A .pdf of my CV is available here.

Katherine Elfer, Ph.D.

Graduate Assistant                                                                                                                                                  kelfer@tulane.edu

Department of Biomedical Engineering                                                                                                                           985.502.2208

Tulane University                                                                                                                                                website: kateelfer.com

EDUCATION

Ph. D., Biomedical Engineering, Tulane University; New Orleans, Louisiana

May 2018

The development and evaluation of a pseudo-histological staining and image processing system for use in point-of-care ex-vivo fluorescent histology

Advisor: Quincy Brown, Ph.D.                                                   

B.S., Nanosystems Engineering, Louisiana Tech University; Ruston, Louisiana

May 2012

Concentration: Biomedical Engineering;  Minor: English


HONORS and AWARDS

2018    Tulane 34 Award

Dean of the SSE Award for Excellence in Research and Presentation by a Graduate Student

2017     SWE Academic Leadership for Women in Engineering ASSIST Awardee

INSIGHT Into Diversity: 2017 Inspiring Leaders in STEM

Dean Donald R. Moore award for embodiment of servant leadership and exceptional character.

2016    New Orleans Women in Tech Ada Lovelace Nominee

Valerie and Michael Corasaniti – Cowen Scholar for service to Tulane and the community

Tulane Center for Public Service, Community Engaged Graduate Fellowship Program

2015    People’s Choice Award, Three-Minute Thesis Competition, Tulane University

2014    Vincent A. Forte Fellowship Recipient, Louisiana Engineering Foundation

2013    Outstanding Teaching Assistant, Tulane Biomedical Engineering

2012    National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program recipient

National Academy of Engineers Grand Challenges Scholar Program graduate

Outstanding Senior, Louisiana Tech College of Engineering and Science


RESEARCH EXPERIENCE

Research Positions

Graduate Research Assistant

Tulane University, July 2012—Present

 EPSCoR Supervised Undergraduate Research Experience

Louisiana Tech University, March 2011—May 2012

Advisor: David Mills, Ph. D.: NanoHealing: Bandage with Bioactive Thinfilm Materials                  

NSF REU Brandeis University Biophysics Department

Brandeis University, May 2011-August 2011

Advisor: Seth Fraden, Ph.D.: Characterization and Visualization of Functionalized Surfaces

MRSEC NSF REU

Carnegie Mellon University, May 2010-July 2010

Advisor: Kristin Dahl, Ph.D.: Interactions of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes  with HeLa Actin Filaments

Funding

2012    National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

$90,000 Stipend plus educational expenses to cover 3 years of funding between 2012-2017

2011    Louisiana Board of Regents EpSCor Supervised Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE)

$4,000 stipend, $1,000 travel; September 2011 – June 2012

 

Publications

  1. Liu J, Wang M, Tulman D, Mandava S, Elfer K, Gabrielson A, Lai W, Abshire C, Sholl AB, Brown JQ, Lee BR, “Nondestructive Diagnosis of Kidney Cancer on 18-gauge Core Needle Renal biopsy Using Dual-color Fluorescence Structured Illumination Microscopy,” Urology: 98. December 2016
  2. Elfer KN, Sholl AB, Wang M, Tulman DB, Mandava Sree, Lee, BR, Brown JQ. “DRAQ5 and eosin (‘D&E’) as an analog to hematoxylin and eosin for rapid ‘zero-cut’ fluorescence histology of fresh tissues,” PLOS One.
  3. Liu J, Wang M, Tulman D, Mandava SH, Elfer KN, Gabrielson A, Lai W, Abshire C, Sholl AB, Brown JQ, Lee BR. “Non-destructive diagnosis of kidney cancer on 18-gauge core needle renal biopsy using dual-color fluorescence structured illumination microscopy,” Urology, 98: 195-199.
  4. Wang M, Kimbrell H, Sholl AB, Tulman DB, Elfer KN, Schlichenmeyer T, Lee BR, Lacey M, and Brown JQ. “High-resolution rapid diagnostic imaging of whole prostate biopsies using video-rate fluorescence structured illumination microscopy,” Cancer Research.
  5. Goel UO, Maddox MM, Elfer KN, Dorsey P, Wang M, McCaslin R, Brown JQ*, Lee BR. “Feasibility of quantitative diffuse reflectance spectroscopy for targeted measurement of renal ischemia during laparoscopic partial nephrectomy,” Journal of Biomedical Optics, 19(10), 107001. 2014.
  6. Schlichenmeyer TC, Wang M, Elfer KN, Brown JQ, “Video-rate structured illumination microscopy for high-throughput imaging of large tissue areas,” Biomedical Optics Express, 5(2): 366-377. 2014.
  7. Mills D, Elfer KN, McNamara Kaitlin, Manuel Morganne, Lvov Y. “Multilayred, Multi-Component Anti-infective Nanocoatings for Biomedcine.” Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, vol. 26 no1. Supplement 917.1. April 2012.

