Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Graduation date: Spring 2022
FURI | Fall 2020
Assessment of Injury Induced Blood Brain Barrier Disruption and Necroptosis via Development of Rapid Data Analysis PipelinePrevious modes of image analysis were determined to be unfit for efficient usage in laboratory analysis tasks. Improvements were made upon the Java application created during Summer 2020 FURI, including heightened automation ability, cell counting, and overlaid signal characterization. The precision tools included in the customizable program allow for time efficient and accurate analysis of colorimetric (i.e. horseradish peroxidase) and fluorescence (i.e. immunofluorescence) staining in tissue samples. The analysis completed using this program allowed for the characterization of neurodegeneration in post TBI mice brain tissue.
Mentor: Sarah Stabenfeldt
Featured project | Fall 2020
Why did you choose the project you’re working on?
I chose to create and complete analysis using my Java based program because of user need. I was previously involved in other modes of data and image analysis, and this work was far too time-consuming and error-prone. Especially in a time like now, during COVID-19, researchers should not have to use their valuable time clicking more buttons than they need to, reperforming analysis due to error and sorting through a multitude of features they cannot use. My program decreases the time of analysis while maintaining accurate results. This can help researchers gain back some of the time they may have lost to analysis to spend elsewhere.
Have there been any surprises in your research?
As biomedical engineering only requires one semester of Java programming, I was expecting my FURI project to be a challenge. However, once I learned more about Java’s Swing library, which allows set up of the user interface, it surprised me how easily I could compound on my basic code to add more features. Once I put work into getting the outline of my project coded, adding more and more was easy!
How will your engineering research project impact the world?
My research project will decrease the time taken to analyze tissue samples that could be revolutionizing medicine in the future. The Java project will help researchers and professionals finish tasks in shorter periods of time without sacrificing accuracy or precision in their work. Features can easily be added to the project to support continued growth or increase the scope of research it is usable in.
What has been your most memorable experience as a student researcher in FURI?
My most memorable experience as a student researcher during this program was definitely the response my project received. As the use of my project would require researchers to spend a bit of time learning how it works, I expected some push back from people hesitant to stop use of their usual analysis programs. While the project is still being perfected and features are continually added, most people I have gotten feedback from are eager to use my program. This was truly more than I could have hoped for, and I am glad that the work I put in can have the chance to help researchers in their future studies.
How do you see this experience helping with your career?
I believe this project aids in diversifying my skill set and may open up many different avenues for me in the future. Generally, biomedical engineering does not involve entire project creation, so the creation of this Java project could allow me to complete jobs strictly in programming or jobs within biomedical engineering.
What is the best advice you’ve gotten from your faculty mentor?
My faculty mentor, Dr. Sarah Stabenfeldt, helped encourage me to pursue a project that wasn’t necessarily my area of expertise. While it is advantageous to play to your strengths, it can be useful to go out of your comfort zone — learning new things in the process!