I well-rounded student and individual. My second semester

I have been fortunate enough to spend the past four years studying Biomedical Engineering
at the University of Rochester. I have also experienced classes in Electrical Imaging, Optics,
Nanotechnology, and Public Health because of my interest in medical imaging and healthcare.
Additionally, I am part of the University of Rochester’s prestigious Take Five Scholars program.
The program provides a tuition-free fifth year as an undergraduate to study a student-designed
interdisciplinary program unrelated to the student’s major. My Take Five program is called
“Chinese Language and Culture” and involves language, anthropology, dance, history, and religion
classes. I chose to focus my program on Chinese because it is the most widely spoken native
language in the world, and was something I did not have prior knowledge about. The Take Five
program has provided an enriching experience that has helped me become a more well-rounded
student and individual.
My second semester at the University of Rochester I began working in the Biomedical
Spectroscopy Lab of Dr. Andrew Berger, of the Institute of Optics. Over the next seven semesters,
I had the opportunity to work with a variety of graduate students on the lab’s unique Integrated
Raman and Angular Microscope system and contribute to the theses of three different graduate
students and a variety of presentations. As the graduate students I worked with mostly had
backgrounds in physics and optics, I was able to bring insight into the biological aspect of our
research. The spring of my junior year, I began working for Dr. Danielle Benoit, a professor of
Biomedical Engineering who focuses on therapeutic biomaterials research. My project in her lab
focused on examining nanoparticle cytotoxicity, size, and stability, and contributed to two
manuscripts (one of which is not yet in print but has been accepted). This experience helped me
grow as a researcher and taught me about common challenges in drug delivery research. My most
recent research experience was this past summer at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
working in the Biophotonics Imaging Lab of Dr. Stephen Boppart. While I had mentorship from
graduate students, this project came with much more freedom than any of my previous
experiences, and allowed me to design my own experimental plan. The goal of my project was to
examine what kind of dynamics could be observed by altering the scanning mechanism of an OCT
system. I presented my original research at the Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting
in October 2017.
Through my research experiences over the past four years, I learned that I enjoy research
and working in an academic setting. I’ve also had extensive experience as a teaching assistant in a
variety of classes at the University of Rochester, and had other experiences involving education.
My growing passions for research and education have inspired me to seek a PhD in the field of
Biomedical Engineering, ideally focusing on biomedical optics or nanotechnology. Pursuing
graduate school at Yale University would fully equip me to complete my career goals of becoming
a professor and conducting research to increase accessibility to quality healthcare around the globe
and promoting a positive learning environment for students and the community. Yale has an
amazing program with vast resources and a lot of research that aligns with my interests. I am
especially interested in Dr. Choma’s research using biomedical optics to improve clinical
diagnoses, Dr. Zucker’s project on computer vision, and Dr. Salzman’s work using
nanoengineering to improve healthcare. I am also interested in being considered for internal
fellowships from Yale. Attending graduate school at Yale and having the opportunity to participate
in the research there would be an amazing experience for me, and I also believe that with my
unique background I would be an asset to the program.