Dustin Tyler's research group to host three summer interns

Three interns will join Human Fusions Institute Director Dustin Tyler’s research group this summer, each bringing their unique perspectives and skills: Morgan Creighton, an Emory University student, and two high school students, Cait Ahn, a member of Choate Rosemary Hall’s Class of 2025, and Aashvi Jagetia, a member of Hathaway Brown School’s Class of 2026.

Creighton, a passionate neuroscience student from Emory, is eager to join the Cleveland VA’s Wen H. Ko summer internship program. She will be working closely with Ph.D. student Margaux Randolph on exploring needle configuration for delivering interfascicular electrodes. Her excitement about this new research opportunity at Case Western Reserve University is palpable as she looks forward to learning from experts in biomedical engineering and neuro-engineering, and to delving into the unique research and culture of the institution. Her enthusiasm extends to her interest in using medical devices and technology to treat motor system impairments.

a headshot of Morgan Creighton

Creighton's long-term goal is to become a research scientist at a Veterans Affairs hospital, a field she is already familiar with. She has previously participated in the prestigious Veterans Affairs Summer Research Program at the University of South Carolina, where she made significant contributions to the understanding of behavioral disorders. Her experience includes using high-performance liquid chromatography and tissue collection to establish endophenotypes, DNA extraction, PCR, and gel electrophoresis protocols for genotyping, and studying patterns of neuronal activation through immunohistochemistry.

As an undergraduate research assistant in the Rehabilitation and Applied Movement Performance Lab at Emory, Creighton has been involved in several innovative projects. Her primary research interests include neuro engineering, exoskeletons, stimulation in rehabilitation, and neurological-driven medical devices. One of her notable achievements is the development of a prototype propulsion system at school to lift a wheelchair, allowing a user to sit at a 5’6” eye level. This project demonstrates her innovative thinking and potential contributions to the field.

Ahn will also be coming to Cleveland for the first time and will spend the summer primarily working with Ph.D. students Laura McGann and Rachel Jakes. In 2023, she saw the 60 Minutes episode highlighting Tyler’s research. “Learning about all the projects and research the professors were involved in and developing sparked an interest and fascination in me so great that it made me want to do similar work,” she said. “I looked up the professors and came across HFI while trying to figure out where I could dip at least my toe in this research.” When she arrives at CWRU, she hopes to be involved with designing and fabricating parts necessary for neuroprosthetics or NeuroReality.

A headshot of Cait Ahn

A high school robotics team member, Ahn has wondered "how things were made" since her early years. As a youth, she removed cardboard boxes from her family's recycle bin, cut them up, and made machines. "While not all of them worked perfectly, I seemed to really love figuring out how to concoct something from scratch and create something that was somewhat functional." As a high school freshman, she took a course in reverse engineering, completing a motion-sensing candy dispenser as her final project.

Looking back on her projects completed so far, Ahn is most proud of correctly computer-aided designing, computer-aided manufacturing, cutting, and using template polycarb numbers to make team numbers for robot bumpers on her school’s robotics team. Having just learned how to do computer-aided manufacturing and work the computer numerical control machine, she was excited to accomplish this project without assistance.

Ahn is primarily interested in bioengineering and behavioral neuroscience. As her career takes off, she hopes to use her engineering skills to "better the human experience."

Jagetia is also a member of her high school’s robotics team. When she first joined the team, her main task was designing and building the robot. During the 2023-24 school year, she joined the programming team and was given the opportunity to program the camera. Her work on the camera helped track the robot's movement, leading to the team advancing far in competitions.

A headshot of Aashvi Jagetia

The daughter of a software engineer, Jagetia became interested in the field when she began learning about what her father does for a career. She is primarily interested in software, programming languages, and "just solving everyday problems to make life easier for others." When she heard about her school’s Fellowship in Science Research & Engineering Program, she jumped at the opportunity to get experience working in a lab.

The Cleveland local of the intern group, Jagetia will also be working with McGann and Jakes this summer. “I'm looking forward to gaining some experience, meeting others with experience in the engineering field, and learning more from them,” she said.