B.S.E. Biomedical Engineering, Minor in Dance
Class of 2022
Hometown: Wilmette, IL
GC Focus: Engineering Better Medicines
Advisor: Ashutosh Chilkoti
As a Grand Challenge Scholar, I hope to engineer better medicines. While “better medicine” could be defined in many ways, I am interested in two aspects. One way to make medicines better is to increase their availability and accessibility. I want to improve the cost-efficiency of medical devices and diagnostic equipment that are easily available to the wealthy or to citizens of first-world countries, but not to those living in poverty all over the world. As science makes groundbreaking advances, we need to make sure that everyone on the planet is able to benefit and that we use the resources available to us to help those that do not have the same access. I am currently working in a biomedical engineering laboratory on a project to develop a point of care test for breast cancer tumor markers that can be used in the developing world, where pathology resources are scarce. A second way to engineer better medicines could be to expand what we consider to be the traditional realm of medicine. Dance is generally not considered a “hard” science or a conventional medical therapy, but many medical professionals, from psychologists to physical therapists, have found that dance enhances their ability to treat their patients. As a dancer and a dance minor, I hope to further explore how dance can be applied to improving medicine and healthcare. Designing healthcare solutions requires an interdisciplinary approach. In democratizing global healthcare, it is important to go abroad and see firsthand what healthcare infrastructure looks like in other countries. It is important to be able to engage industry in developing better, cost-effective medical devices. The Grand Challenge Scholars program will help me to develop an interdisciplinary problem-solving approach, learn how I can use my engineering skills to help others, and become a better engineer.