Brandon Holt: Senior Writer

Photographer: Samantha Hestad

Brandon Holt knew from his early years of undergraduate school what he wanted to do with his career. He began conducting research during spring semester of his freshman year. Holt graduated Georgia Tech with a Biomedical Engineering degree and Physics minor. Now, he is continuing his education at Tech through graduate school pursuing his PhD in BME.

Holt secured a research position upon the influence of his BME student mentor. He worked under Dr. Todd Sulchek whose research interest include Bioengineering and Microengineering. Holt’s research focused on manipulating microparticles to either kill pathogens or save cells for medical conditions like sepsis.

In addition to from research, Holt also appreciated his physics classes. “My favorite classes at Tech were the classes for my Physics minor. I really enjoyed NeuroPhysics which had a research focus,” Holt said. He also wrote for the Pioneer, involved in Tech’s ice hockey club, and swam with the varsity swim team. Holt’s summers at Tech mainly involved doing research over internships and co-ops. He was also a member of the iGEM team in 2015 in a synthetic biology worldwide competition.

Although Holt chose to stay at Tech for graduate school, he also received admission from various other schools such as MIT and Johns Hopkins offering similar graduate programs. He explains that graduate school life is not very different from undergraduate life.

“You take less classes and they are geared toward what you are interested to learn,” he explained.

Brandon Holt

Holt is taking two classes this semester and focusing the rest of his time on research. During the week, Holt spends a large amount of time dedicated to research. “The work never stops,” Holt said. His current work focuses on developing nanoparticles to detect immune activity and diagnose or predict disease. Holt attests that his immense undergraduate research involvement has been a benefit during graduate school.

Holt advises freshmen and sophomores interested in research to read up on professor’s published journals and do their research.

“You should know what you talking about when you talk to them about getting a research position.”

Junior and Seniors, on the other hand, should have a post graduate plan ready. This can either be industry, medical school, or graduate school. However, Holt emphasizes that students should narrow down on their greatest assets when finding a job.

“Most juniors and seniors focus on getting the perfect job, but if you focus on your strongest experiences then that should get you to where you want to be,” he said.

Holt has high goals in his future after graduate school. He aims to utilize his research skills with a post doctor study in another lab, and his long term goal is to run his own lab as a professor at a university to inspire future undergraduates who are research driven like he was.