I am an electrical engineering-in-training (EIT) currently completing a Master of Science in Neuroscience. I am interested in how technology can be applied to solve medical problems — especially in the context of the nervous system, such as the brain and the spinal cord. Specifically, I am interested in neural interfaces — devices that allow for direct connections between the nervous system and external technologies — and how these devices can be used to restore and augment human function.
What are you researching and what do you hope comes out of your research?
I work within a group researching an implantable technology for the spinal cord that could restore the ability to stand and walk among those paralyzed by severe spinal cord injury. Within this group, I am designing and fabricating a new microimplant made from flexible materials which may be more effective and safer than anything available today. I hope that in the future, my design will improve the efficacy of this implantable technology for restoring the ability to walk in people with spinal cord injury.
How did presenting a Three Minute Thesis (3MT) help explain your research?
Writing and presenting a 3MT was an excellent opportunity to improve the way I communicate the importance of my research. Often within scientific research, the overall goal and significance can be inaccessible due to technical and scientific jargon. Participating in 3MT helped me break down my research to its fundamental goal and impact.
Define "For the Public Good" in your own words.
"For the Public Good" means to benefit the whole of society and those within it. Through medical research, we can apply problem solving and critical thinking to problems that directly impact people's lives. The outcomes of (our) research can directly benefit those in need.
What inspires you to do research?
I am inspired by a future where technology is seamlessly integrated into our lives and can treat diseases and injuries that were previously untreatable.
If you have to dedicate your research to anyone from the past, present, or future, who would it be and why?
I would dedicate this research to people in the future who may experience a spinal cord injury or other neurological disease or disorder; in this future, I hope treatment will be an accessible option, not a distant goal.
3MT Keywords: spinal cord injury; walking; technology