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Graduate and Medical Student Research

As a department of the School of Medicine, we support and integrate the research of graduate students from several disciplines. We have recently collaborated in and supported the research of Ph.D. and Master's level graduate engineering students emphasizing biomechanics and other bioengineering specifically related to orthopedics. We have also recently had a Postdoctoral Fellow with a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering working in our labs.

Kara Hageman portraitKara A. Hageman, MPH
Madison & Lila Self Graduate Fellow, 2020-2024
The University of Kansas, Bioengineering Graduate Program

Kara earned a B.S. (2018) in biomedical engineering with a focus in biomaterials and minors in chemistry, and polymer science and engineering from Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) in Cleveland, OH. Following her undergraduate studies, she earned both a Master of Public Health and a Master of Bioethics and Medical Humanities (2020) from CWRU.

Kara's research involves investigating better methods to prevent prosthetic joint infection in orthopedic implants by utilizing bone cement as a drug delivery system.


Nicole DNicole D'Souza
Madison & Lila Self Memorial Scholar, 2021-2022
The University of Kansas, Bioengineering Graduate Program

Nicole earned a B.S. (2021) in chemical engineering with a concentration in bioengineering from the University of Kansas (KU) in Lawrence, KS.

Nicole's research involves investigating the use of novel antimicrobial agents in bone cement to prevent prosthetic joint infection in orthopedic implants.


Second-Year KU Medical Student Summer Research Training Program

Under this program, medical students spend the summer between their first and second year of medical school participating in research projects, while gaining hands-on research experience. These projects are performed under the direction of and in collaboration with the orthopedic surgery faculty. Many medical students continue to participate in research throughout the year.

Joshua LawtonJoshua Lawton, M2, KUMC School of Medicine 

Joshua earned his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern University in 2021. He graduated with departmental honors and as a Murphy Honors Scholar.

Joshua's first research project focuses on characterizing the antibiotic properties of antibiotic-laden PMMA bone cement. He is also exploring adapting four-tine orthopedic shape-memory staples for hand and wrist surgery.


Spencer Finkbiner portraitSpencer Finkbiner, M2, KUMC School of Medicine 

Spencer graduated from the University of Kansas, summa cum laude, in 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering.

Spencer's research project is focused on optimizing antibiotic delivery from PMMA bone cement by modifying current mixing protocols and exploring new cement mixing techniques.

KU School of Medicine

University of Kansas Medical Center
Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine
Mail Stop 3017
3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Kansas City, KS 66160
913-588-1234