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Vignesh Selvakumaran, Sobti Family Fellow, 2014-15

CASI is pleased to announce the first Sobti Family post-baccalaureate Fellow, Vignesh Selvakumaran, SEAS’14, for the 2014-2015 year.

Established through a gift from Penn parents, Rajiv Sobti, Gr’84, and Slomi Sobti, the Sobti Family Fellowship is the first program at Penn to provide funding for a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania to conduct an independent research project in India.

Vignesh is from Malvern, PA and will graduate in May from the School of Engineering and Applied Science with a BSE in Bioengineering. As a Sobti Family Fellow he will be working with Aurolabs at Aravind Eye Care System in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. The aim of his project is to create a new low-cost medical device, a phaco emulsification cum vitrectomy system, currently used for cataract surgery and also sold by Aurolab. By reducing the cost of the technology, Aurolab hopes to appeal to a wider market in India.

As part of his senior design requirement, Vignesh’s team designed a new medical device to allow physicians to use Pulse Wave Velocity to access patients’ cardiovascular health during regular check-ups. His senior design team was awarded the Honorable Berger Award and received third place in the Engineering School’s Senior Design Competition.

“This opportunity helps invest in Penn students beyond graduation,” says CASI Director and Madan Lal Sobti Professor Devesh Kapur. “Through the Sobti Family Fellowship, a recent graduate can take their independent interests and research beyond the classroom towards real world applications. CASI can now support a graduating senior to further develop ideas in the field and provide a bridge between undergraduate studies and future scholarly aspirations. We look forward to guiding Vignesh as he begins work in India this fall.”

Vignesh is currently applying to medical school for fall 2015, and will travel to Madurai to start his project by September 2014. Vignesh is excited to take his classroom and design experiences to the real world, and can’t think of a better place to do this than India.

Read about Vignesh's experiences on the CASI Student Programs Blog.

Media Coverage:
[View University Press Release]

"The Compassionate Doctor To Be," Arthur J. Pais. India Abroad. June 20, 2014