B.S. Biomedical Engineering
What first inspired you to study engineering?
I was inspired me to pursue biomedical engineering after a rare athletic injury that cut my soccer career short. Biomedical engineers innovate solutions to medical problems, ensuring that patients can return to doing what they love after a disease or disability. I was passionate about medicine, but I was also interested in how I could improve current methods of treatment and help to push the field forward.
What was a highlight of your time at USC Viterbi?
A highlight of my time at USC Viterbi was participating in the Viterbi Overseas program in Paris, France. During the summer after my sophomore year, I took a writing and engineering course with Viterbi faculty in Paris. I lived with my Viterbi friends in an apartment that was a seven-minute walk from the Eiffel Tower!
Are there any extracurricular activities or organizations you have been part of during your studies?
I am currently the president of the Associated Students of Biomedical Engineering (ASBME). ASBME is a student-run organization that puts on a comprehensive calendar of professional, academic, social, mentorship, and community outreach events for the biomedical engineering student body at USC. Our flagship event is the USC Makeathon, an undergraduate medical device design competition that we successfully pivoted to an online format this year. Twelve student teams brainstorm, 3D model, and present a device that solves a real-world health challenge.
Tell us about the research you have been working on that made an impact on you.
I have worked in Professor Cristina Zavaleta’s molecular imaging and nano diagnostics laboratory for the past four years. My main project was to characterize the optical properties of dyes and tattoo inks that have never been investigated before for use as imaging agents. A fellow undergraduate student and I published the paper as first co-authors in August 2020. Since then, the article has garnered a lot of media attention with features in the Viterbi Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, and local LA news.
What are your plans after graduation?
I will be taking a gap year to apply for both MD and MD-PhD degree programs while pursuing research internships at the University of Washington and the University of Cambridge in England. In my internships, I will be doing similar research to what I do now: imaging strategies to guide the surgical resection of tumors.
What is something you’ll miss most about USC?
I am going to miss my Viterbi friends the most! I made deep and meaningful relationships during my four years, and I am looking forward to seeing what my friends will accomplish after graduation.