What research do you do?
I employ tissue engineering and mechanical engineering concepts to create microscale devices to model various diseases. The end goal is that people can use these devices for their studies instead of animals or humans.
Despite the obvious drawbacks of using animals or humans (cost, time, ethical problems), it is also difficult to conduct controlled studies between two specific variables and it is even more difficult to do these on a high-throughput scale. By developing these devices, I hope to remedy some of these problems.
How did you find your faculty mentor?
I sent him an email because I was interested in his work a little over a year ago and I have been working with him ever since then.
What have you learned from conducting research?
Numerous technical skills such as tissue engineering, micropatterning, microfabrication, material synthesis and characterization, and many others.
I have also had many opportunities to advance professionally as I attended and presented my work at the American Association for Cancer Research this April. Also, throughout the year, I was writing a paper on my research and reading journal articles. My experiences taught me how to present, write, and critically analyze scientific works.
What advice would you have for students wanting to do research?
Doing research well takes a lot of patience and a lot of work. It’s better to do a good job the first time than having to repeat experiments 3-4 times for a pointless reason. For my first project, it took me 17 experiments until I started getting data and another 12 experiments to finish the project. My second project I started getting data after the 3rd experiment due to better planning.
What are some other activities you like to do, in addition to being a rockstar researcher?
I scribe at a hospital, do clinical research, and longboard.
Fun Fact about yourself?
I like to take naps.