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12 Days Untill BIO 2015: My Path From BioGENEius Contestant To Judge

June 3, 2015

I have always been interested in science and research but had no idea that my curiosity would guide me to where I am today — a medical student seeking avenues for incorporating new technology into medicine. It all started with listening to my parents, who are research scientists, talk about their projects when I was young. Their research inspired me to learn as much as I could, especially when it came to science and technology.

The BioGENEius Challenge was my first competition and provided me with the unique opportunity to attend the BIO International Convention and become immersed in the biotechnology sector. Interacting with like-minded individuals was thrilling for me, so I returned to the International BioGENEius Challenge three years in a row! 

Meeting the other BioGENEius contestants, all with diverse projects and experience, helped me understand the far-reaching impact our research could have on solving big challenges, like cancer or environmental sustainability. This understanding motivated me to continue my scientific journey as I transitioned from high school to college, earning a B.S. in Biological Sciences with a concentration in Cell and Molecular Biology & Genetics and a minor in Biochemical Engineering.

Following college, I sought out more research experience, working on a project seeking to develop renewable energy using mechanical force produced by bacteria spores at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard Medical School. During my time in Boston, I was excited to serve as an international judge for the 2012 BioGENEius competition. Words can’t express how valuable that experience was — mentoring students interested in biotechnology was a great reminder of the potential our younger generations have to change the world.

I am currently attending medical school at Thomas Jefferson University as a way to follow my interest of incorporating new technology with medicine. Recently, I founded the first student chapter of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs and was also was a finalist for Jefferson’s version of Shark Tank called the “JAZtank.” I submitted an on-demand, personalized, mobile app/web-based delivery service for relief to individuals using over-the-counter medication.

In the future I plan to continuously remain connected to biotechnology, whether as a champion through inventions of my own, or as a mentor and teacher for the future. Inspiring biotechnology students is critically important to why I have applied again to be a judge for the 2015 International BioGENEius competition. I look forward to continuing to share my experiences with the brightest students and biotechnology leaders in the world.