What inspires you to focus your time and mind on helping others:
I consider myself extremely fortunate for the opportunities I’ve had. Although I’ve worked really hard to get where I am, I understand that not everyone has had the same opportunities. Therefore, I find it so rewarding to give back to the community and help others follow their dreams.
You were chosen to be on ProMazo’s list of Most Interesting Students for a reason. Do you have any advice for other students hoping to create their own success:
Be persistent. Everyone fails sometimes, but it’s important to never underestimate your potential for success. It’s really easy in the age of social media to compare yourself to others – for example when reading ProMazo’s list of Most Interesting Students – but you often do not get their full story including their failures and insecurities. The successes result from overcoming these hurdles and always continuing to pursue your goals.
To be honest, I don’t have a favorite quote. In high school I was moved by Gandhi’s “Be the change you wish to see in the world” but later found out he was only purported to have said this. Although it’s a simplification, the message is still important to me: play an active role in making improvements and advancements in society.
Biggest role models or inspirations:
My biggest role model is Bob Langer, so I am extremely fortunate to be able to call him a mentor and advisor. Besides his seemingly endless list of publications, patents, companies, and awards, he is genuinely an amazing person who really cares about making a difference in the world. Additionally, there are many successful female professors who I look to as inspiration including Sangeeta Bhatia who is one of my committee members and Paula Hammond who is the head of the Department of Chemical Engineering at MIT.
I have a minor obsession with sharks. Not like I have hundreds of stuffed animal sharks in my bedroom or anything but I’ve been swimming with sharks and cage diving with great whites, and I’m fascinated by these majestic and largely misunderstood creatures.
My favorite hobbies almost exclusively combine working out and being outdoors. I love running along the Esplanade in Boston, rowing down the Charles River, rock climbing, weight lifting, swimming, camping and hiking in New Hampshire in the summer, and snowboarding in Maine in the winter. I also have my scuba diving certification and my motorcycle license and am always searching for a new adventure.
My ideal career path is to defend my Ph.D., complete a post doc, and become a faculty member at a major research university. I am passionate about mentoring, teaching, and the potential of translating my research into clinical products.