What are we up to?


September 15, 2023: Chelsea Heveran (PI) and Robin Gerlach, Erika Espinosa-Ortiz, Jim Wilking (Co-PIs) awarded $3M National Science Foundation Future Manufacturing Research Grant!  This project scales up our efforts in 'eco-manufacturing' building and infrastructure materials using microbes and biological processes. We are hiring PhD students with backgrounds in Mechanical engineering, materials science, chemical engineering, biological engineering, or microbiology for the Fall 2024 admission cycle. Email Dr. Heveran to inquire ([email protected]).

July 31, 2023: Chelsea Heveran & Christopher Hernandez's article 'Make Engineered Living Materials Carry Their Weight' is accepted for publication in Matter.

July 13, 2023: First-ever engineered living materials workshop on U.S. soil held in Bozeman, MT! Co-organized by Chelsea Heveran, Robin Gerlach, Chris Hernandez. It was amazing to gather this growing community in one spot, finally! https://biofilm.montana.edu/news/article.html?id=22884

May 3, 2023: Ghazal Vahidi's first-authored paper is accepted for publication in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research! Ghazal and team investigated how the absence of the gut microbiome influences bone matrix properties and bone matrix resistance. Congrats everyone and great job! https://doi.org/10.1002/jbmr.4835

November 25, 2022: Kylee Rux's first-authored paper is accepted for publication in ScientificReports! Kylee and team investigated biomineralizing waste plastics to reinforce cementitious materials. Great work Kylee! https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-25951-3

October 1, 2022: Michael Espinal's first-authored paper is accepted for publication in Construction and Building Materials! Michael and team tested whether bacterial biomineralization improves the strength of bonding to cementitious materials (spoiler: it doesn't). Awesome work Michael! https://doi.org/10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2022.129331

September 30, 2022: Brady Hislop's first-authored paper is accepted for publication in Osteoarthritis & Cartilage! Brady and team report the early structural and metabolic response of ACL injury in mice. Importantly, systemic bone changes happen soon after injury! Excellent, Brady! https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joca.2022.09.002

September 1, 2022: Heveran lab, in collaboration with UCSF and Cornell investigators, are awarded a $2M National Science Foundation EFRI-EliS award. Our goal is to selectively mineralize sustainable materials, like hempcrete, in places where more reinforcement is required using the metabolism of mechanosensitive microorganisms. We are hiring PhD students with backgrounds in Mechanical engineering, materials science, civil engineering, or microbiology for the Fall 2024 admission cycle. Email Dr. Heveran to inquire ([email protected]).

March 2022: Caleb Rux and Michael Espinal, both Heveran Lab alumni, are awarded the NSF GRFP! We are so proud of these incredible students! Both are now pursuing PhD studies in wonderful labs.

January 7, 2022: Caleb Rux's first author paper is accepted for publication in Bone! Caleb and team found that osteocytes engaged in recent lacunar-canalicular bone turnover are surrounded by bone with lower modulus. Check out this paper's gorgeous images from atomic force microscopy! https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bone.2022.116327

September 16, 2021: Chelsea Heveran (PI) and Vanessa Sherk (PI) are awarded a $700K NSF Collaborative Research grant! This work will investigate how osteocytes regulate the fracture resistance of bone tissue and how these activities are influenced by dietary fat.

March 26, 2021: Chelsea Heveran awarded NIH R03 grant. This work investigates how bone material properties vary at the sub-micron scale around remodeling osteocytes. We will use atomic force microscopy and Auger electron microscopy to investigate peri-lacunar bone properties!! 

March 24, 2021: Cailen Casey wins a NSF GRFP! Cailen's GRFP support will fund her PhD studies of the role of multiscale thorax biomechanics in insect flight!! She is co-advised by Dr. Heveran & Dr. Jankauski. Congrats to Cailen for winning this highly competitive award!!