Conference Presentations – *indicates presenting author

  1. Elfer KN*, Samuel Leuthy, Sholl AB, Brown JQ, “Virtual H&E whole-mount fluorescent histology of the entire prostate surface for real-time surgical guidance,” Optical Society of America: 2018 Congress on Biomedical Optics. April 2018.
  2. Elfer KN*, Sholl AB, Wang M, Tulman D, Brown JQ, “Comparison of Monochrome versus Dual-Color Images in Fluorescence Histology on Prostate and Kidney Specimens,” Optical Society of America: 2017 Optics in the Life Sciences. April 2017.
  3. Elfer KN*, Sholl AB, Brown JQ, “Topical Fluorescent Stain System for Point-of-Care Lung and Prostate Cancer,” Optical Society of America: 2016 Congress on Biomedical Optics, Cancer Therapeutics. April 2016.
  4. Wang M*, Tulman D, Elfer KN, Sholl AB, Brown JQ, “Rapid diagnostic imaging and pathologic evaluation of surgical tissue using video rate structured illumination microscopy (VR-SIM).” SPIE9698, Advanced Biomedical and Clinical Diagnostic and Surgical Guidance Systems. April 27, 2016
  1. Elfer K, Moore A*, Kimbrell H, Brown JQ, “Fluorescence Staining Strategies for Histological Assessment of Prostate Biopsy.” 31st World Congress of Endourology & SWL. April 2013.
  2. Wang M*, Elfer K, Hoang N, Khismatullin J, Brown JQ, “Spectroscopic High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) Monitoring in Kidney,” 31st World Congress of Endourology & SWL. April 2013.

National Conference Poster Presentations  – *indicates presenting author

  1. Askinas C, Elfer KN*, Tulman DB, Luethy S, Galliano G, Cohen A, Brown JQ, “Optimizaiton and Validation of BODIPY for Quantification of Steatosis in Donor Transplant Livers,” Optical Society of America: 2018 Congress on Biomedical Optics. April 2018.
  2. Elfer KN*, Sholl AB, Brown JQ, “Fluorescent Periodic Acid and Masson’s Trichrome for non-destructive tissue analysis,” SPIE BiOS Photonics West, January 2018.

Educational Research Activities – *indicates presenting author

  1. [Presentation] Elfer KN*, Hicks N*, Spingola E, Fair K, Rynearson A, “Lessons Learned: Strategies for Creating and Mentoring Diverse Graduate Student Communities,” Association of Engineering Education: 2017 Annual Conference. June 2017.
  2. [Poster] Elfer KN*, “A Preliminary Evaluation of The Tulane Science Scholars Summer Program through Quantitative and Qualitative Self-assessment. (Work in Progress),” Association of Engineering Education: 2017 Annual Conference. June 2017.

