasp than a regular controller and allows them to hold it for longer periods. Children with motor control issues find the buttons easier to use than a track ball or keyboard. The Computer-Assisted Device Input Bear was brought to life this summer in the School of Business’ Innovation Lab. There, Garrett learned how to develop hardware from scratch and launch her own business. She’s been involved with the Lab for IT Entrepreneurship, as well, working with successful business owners who create products for individuals with special needs. Mason faculty and staff also have helped her craft a business plan, identify a market, and conduct focus groups to hone her idea. Read more about the special bear