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How BioGENEius Led Me To Discover My Passion for Biotechnology

May 27, 2015
As a wide-eyed 15-year old, I presented my research on epigenetics to an eminent panel of Ph.Ds. The setting was the BioGENEius Challenge alongside the 2009 BIO International Convention in Atlanta. The participation and the recognition for my work during the Convention in Atlanta ignited my passion for a career in biotechnology.

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I have always aspired to be a change-maker making an enduring impact on society. I found a purposeful pathway in biotechnology through the BioGENEius Challenge that discovers young scientists pursuing bold innovations.

BioGENEius showed me the immense potential of biotechnology to improve people’s lives by increasing the availability and quality healthcare solutions. It helped me develop a deeper understanding of the profound therapeutic effects of biotechnology on the lives of people who are afflicted by debilitating medical conditions. Going from fearing death by pneumonia one day, to having access to life-saving biotechnologies is progress. Seeing these types of innovations solidified my desire to play a vital role in sustaining such improvements in people’s lives around the world.

I embarked on a new research journey after the International BioGENEius Challenge and focused on neuroscience. I worked with researchers to find methods to prevent, treat and diagnose neurodegenerative diseases of aging. My exposure to biotechnology at an early age then inspired me to join the Vagelos Life Sciences and Management dual-degree Program at the University of Pennsylvania. This program has allowed me to fuse my interest in biology and business toward a career in life sciences. It has also helped me realize that scientists need to work alongside investors, governments and humanitarians to get their innovations to those who need them.

I have constantly integrated science research into my college experience by leading the Penn Undergraduate Biotechnology Society and pursuing innovative research projects at renowned labs at Penn at in UT Southwestern. It has been inspiring to listen to and interact with biotechnology entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. It has been eye- opening to work on translational neuroscience research involving novel approaches to treat Schizophrenia, HIV-associated dementia and Parkinson’s. It has been fulfilling to see some of my research get validated by patent examiners and become published by the USPTO.

I aspire to take the strong foundation I’ve gained through research and combine it with my leadership skills to become an intellectually vital scientist and a smart humanitarian. My long-term goal is to run a large biotechnology company and have a direct impact on the progress of life sciences and the global community. I am determined to be the best innovator, leader, humanitarian and change-maker that I can be. International BIO has provided me the ideal setting and inspiring mentors to cultivate my skills and enrich my worldview. I hope to continue to serve as a connected and driven ambassador of BioGENEius and BIO for years to come.