February 24, 2021: BRICS project featured on Yellowstone Public Radio. Rachel Cramer interviewed the NSF BRICS team (Heveran, Gerlach, Phillips, Espinosa-Ortiz, Akyel, Murray) and wrote a really nice piece about our work using microbiology to engineer reusable and recyclable building materials. Check it out!  https://www.ypradio.org/environment-science/2021-02-24/msu-researchers-exploring-cement-alternative-using-fungi-bacteria

February 15, 2021: Heveran Lab students present at the Orthopaedic Research Society. Ghazal Vahidi, Hope Welhaven, and Brady Hislop all presented their work at the 2021 ORS Annual Meeting. Ghazal's podium presentation and Hope and Brady's posters were fantastic!!

January 2021: Michael Espinal awarded a McNair Fellowship! Michael Espinal is a senior mechanical engineering undergraduate. He was selected for a very competitive McNair fellowship!! This fellowship recognizes Michael's tremendous potential as a PhD student in top graduate schools. We are so excited for him!

October 2020: Heveran Lab wins ORS costume competition. Our committment to trivia... and costumes... is unrivaled. We went as 'The Lab'. 

September 24, 2020: Ghazal Vahidi, Caleb Rux, Vanessa Sherk & Chelsea Heveran have Review paper accepted at Bone

Check out this upcoming Review paper about lacunar-canalicular system bone remodeling and its influence on bone quality. We also review tools for assessing LCS bone quality and physiologically-relevant lengthscales. 

September 2020: Atticus Cummings & Chelsea Heveran each present at MSU Freshman Research Symposium.

Atticus received a VPR internship to study biomineralized building materials in the Heveran & Wilking labs. Check out his talk! 

August 25, 2020: Chelsea Heveran wins National Science Foundation 'Future Manufacturing Seed Grant.'

This work will explore eco-manufacturing re-usable and recyclable building materials with the help of microbes. Collaborators include Dr. Robin Gerlach, Dr. Adrienne Phillips & Dr. Erika Espinosa-Ortiz (all at MSU). We are hiring 1-2 PhD students for this project.

February 18, 2020: Caleb Rux awarded MSU Award for Excellence. 

Caleb Rux was honored as one of MSU's top graduating seniors - great job!!. Dr. Heveran was also honored to receive an Award for Excellence as Caleb's mentor.

February 2020: Ghazal Vahidi presents work at the Orthopaedic Research Society

Ghazal presented her poster "A Genetic Mouse Model of Familial DysautonomiaDecreases Bone Quality Across Multiple Lengthscales" at the Orthopaedic Research Society. Great job! 

February 4, 2020: Chelsea Heveran and colleague Juan Pablo Gevaudan celebrate NSF Big Idea competition win in Washington DC.

Heveran and Gevaudan accept NSF Big Idea awards.https://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=299946



The original entry: https://nsf2026imgallery.skild.com/entries/unlocking-the-future-of-infrastructure

 January 15, 2020: New York Times and others covers the Matter article.



 January 15, 2020: Heveran's Living Building Material article published in Matter.

Heveran, C. M., Williams, S. L., Qiu, J., Artier, J., Hubler, M. H., Cook, S. M., ... & Srubar III, W. V. (2020). Biomineralization and Successive Regeneration of Engineered Living Building Materials. Matter

Link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2590238519303911

December 2019: Heveran receives Co-PI funding for biomineralized plastics project

The Hawthorne Foundation funds Adrienne Phillips, Cecily Ryan, and Chelsea Heveran to study methods where biomineralization can improve the quantity of waste plastic additions to cement and concrete.

October 2019: Heveran publishes two new papers (bone AND bacteria):

Heveran, C. M., Schurman, C. A., Acevedo, C., Livingston, E. W., Howe, D., Schaible, E. G., ... & Levi, M. (2019). Chronic kidney disease and aging differentially diminish bone material and microarchitecture in C57Bl/6 mice. Bone, 127, 91-103. Link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S8756328219301577

Heveran, C. M., Liang, L., Nagarajan, A., Hubler, M. H., Gill, R., Cameron, J. C., ... & Srubar, W. V. (2019). Engineered ureolytic microorganisms can tailor the morphology and nanomechanical properties of microbial-precipitated calcium carbonate. Scientific reports, 9(1), 1-13. Link: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-51133-9