What leadership roles or volunteer experiences have been important to you during your time at Maryland?
Chemical and BioEngineering Society for graduate students (ChEBES): Secretary from 2005-current
What has your scholarship meant to you and how has it enabled you to pursue new and exciting opportunities?
I had the opportunity to hear Dr. Robert E. Fischell and family talk about their goals at the inauguration of the new Fischell Bioengineering Department ceremony. Their desire and optimistic view on enhancing human health by inventing an array of biomedical products was inspiring to me. So, when I received the Fischell Fellowship in Biomedical Engineering, it was a great honor that my research to engineer an articular cartilage construct was recognized. This scholarship gave me further encouragement to continue pursuing my research.
Why did you choose to attend the University of Maryland, what makes this place special to you and what is your favorite part of being a Terp?
I love the city and the outdoors. So, the location was initially the primary reason why I applied to UM. In 2003, I was given the opportunity to visit the campus and meet with the faculty, staff, and students in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. After this experience, I felt that UM was an excellent match for my graduate career.
How will you make a positive difference in the world?
The reason that I chose to go into graduate school was to pursue bioengineering research, with the idea that I can impact human health in a positive way. Diseased articular cartilage (e.g., tissue found on the surface of knee joints) is commonly known as osteoarthritis, which is one of the leading chronic diseases in the world. I was fortunate to work in a laboratory that utilizes biomaterials to develop a construct that can aid in healing damaged or diseased articular cartilage. Since, articular cartilage does not the ability to naturally heal itself, it is important to create a device to regenerate this tissue. Unfortunately, the current treatments are limited because they provide either invasive or only provide temporary relief. I hope that by engineering an easy injectable articular cartilage construct that can overcome these shortcomings will make a positive difference in the world.