Kassis Wins Chih Award

BioE grad student from Dixon lab honored by foundation

Timothy Kassis, a Bioengineering Ph.D. student at the Georgia Institute of Technology, recently received a Chih Foundation Research Award. This award recognizes innovative research and publications that designed to improve society.

A member of the Brandon Dixon lab in the Parker H. Petit Institute of Bioengineering and Bioscience, Kassis conducts research that focuses on lymphatic filariasis, commonly known as elephantiasis, a painful and disfiguring disease.

Kassis works on developing a system that mimics the environment of the skin and lymphatic system, creating an image platform to better understand why filarial worms, transmitted by misquitoes, migrate to the lymphatic system, infecting an estimated 120 million people worldwide.

Kassis, who earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Nottingham in England, will defend his Ph.D. thesis in June. After that, he says, “I’m definitely interested in pursuing research, preferably in an academic setting. I’d like to pursue work related to lymphatics and tropical diseases.”

Lymphatic filariasis is one of seven diseases classified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a neglected tropical disease. “The idea is, we can eradicate it given enough research and effort,” says Kassis. “We know what we have to do. It’s a matter of figuring out the best way to do it.”

Kassis, whose home school is the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is one of two recipients of a $2,500 Chih Foundation Research Award for 2015. The other winner, Rob Parrish, is a graduate student in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

The Chih Foundation (who granted $2,500 to Kassis) was founded by Samuel C.M. Chih and his wife, Amy. Chih is the president and CEO of Sunrich Technology, an international company that supplies professional computer interface cards. Chih earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the State University of New York College at Buffalo and both his master’s and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech.

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Jerry Grillo
Communications Officer II
Parker H. Petit Institute for
Bioengineering and Bioscience