I hope to be able to make a difference in the lives of patients with cancer. I believe the first challenge is developing better diagnostic and prognostic tests to better inform treatment decisions.

I am developing the fundamental framework necessary to design tests for cancer using the biosensing and photonics expertise in the Armani lab. I believe that in the future smart diagnostics will be conducted in primary care facilities during the patient visit. This will improve care for all cancer patients by giving their physicians more personalized information about their disease.

Please take a look at my Google Scholar page

A Growing Issue

With half of American men and one third of American women projected to be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime new tools be developed to help oncologists treat their patients.

Current Bottlenecks

New mandatory annual screenings of all past smokers for lung cancer are placing huge stress on the system. Existing methods are not specific enough to reliably detect cancer early in its progression.

The Future of Care

New diagnotistic methods paired with PET and CT scans have the potential to enable a larger number of facilities to test patients with a much lower false positive rate, relieving the burden on specialists.

Past Research Projects

Peptide Inhibition of HIV Binding

Using gene therapy I worked to insert peptide sequences between the subunits of the primary HIV binding sites. The model was tested in cell culture and mouse models and is currently under investigation for future applications.

Lukemia Combination Therapy

The complexity of cancer frequently necessitates the use of multiple drugs in order to combat the disease and stave off resistant mutations. Therefore, I worked to develop a method for high throughput screening of combination therapies to treat Lukemia.

Elastin-like-Polypeptides

In the hopes of creating the next generation of drug delivery molecules I worked to develop genetically engineered peptides that would release chemotherapy agents according to a temperature gradient. The work has since been expanded upon and is being tested in animal models.

Organic Magnetic Nanoparticles

My first self-identified research project was my senior year in high school. I developed a way to genetically engineer E. coli and yeast to create large numbers of magnetic particles for use in nanotechnology. I then proved these synthesized magnets could be functionalized to other molecules of interest for use in future studies.

Learn more about how I am developing my professional skills to work as a bridge between physicians, patients, and companies to improve cancer care through patient advocacy both during my graduate program and career.

My experiences working across a wide range of environments, including conducting research in academic and pharmaceutical laboratories, volunteering in hospitals, and consulting in corporate sales, have confirmed that we have the knowledge to develop tools that improve both the physical and emotional wellbeing of patients.

Mentorship

High School

Showing High School students our lab and providing awareness and excitement about engineering is one of my favorite parts of being a PhD student.

Undergraduate

Mentoring college students is one of the most challenging and rewarding parts of my education. I mentor four undergraduates who work ten hours per week.

InDepth

In my senior design class I developed a "stud finder for arteries" aimed at improving care for infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. I have since worked with my teammates to further develop the design. To date we have raised over $50,000 and are in the process of filing for an LLC and a provisional patent.

HTE@USC

I am excited to be part of an Interdisciplinary program where PhD and MD students work together to develop medical technologies to address unmet needs. This program provides me an outlet for my desire to identify problems faced by physicians and developing new technologies to improve patient care.

Diagnoptix

Through HTE I'm working with three MD candidates to develop new hospital based rapid optics tests for common bacterial infections. My expertise developing nanophotonics devices has enabled me to help design and fabricate alternative solutions to traditional blood culture methods.

Additional Interests

Cancer Nonprofit Work

I have so much fun being involved with organizations like First Descents that work with young adult survivors of cancer. They have so much joy and great suggestions for improvement in care.

Engineers Without Borders

One of the most worthwhile experiences I've been a part of has been Engineers Without Borders. Working with the community in Honduras has enabled me to use my engineering degree to help others.

STEM Education Outreach

USC's location enables us to work with local students to encourage them to pursue STEM education. I love working with different organizations to teach the next generation.

Outdoor Adventures

My love of the outdoors has been one of my most defining qualities since I was a child. My greatest accomplishment was climbing Mt. Whitney with some of my closest friends.

Would you like to learn more about me?

Please send me an email with your question and I will be happy to get in touch.
Special thanks to the ARCS Foundation for naming me as a scholar for the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 school years.