PROFESSIONAL SOCIETIES

SPIE – The International Society for Optical Engineering

Optical Society of America (OSA)

Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES)

American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE)

Society of Women Engineers (SWE)


TEACHING EXPERIENCE

Teaching Interests:

Introductory Courses: Engineering Design, Programming (MATLAB, C, C++, HTML), Optics, Image Processing, Materials Science, Nanotechnology, Circuits, Electronics, Cell Biology, Physics, Mathematics for Engineers (applications, statistics)

Advanced Courses: Biophotonics, Signals and Systems, Microscopy and Imaging Techniques, Image Analysis, Biomaterials, and Technical Communication for Scientists and Engineers

 Substitute Instructor: Introduction to Circuits, ENGP 2010

Tulane University, Fall 2013: Managed one TA, two peer mentors, and oversaw 45 undergraduate students

Substituted for the instructor of record as the instructor for 1/3 of course timeline by organizing 18 lectures, 6 homework assignments, and designing and grading 2 exams. I then aided departmental instructors in the design and grading for the remaining 1/3 of the course.

Teaching Assistant: Computing Concepts and Applications, BMEN 2020 + 3 Labs

Tulane University, Spring 2013 | Spring 2017: Managed 2 lab instructors, 52 | 68 undergraduates

Oversaw the 3 days/week labs for the course and organized and presented 6 lectures during the semester. Worked with the instructor to create homework, quizzes and tests and graded exams.

Teaching Assistant: Introduction to Circuits, ENGP 2010

Tulane University, Fall 2012: 56 undergraduates

Worked with the instructor to create homework and tests and graded both homework and exams. Provided regular office hours and oversaw 4 review sessions.

 General Electric Curriculum Development and Teacher for GE Electric Girls

June 2017: 16 5th-7th Graders

Developed STEM curriculum and projects for introduction to circuits, programming, materials science physics, and chemistry for classroom instruction. Managed 16 students from 8am-3pm through daily educational activities.

 Technical Writing Consultant

Louisiana Tech University Writing Center, May 2010-May 2012

Reviewed and suggested corrections for student documents: literature papers, technical manuals, scientific journal articles, and STEM dissertations.

Invited Presentations to the Community

  1. “Girl Scout National Sports Day Career: STEM in Sports.” to the Southeastern Girl Scouts at Tulane Yulman Stadium, February 3, 2018.
  2. “Poster Presentations for Undergraduate Researchers.” to Tulane Center for Learning and Teaching, March 5 & 8, 2017.
  3. “Technical Communication: Connecting with the Audience.” to Tulane Dept. of Pharmacology, May 16, 2016.
  4. “Career Opportunities in STEM: Graduate Education.” to Einstein Charter Middle School, March 8, 2016.

LEADERSHIP/SERVICE

Service to Tulane University

2018    NAE Grand Challenges Scholar Program Graduate Advisor for the new Tulane GCSP

2017    SSE Dean Search Committee

Service to the Tulane Graduate Community

Graduate and Professional Students Association

2016    GSSA Representative

Graduate and Professional Student Affairs Committee

University Senate Social Issues Committee

2015    SSEGSSA Representative

Graduate and Professional Student Affairs Committee

University Senate Social Issues Committee

Graduate Student Studies Association

2016    GSSA President (managed budget of $100k)

Graduate Council SSE Student Representative

2015    Graduate Council SSE Student Representative

Events Committee

Tulane Master Plan Graduate Committee

Biomedical Engineering Representative

2014    Events Committee

Biomedical Engineering Representative

Society of Women Engineers, National Member

2014-18  Graduate Student Mentor for Tulane University Section C066

Women+ in Science and Engineering at Tulane University

2018     Committee member: Mentorship & Outreach, Academic Development, Industry &   Government

2016-17  Co-Founder of gender-identity inclusive group for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows

Co-Chair, organized a graduate fellowship workshop and coordinated other activities for networking, mental wellness, and career development.

Service to K-12 Educators

2016    Assisted a workshop for 6th-12th grade science teachers on how to run local science fairs

Assisted with a Summer EV3 Workshop – instructed teachers on programming a EV3 Robot. (1 week long and 2 individual 1 day long sessions were held.)

