About

Current

I am a graduate student at The University of Texas at Austin, pursuing my PhD in Biomedical Engineering with a Portfolio in Imaging and Informatics. I am co-advised by Dr. James Tunnell (Biophotonics Laboratory) and Dr. Michael Sacks (Willerson Center for Cardiovascular Modeling & Simulation).  In my thesis research, I am developing novel optical techniques to unobtrusively study the complex structure and function of biological tissues. My main projects use polarized light and structured illumination to visualize the microscopic structure of tissue on a macroscopic scale.  My overall goal is to develop optical techniques for studying tissue structure in a quantitative, non-invasive, manner.

Background

In 2013, I obtained a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Northeastern University in Boston, MA, earning minors in Electrical Engineering and Biomechanics. Through Northeastern’s immersive Co-op program, I completed 22 months of full-time work experience at three medical device companies in the greater Boston area.  I additionally spent four years volunteering as an undergraduate research assistant in the Optical Science Laboratory, mentored by Dr. Charles (“Chuck”) DiMarzio, and spent two summers as a research assistant at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. I completed a M.S. in Biomedical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin in 2016.

Future

My interests after completing my doctorate (Dec. 2018 projected) are in medical device development and systems engineering, with a emphasis on medical imaging devices.

Technical Skill-set

I have a strong background in mechanical/electrical/optical system design and instrumentation, image processing, and light scattering theory.  This has included extensive experience using Matlab, Labview, and Solidworks to produce computational models and analyze data, control complex electro-mechanical and optical systems, and design parts and assemblies, respectively.  My research experience has given me deep theoretical insight in the areas of biomedical optics and soft tissue structure, and my industry experience has helped me prepare a practical, engineering-oriented approach to my projects.

Leadership Experience

In addition to my cross-disciplinary technical experience, I have actively cultivated my leadership abilities with a continued presence in numerous leadership positions in student organizations and extracurricular activities. As an undergraduate, I completed the Gordon Engineering Leadership Program and received an Undergraduate Engineering Leadership Certificate. As a graduate student, I’ve supervised nearly 20 senior design teams over three years as a TA for the UT Biomedical Engineering Capstone/Senior Design class, which emphasizes engineering strategies relevant to medical device development. I have additionally mentored 10 undergraduate research assistants, four in conjunction with the UT BME CuRES / UTEP BUILD Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) programs. Also at UT, I’ve served as a chair for both the Graduate Student Recruitment Committee and the Graduate/Undergraduate Research Union, as well as Vice President of the Biomedical Optics Graduate Organization (the UT Chapter of both SPIE and OSA). Finally, as both an undergraduate and graduate student, I’ve served as a captain for both the Northeastern University and The University of Texas Men’s Soccer Clubs.