2019-2020 AIMBE Scholar Bios

Gloria Nyankima, Ph.D.

Dr. Nyankima is an AIMBE Scholar at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the Center for Devices and Radiological Health. Gloria received a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Auburn University. She then completed a doctorate of philosophy in Biomedical Engineering at the joint department of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University. As a graduate student, she conducted research in advancing ultrasound contrast agents for use in imaging and therapy. Gloria investigated the safety of ultrasound contrast with high-intensity ultrasound imaging pulses. Her work also included the development of a novel ultrasound contrast agent as an enhancing tool for ablative focused ultrasound therapy—a non-invasive alternative to surgery. As an AIMBE Scholar, she plans to gain first-hand experience with the medical device regulatory process. With this experience, and in combination with the technical knowledge she gained from graduate school, she will strive to advance the field of biotechnology, keeping safety and efficacy at the center of technology development.

Christina M. Webber, Ph.D.

Dr. Webber is an AIMBE Scholar at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the Center for Devices and Radiological Health. Christina completed her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering and Physiology at the Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Her doctoral research focused on upper extremity biomechanics, characterizing the independent function in adults with traumatic brachial plexus injuries. Specifically, she used quantitative methods (e.g. activity monitoring and 3D motion capture) coupled with qualitative methods (e.g. focus groups and phone interviews) to develop a comprehensive description of arm function in these patients and how it affects their ability to complete typical activities of daily living. Her work will serve as a baseline for the development of an assistive device for patients with brachial plexus injuries. Outside of the laboratory, Christina enjoys leading science outreach and education efforts to share her passion and knowledge of engineering, medical devices, and science with all ages, both domestically and abroad. As an AIMBE Scholar, Christina hopes to translate her engineering experience in a clinical setting to regulatory policy focusing on putting patients first, ensuring that they have access to safe and effective medical devices in a timely manner.