2015     Assisted two workshops for 6th-12th grade science teacher on how to run local science fairs

 Service for K-12 Students

GE Girls – Summer Camp for 6th-8th grade students

2017  Designed hands-on STEM coursework, instructed 15 girls in STEM activities

The Perry Initiative – Biomedical Engineering and Orthopedic Workshops for High School Girls

2017    Graduate Volunteer Coordinator, Volunteer

2016    Graduate Volunteer Coordinator, Volunteer           

2015    Advised girls as the only biomedical engineer present at the workshop

Greater New Orleans Science and Engineering Fair

2018    Board Member – Helped organize fair set-up, grand-judging, evaluated project design

Webmaster  – Communicated with awards committees to maintain current information

2017    Board Member – Helped organize fair set-up, grand-judging, evaluated project design

Webmaster  – Communicated with awards committees to maintain current information

2016    Board Member- Helped organize fair set-up, grand-judging, evaluated project design

Webmaster, communicated with awards committees to maintain current information

Girls in STEM at Tulane (GiST)

Middle school girls from the Greater New Orleans participate in a day-long program to experience workshops on college life and academic research labs. Occurs once each Fall and Spring Semester

2018    Group leader and aided in registration of 250 girls

2017    One of 5 coordinators during the events and aided in registration of 250 girls

2016    One of 5 coordinators during the events and aided in registration of 250 girls

2015    One of 5 coordinators during the events and aided in registration of 175 girls

2014    One of 5 coordinators during the events and aided in registration of 120 girls

2013    Committee member for the development and organization of GiST

One of 5 coordinators during the events and aided in registration of 75 girls

Boys at Tulane in STEM (BaTS)

Middle school boys from the Greater New Orleans participate in a day-long program to experience

workshops on college life and academic research labs. Occurs once each Fall and Spring Semester

2017    One of 5 coordinators during the events and aided in registration of 250 girls

2016    Committee member for the development and organization of BaTS

One of 5 coordinators during the events and aided in registration of 70 boys

FIRST Louisiana- Mississippi

A 100% volunteer run not-for-profit organization dedicated to the idea of building and bringing programs to enrich science and technology learning for the students of Louisiana and Mississippi

2017    Planning Committee Member

  • Surveyed potential sites for competitions, filled key volunteer roles, communicated monthly with committee planners
  • Organizes and manages a body of graduate students to help with promotional and educational events throughout the year
  • Contact person between the board and grad student volunteers

2016    Planning Committee Member

  • Surveyed potential sites for competitions, filled key volunteer roles, communicated monthly with committee planners
  • Organizes and manages a body of graduate students to help with promotional and educational events throughout the year
  • Contact person between the board and grad student volunteers
  • Helped run ASEE 2016 FIRST Curriculum Workshop for K-12 Teachers

2015    Planning Committee Member

Graduate Student Volunteer Coordinator

  • Surveyed potential sites for competitions, filled key volunteer roles, communicated monthly with committee planners
  • Contact person between the board and student volunteers

Technology Coordinator for 6 promotional and advisory events through the year

2013-2014 Tulane Student Representative to the Board and Planning Committee Member

  • Surveyed potential sites for competitions, filled key volunteer roles, communicated monthly with committee planners

FIRST Robotics

2017    Lego League – Regional Championship Planning Committee and Referee

Graduate Student Coordinator (organized graduate students for assistance)

FIRST Robotics Competition– Bayou Regional Volunteer Registration Supervisor, Volunteer

2016    Lego League – Regional Championship Production Manager,

Graduate Student Coordinator (organized graduate students for assistance)

FIRST Robotics Competition– Bayou Regional Volunteer Registration Supervisor, Volunteer

2015    Lego League – Regional Championship Production Manager,

Graduate Student Coordinator (organized graduate students for assistance)

FIRST Robotics Competition– Bayou Regional Volunteer Registration Supervisor, Volunteer

2014    Lego League – Regional Championship Production Manager, Volunteer

2013    Lego League – Regional Championship Production Manager, Volunteer

FIRST Robotics Competition– Bayou Regional Volunteer

2012    Lego League Regional Championship Volunteer