Michael Tian

Home Town: Katy, TX

Major: Biomedical Engineering

Minors: Philosophy and Chemistry

Education: Duke University class of 2022

GCS Advisor: Nenad Bursac

GC Focus: Engineering Better Medicines

GC Thesis Topic: Gene Therapy for Recovery of Cardiovascular Function

Why GCS:

As a Biomedical Engineer and aspiring healthcare provider, my goal is to improve patient outcomes and quality of life around the world. I envisioned my journey starting with participation in clinically translatable research and will later evolving into engagement with biomedical device innovation, novel treatments for disease, and healthcare reform. The Grand Challenge, “Engineering Better Medicines,” embodies my goal by tying together the necessary components to accomplish it: research, innovation and entrepreneurship, and global engagement. While at Duke, I have worked in the Bursac Lab on developing a cardiac gene therapy that recovers the electrical excitability of heart tissue. This is important because electrical signals synchronize the pumping of the body. If heart tissue loses its ability to conduct electricity, it could disrupt blood flow and oxygenation of the body. Our therapy could be used to treat congenital diseases such as Brugada Syndrome and also restore proper heart function after a heart attack. Becoming a Grand Challenge Scholar has equipped me to shape the future of science and healthcare. It has provided essential resources such as funding for summer research, mentorship for entrepreneurial endeavors, and opportunities to collaborate with other scholars in the field.