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When my mother caught the flu last winter, I researched the developmental process of Tamiflu, the medicine she was prescribed, and how it operated to prevent the disease from progressing. I learned how researchers identified a specific protein used for viral transmission, utilized computational tools to identify a potent inhibitor, and brought their findings into clinical use through laboratory experiments. It fascinated me how a simple discovery of a viral protein could lead to something much greater, improving the health of millions. Engineering defines this same innovative process that I love: the application of scientific discoveries to the real world. It is the giver of life to pure research, building up simple concepts like proteins into groundbreaking inventions like anti-flu drugs. I want to be on the forefront of this revolution. I want to become a biomedical engineer.
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However, I face a dilemma: I have only experienced the initial phase of this process. Having the opportunity to design cancer vaccines, develop new chemotherapy treatments, and even grow miniature organs in a cell culture dish has exposed me to the discovery side of engineering, the initial spark that starts it all. Yet, to aid patients in the future through these findings, I need to understand how these discoveries are translated into tangible practicality. So, my love for pure research clashes with my fascination with real-world environments. Through extemporaneous speaking, I have studied topics ranging from the ramifications of US containment policies of malaria to the economic effects of the pharmaceutical industry in domestic markets. How can engineering reconcile laboratory experiments with financial needs, humanitarian efforts, or political events? I recognize that engineering can act as an omnipotent force that encompasses pure science with societal circumstances to advance the human condition. Now I seek to control and understand that power.
Yale Engineering harmonizes these two concepts and provides the perfect environment to fuse the most helpful disciplines of study into one super-solution. In state-of-the-art laboratories, my “discovery” side would be thrilled to continue my scientific pursuits. I would like to explore the application of cutting-edge innovations to medical issues, such as how magnetic nanotubes act hand-in-hand with the biological immune system to treat tumors in the Fahmy lab. Through Yale Engineering, I can then place my scientific pursuits into context by researching the worldly challenges that my innovations can meet. In particular, I am looking forward to taking “Biotechnology and the Developing World” to better understand how innovations are implemented to address needs in developing countries. Additionally, I plan to engage with the Center for Biomedical and Interventional Technology (CBIT) to understand the economic and business aspects of translating an idea into a novel medical technology.
I stand between two giants: pure science research and real-world circumstances. I seek to integrate these traditionally partitioned fields by applying my research to unmet societal contexts. As a solver of problems, I see no other way to do this than to take the form of Yale’s Y-shaped engineer.
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