Please provide your lab and description of research.
I'm currently rotating in the Pappu Lab, where I'm currently exploring patchy colloid models of self-assembly. My project revolves around uncovering the design principles for the phase behavior of patchy colloids in cellular milieus. This work is being driven by computer simulations and theoretical calculations.
Where did you complete your undergraduate degree?
What played into your decision to get a graduate engineering degree?
I've always enjoyed research and have always known I wanted to spend my career in academia. PhD programs are an excellent way to both develop skills in particular areas of interest and to become a better scientist overall.
Why did you pick WashU?
My undergraduate PI received his doctorate from WashU and always spoke very highly of the BME department, its graduate program and the university as a whole. When I began applying to schools during my senior year, I found the research being performed by nearly every department member to be incredibly impressive.
What was your favorite course and why?
So far, my favorite course is "Chemistry and Physics of Biomolecules." Its topics are closely related to my lab's work, and while there's certainly a steep learning curve when entering a new field, this class has managed to cover topics quickly and thoroughly without being unnecessarily stressful.
Who is your favorite instructor and why?
I've really enjoyed Jay Ponder's style of teaching. His enthusiasm for the field keeps students engaged and he has the wonderful ability to accessibly present concepts while still covering all the details necessary for a thorough understanding.
What advice would you give to a new student?
Focus on absorbing relevant concepts instead of getting straight As. Take classes that will help you in your research, ones that either introduce (or re-introduce) you to the core ideas of the field or ones that you think could be applied alongside your lab's current directions.
What is your favorite thing about St. Louis?
Forest Park is incredible. It's quickly become my go-to route for morning runs.
What campus activities or groups would you recommend to a new student?
Stay connected with your class and go to random events together, you usually end up having fun regardless of the activity.