Michigan Tech senior Eli Vlaisavljevich was recently awarded two academic awards.
The Shoreview, Minn., native was named to the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-American Second Team and was awarded a WCHA Post-Graduate Scholarship.
Vlaisavljevich was a four-year competitor and defenseman for the Huskies who compiled a perfect 4.0 grade-point average while playing in 111 collegiate games (2006-10). He was named the WCHA Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year as a senior in 2009-10 and graduated with a degree in Biomedical Engineering. He was named a WCHA Scholar-Athlete three times (2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10) and three times earned All-WCHA Academic Team honors. He has been awarded the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship, Michigan Tech’s Provost Award for Scholarship, and earned ESPN the Magazine Academic All-American Second Team honors.
“Eli is the true example of a student-athlete,” said MTU head coach Jamie Russell. “He had an amazing academic career at Michigan Tech and was a terrific ambassador for Michigan Tech hockey. As a player, Eli worked very hard and had a fantastic attitude. When faced with adversity, Eli always looked for the positives and did a lot to help the younger players in their development. His attitude toward service was phenomenal as he volunteered on many occasions at elementary schools and with junior hockey. He was an outstanding role model and a shining example of all that is good about collegiate athletics.”
“My current plan is to attend graduate school in Biomedical Engineering to develop novel ‘adhesion activated‘ biomaterials to combat infection and fibrous encapsulation,” said Vlaisavljevich. “I plan to design biomaterials that actively prevent local biofilm formation and aberrant cell behavior at tissue-biomaterial interfaces. To do this, I plan to develop polymer-condensed drug eluting constructs targeting dendritic cells and bacterial adhesins to prevent biofilm formation. I want to pursue this graduate work because it focuses many of the different aspects of my undergraduate research onto a clinically relevant problem. I am interested in similar work being done at the University of Washington as well as three other universities I am currently deciding between.
"I am confident this will prepare me for my goal of a career in the medical research field.”