Grad Member Spotlight: Astha Khanna

25 July 2016


Astha Khanna

PhD Student, Bioengineering, expected graduation May 2017

Clemson University


Astha has served as the professional Outreach chair of the Society of Women Engineers for the academic year 2015-16. During her tenure, she was very actively involved in raising around $600 to sponsor registration fee and travel of Clemson SWE members to attend the WE15. Astha was involved in organizing info-sessions conducted by representatives from GE Healthcare and Deloitte consulting on tailoring resumes and preparing for co-ops, internships and full-time positions. Astha has served as the Vice-President of the Clemson Bioengineering Society as well mentoring Bioengineering undergraduates in designing biomedical devices.

Astha has served also as the President of the International Student Association at Clemson University for the academic year 2015-16 for which she conducted dialogue sessions to address the academic and professional needs and concerns of graduate population at Clemson. As President, she organized the sponsorship of 10 female graduate students at Clemson to attend the Women’s Leadership Conference. held at Clemson in Feb 2015.

Astha was a finalist of the Three minute thesis contest held at Clemson University in Mar 2015. She was nominated for the Outstanding Women Graduate Student Award in Clemson University in Feb 2016 for outstanding academic accomplishments and multiple leadership roles. Astha was awarded a professional enrichment grant (PEG) by Clemson University Graduate School in April 2015 to present my research at the Society for Biomaterials (SFB) conference held in Charlotte, NC in April 2015. She was appreciated as the Best Moderator in the Clemson University Bioengineering departmental seminar sessions in spring 2015.

Astha has been featured in the the Clemson newspaper, awarded the Community Impact Medal at Clemson University, and featured as a research presenter at the Society for Biomaterials annual meeting held in Charlotte, NC in April 2015. She was an invited presenter at the Southeastern Medical Device Association annual meeting held in March 2015, where her research was highlighted as a top 20 technologies from young companies and university labs. Congratulations, Astha, on all your accomplishments! Keep up the great work!


What is your degree program (MS/PhD, department)? When do you expect to graduate?

I’m currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Bioengineering at Clemson University. I expect to graduate in May 2017.

Having earned 96 credit hours at Clemson University with a GPA of 3.72, I have published my doctoral research in several conference proceedings, have completed 2 certifications on 1. Technology Entrepreneurship from Clemson University where I specialized in areas of medical device commercialization, advanced leadership and project management and 2. Bio-compatibility of Medical Devices from NAMSA (by virtue of which I’m a biological safety specialist trained on ASTM and ISO protocols to assess biocompatibility of medical devices. I’m currently enrolled in a certificate in Engineering and Science and Education issued by Clemson University which completely aligns with my passion for teaching after getting a doctorate. I have demonstrated attainment of knowledge from diverse areas and thus evolving into a well-rounded individual with a record of academic achievements and leadership roles.


Give a brief explanation of your research.

My doctoral dissertation is on designing biocompatible coatings for vascular devices. I’m currently working on designing a coating of human serum albumin, a natural blood protein for its potential to shield adsorption of adhesive proteins and platelets in the blood making it promising in preventing the incidence of thrombosis (blood clot formation within the blood vessels). Human albumin coating fabricated using our technology has been also shown to mitigate the hyperplasia of smooth muscle cells which is a major complication post a stent implantation and bypass graft surgery.


What do you hope to do with your degree? What are your career goals?

After completing my Ph.D., I hope to work as an assistant professor in bioengineering. My passion for teaching interests me to work in academia and embark on a career in education.  I have been the head teaching assistant/ lab instructor for the course biochemistry laboratory techniques in Clemson university for the past 9 semesters. I have also been a biomedical device design mentor to undergraduates in the dept. of bioengineering for 3 semesters for which I mentor students in identification of clinical need, device design and testing, budget and market analysis and regulatory approval. The teaching experience has been fulfilling and insightful for me. The great evaluations that I receive every semester from my students bolsters my passion for teaching after getting a doctorate.


What are some of your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?

  1. Listening to music
  2. Reading articles on spirituality and astrology (I like studying/unravelling the deep mysteries/secrets of the universe that we don’t know about).
  3. Cooking delicious food (I’m a big foodie!)
  4. Having fun conversations with friends


What’s a fun fact about you?

Fun Fact: If you ever want to make me happy, just feed me. I’m a big foodie, I can keep eating the whole day and never get tired from eating. People eat to live but I live to eat.


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