Impulses (Sept. 2015 Edition)

Interviewed Student: Zeena Ammar: 5th year BME student

Linda: Do you do any research here at Georgia Tech?
Z: “I did do research my freshman and sophomore year at Tech, but now I do research at Emory with a group called the Grady Trauma Project.”

L: What do you do with the Grady Trauma Project?
Z: “It’s actually in their neuroscience department. They work with people with PTSD, they try to look at like, what genetic components, and a nature vs. nurture type thing. So they look at genetics of the people and then how they were raised, and what components, mixed together, brought about their PTSD. It’s interesting.”

Interviewed Student: Alix Macklin, 3rd year

L: What kind of research do you do?
Alix: “It’s a neuro-mechanics lab, Dr. Ting’s, and her lab actually moved to Emory to get closer to the rehabilitation center. We’re currently not in Whitaker anymore, but the cool thing about her lab is that we have graduate students from Emory, grad students from Georgia Tech in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, so it’s really inter-disciplinary. It’s a combination of mechanical engineering and biomechanics and also looking at how the brain functions. So what our muscles do and the way we move tell us about different brain issues like neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease.”

Interviewed Student: Heena Dani, 5th year BME student

L: What did you do this summer?
Heena: “I worked at a start-up by the airport called Matrix Surgical. I helped them with product development there and I did a co-op there previously.”

L: What kind of projects did you work on during your co-op?
H: “Every semester I worked there, I was working on a different project. I think my favorite was my second semester because I was working on sustaining engineering. That’s when you work on a bunch of products that have already been released out in the market and you are literally sustaining them. I got to work on five or six projects at once and it was crazy, but my favorite was this proposal that I had to make. I was in charge of investigating the sale of this little component in addition to a new product that they rolled out last year because they had been getting feedback from customers such as “hey, we keep losing this little component. Do you guys sell it separately or do we need to buy a whole new kit?” I had to do all the research by talking to marketing, regulatory, and all the other different divisions. I was used to research and development, testing and being in the labs and doing strict document work but then having to go and talk to people and set up meetings – it was interesting!”

Interviewed Student: Michael Harrington, 4th year BME student

L: What was a really memorable BME course you took?
Michael: “What comes to my mind is Dr. Platt’s Cell Physiology. He was very enthusiastic and answered a lot of questions and he helped me realize that I wasn’t that good of a public speaker. I’m not as good as I’d like to be yet. For the class, we had to come up with a different use for a current drug on the market and we had to give a business pitch. In the whole presentation, I was very scientific going about it and went into way too much detail. He helped me realize that you really need to think about who your audience is and target them. It’s a business pitch and I needed to sell the idea rather than talk about the brain or what the drug was targeting.”

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