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71: Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Applied to Medicine – Elizabeth Nance

Elizabeth Nance earned a PHD Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from John Hopkins and is an Assistant Professor in Chemical Engineering at the University of Washington focused on nanotechnology – you can see here page here at Nance Lab.

[0:37] Elizabeth did not always know she wanted to go into engineering, in high school she looked into many different career paths.

[1:40] Why she chose Chemical Engineering and Bio-molecular Engineering and not a doctor. A mentor she trusted – if she did not actually want to treat people but rather wanted to work to solve disease and why they occur – the PHD in Engineering was a better choice. – Chemical Engineering is not an applied Chemistry degree it is a lot of math and physics and this can be applied in the health field.

[5:33] Getting into the bio-molecular aspect and how she is applying nano-technology. She does a lot of imaging with the brain and uses nano-technology as a probe in the brain to see how they interact with the brain especially when there is an injury.

[7:40] As a professor Elizabeth gets into questions that she receives on a regular basis from students on how the different engineering degrees can be applied in the health field – there is no right degree.

[13:22] An ah-ha moment Elizabeth turned into success – working in a lab focusing on mucus and working on drugs that can pass through the mucus membrane. Mucus really does protect you so makes it very challenging to get a drug across it. You can design nano-particles to pass through the mucus membrane. She was doing this in her first year of her PHD work.

[19:00] Best piece of advice is from her dad – when getting anxious; be yourself, take a deep breath , and smile. A habit for success is to keep a list of what needs to be done and always tries to seek feedback.

[19:50] Parting guidance – just get out there and try things and invest fully in those experiences.

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