Please provide your lab and description of research.
The Chen ultrasound lab. My work is to develop a diagnostic and therapeutic ultrasound tool in the preclinical large-animal model. Using focused ultrasound in combination with microbubbles, I can enable noninvasive liquid biopsies of brain tumors and enhance delivery of chemotherapeutic drugs.

Where did you complete your undergraduate degree?
UC San Diego

What played into your decision to get a graduate engineering degree?
I would consider my career a success if I can improve upon the gold standards that clinicians use to diagnose and treat patients. I've learned that many of the conventional techniques used to treat neurological disorders and brain tumors have not seen significant improvement for many decades. I aspire to make a lasting impact by enhancing patient care through the development of novel techniques. I am getting my graduate engineering degree to hone the skills that will push me closer and closer to my goal.

Why did you pick WashU?
I chose WashU because of its commitment to interdisciplinary collaboration and providing resources to its researchers. No other university could match WashU's biomedical expertise and equipment.

What was your favorite course and why?
My favorite course was Neural Systems. It was difficult with a vast amount of material, but I learned a lot and have even applied some of the concepts to my research. It had a great mix of lectures from various faculty that have their own niches and areas of expertise, so each class felt like I was learning something new from a different perspective. The labs were a great opportunity to translate the principles and key findings that were taught in lectures to actual experiments.

Who is your favorite instructor and why?
My favorite instructor was Hong Chen. I took her ultrasound imaging class and it was exactly what I needed to learn the fundamentals of ultrasound. With her instruction, it became clear that the principles and physics behind ultrasound can be applied to other disciplines. Not only did I become a more well-rounded scholar, but I also grew to be a more capable researcher through Dr. Chen's advice on how best to carry out research.

What advice would you give to a new student?
My advice would be to keep an open mind. You may come into graduate school knowing exactly what you want to research or have no idea. Either way, going to seminars, paying attention in class and talking with faculty are great opportunities to see what WashU has to offer. With an open mind, you can foster collaborations, play to your strengths, improve your gaps of knowledge, and explore old and new research interests over your graduate career.

What is your favorite thing about St. Louis?
My favorite thing about St. Louis is that it has a big city feel in a smaller package. It keeps the diversity of cultures, cuisines, attractions, while not being limited by traffic or the need to drive everywhere for more than 30 minutes.

What campus activities or groups would you recommend to a new student?
would recommend working with the Young Scientist Program. They work with local high schools to foster an interest in STEM from underrepresented students and prepare them for college. We have bimonthly meetings where we offer mentorship and have hands-on experiments that cement the concepts they are learning in their curriculum. I found it extremely rewarding to meet with the students, increase their participation and enthusiasm for science, and see them mature into smart, independent students over time.

What are your plans for the future?
My plan after graduation is to have a career in industry where I can continue my development of multimodal diagnostic and therapeutic techniques. I hope that I can further enhance patient care by developing and improving the techniques that directly impact patients in the clinic.