I had the privilege of interviewing Rachel Fan a junior, who attended the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) conference this year. She is apart of the Integrated Business and Engineering (IBE) program and is doing the materials and mechanical Bioengineering track. The main reason she decided to pursue this route is because she really likes the physical aspect of this track and how many applications it has to different aspects of the human body. She decided to pursue research at Lehigh because Lehigh is so strong in that area and there are a lot of opportunities for undergraduates to do research. Rachel worked with Professor Chow this summer, and was able to get paid to do the research through Grants in Experiential Learning in Health (GELH). Her research involved designing scaffolding made out of plastic and the goal was to see if peptides could grow on the scaffolding. However, the main goal of this project is to design scaffolding that promotes cell growth.
This could have many implications for incorporating devices into the body, and actually have the cells growing on the device. Through this research Rachel was able to apply to attend the BMES conference this year. She said overall the experience made her love her research even more and that each time she talked about her research it seemed to have more and more meaning. Her favorite part about the conference was presenting and she said the whole experience was really fulfilling. There were organizations there recruiting for graduate school and it made her consider graduate school as an option after graduation. She also was able to see a few presentations and talks at the conference. They had a huge book filled with presentations in all different areas and she said it was so hard deciding which one to go to. She ended up going to a talk about careers in industry, which she said was really helpful. Currently, she is doing research for 2 credits, which translates to about 6 hours a week. She really loves what she is doing though and recommends that everyone should do research at Lehigh if they have the time.