Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Written by Jackson Fischer

Grayson Talaski
Grayson Talaski and Marty Scholtz, Vice President for Research.

Grayson Talaski, a third-year biomedical engineering major, was honored at a student celebration on February 28 for receiving an Excellence in Undergraduate Research Award from the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR). 

Each year, the OVPR and the Office of Undergraduate Research seek nominations from the campus community to recognize outstanding undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral researchers across various disciplines and departments. 

Talaski is a research assistant at the Carver College of Medicine (CCOM). He was nominated for the award by Don Anderson, a professor of orthopedics and rehabilitation at CCOM. During his time, Talaski has published nearly 30 original articles, in addition to 100+ abstracts sent to domestic and international conferences.

"I began working in orthopedics during high school as a scribe and continued upon arriving on campus, collaborating with individuals at the hospital," Talaski recalled. 

Initially working closely with Cesar de Cesar Netto, an assistant professor of orthopedics at CCOM, Talaski now collaborates remotely with Netto, who has since become an instructor of orthopedic surgery at Duke University. 

Talaski describes his research as "basement research that directly translates to clinical care," utilizing a weight-bearing computed tomography (CT) scanner. "From that, I apply concepts learned in my classes, employing segmentation and imaging analysis to interpret scan data," he explained. 

"I've independently explored the capabilities of the weight-bearing CT scanner," Talaski added. His previous projects include analyzing the hands and feet of ballet dancers, individuals in high heels, and gymnasts performing handstands. 

“While all undergraduate research is exceptional, I believe the College of Engineering gives us undergraduates a rare skillset that brings a fresh perspective to any research on campus," Talaski said.

In addition to majoring in biomedical engineering, Talaski is pursuing minors in chemistry and is on the pre-med track. He intends to pursue a combined MD and PhD program, with his PhD centering around biomedical engineering, with the goal to eventually specialize in orthopedics.

As part of the award, Talaski received a $3,500 stipend to support his research and a $1,000 stipend for travel. He plans to use the travel stipend to present his research in South Korea.