USC Viterbi School of Engineering USC Keck School of Medicine National Science Foundation

Search: BMES USC

Biomimetic MicroElectronic Systems
Engineering Research Center
University of Southern California

1450 San Pablo Street
DVRC - 130
Los Angeles, CA 90033

T. 323-442-6786
F. 323-442-6790

Student Leadership Council   


The BMES Student Leadership Council exists to encourage students to participate in the full range of academic, professional, networking, and community outreach opportunities offered by our ERC. In-so-doing, we hope to create a forum for student interaction while fostering a spirit of leadership and collaboration that will ultimately help our students excel in their post-graduate study careers.


An SLC exists within each ERC to ensure that students participate in the strategic planning and direction of the centers (several annual events, such as ERC Site Visits and student retreats, include opportunities for students to provide feedback to the NSF and their ERC). The SLC is the voice of its students and makes sure that they have access to sufficient opportunities and collaborations with industry and other labs within the ERC.

It is critical that the ERC SLC have help from fellow ERC students in planning student activities. We therefore ask all ERC students to please consider volunteering as official lab representatives or just to help plan for student activities. 


Responsibilities and Benefits:

1. Lab Representatives will serve as liaisons between the students in their labs and the Student Leadership Council, making sure that their labmates are up-to-date on upcoming ERC events and activities, as well as making sure that any concerns or suggestions are communicated to the SLC. Lab reps will be asked to help plan our regular events (e.g. the annual student retreat) and other summer or academic year activities (bonfires, hiking, bowling, sports parties, etc.).


2. Student Activity Volunteers will provide student activity suggestions to the Student Leadership Council and help organize events throughout the year. Volunteers are not required to meet regularly with the SLC except to help plan specific events that they are interested in.

Both are wonderful opportunities to get to know other students in our and other ERCs and will give you a chance to bring your own ideas to the ERC table (from cool social activities to new industry or academic-focused events). Please volunteer if you can-- we would love to have you on board!

Please email either Samantha Cunningham ( or Navya Davuluri ( if you are interested in volunteering.


SLC Leadership

BMES ERC SLC Co-Chairs: 
Samantha Cunningham
& Navya Davuluri

Samantha Cunningham

Samantha received her Bachelor’s degree in Biomechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 2008. She joined USC's PhD program in Biomedical Engineering in the Fall of 2008 and received her Master’s degree in BME in the Fall of 2009. Samantha is currently working on a thesis project with the BMES-ERC in which she uses functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to determine how a retinal prosthesis affects the processing of stimuli in the visual cortex over time. Her general research interests include interdisciplinary work that integrates imaging technologies, computational science, neuroscience, psychology, and engineering.

Navya Davuluri

Navya received her Bachelor’s degree in Bioinformatics from University of California, Santa Cruz in 2007. She joined USC’s PhD program in Biomedical Engineering in the Fall of 2008. Navya is current working on a thesis project with the BMES-ERC in which she used intrinsic signal imaging and electrophysiology to determine the spatial properties of response in Superior Colliculus to electrical stimulation of the retina. Her general research interests include neural prosthesis, imaging technologies, engineering, neuroscience and computational modeling.

SLC Members
Phillip Hendrickson
Nadav Ivzan

Activities & Annual Events
2011 NSF ERC Annual Meeting in Bethesda, MD: The BMES-ERC student leadership council hosted last year’s   student closed-door session and was involved in the planning of the sessions activities.

Annual BMES-ERC Student Retreat: Our annual student retreat, held in a new location each year, is an opportunity for students to bond with one another on a social and intellectual level. It also serves as a forum for students to freely voice their opinions concerning the overall operation of our ERC.

Beach Trips

Ultimate Frisbee Tournaments

Contact Information
Samantha Cunningham ( or Navya Davuluri (