In mid-March, the world came to a screeching halt. At least, that’s what it felt like to members of the Student Project Teams at Cornell Engineering. Campus closed and in-person work was suddenly... Read more about Project Teams rise to the challenge
Alexander Sorets, B.S. '19
Where are they now? - update May 2020: After graduating in May of 2019, Alex started the BME PhD program at Vanderbilt in the fall. He says it has been an amazing experience so far - "it is really a privilege to learn about a particular topic in great depth and then try to advance the field or develop new treatments for disease." Under the co-advising of Professor's Ethan Lippmann and Craig Duvall, Alex's research is focused on developing novel strategies to deliver therapeutic compounds to the brain to combat age-associated cognitive decline. He says developing new relationships (both within and outside the BME program) and exploring Nashville has been very rewarding.
Why did you choose Cornell?
In addition to the many research opportunities, a big factor for me was the community. When I visited, I felt very welcome and enjoyed being surrounded by other curious and motivated students.
Why did you choose to major in BME at Cornell?
Biomedical engineering is a field that is focused on developing technologies to treat disease and improve patient quality of life. I wanted to choose a major that allowed me to apply engineering principles to solve biological problems to help patients.
Brief description of your research topic/ Lab(s)/Adviser(s):
I worked in Professor Michael King’s lab at Cornell and over the summer at Vanderbilt. The main research thrust of the lab is to conjugate cancer-specific drugs to leukocytes in the blood stream to enable them to target circulating tumor cells and prevent cancer metastasis.
What opportunities has the major given you so far?
A tremendous amount of opportunities. I have been able to conduct research in a lab and be a teaching assistant for two courses. I believe that the BME major helped a lot when I was applying to Ph.D. programs, in that I could discuss current research with professors at a high level due to the number of papers I have read for my classes.
What was your favorite class or experience at Cornell BME and why?
Drug Delivery with Professor Putnam for several reasons. Due to the unique journal club format of random name selection for answering questions, all the students learn how to deeply dissect a paper. Everything we learned had direct real-world applications. Lastly, Professor Putnam brings an unparalleled enthusiasm to every class that is certainly contagious.
What clubs/organizations do you participate in at Cornell?
I am a member of Tau Beta Pi. I also participate in the boxing club.
Do you have any advice for students considering research in Biomedical Engineering?
I highly recommend joining a lab as early as Sophomore year, especially if you are considering doing a Ph.D. or doing research in industry. If you have the opportunity, apply for fellowships and try to attend conferences. It is a great way to network and will look great when applying to graduate school.
While at Cornell/BME, what did you do for fun?
I loved hosting “house dinners” over the past two years. I like to run and bike – I have been training to bike around Cayuga lake (~100 miles) and will be doing that soon.
What’s the next step for you?
Ph.D. at Vanderbilt under the co-mentorship of Ethan Lippmann and Craig Duvall
- Alexander Sorets on Twitter (@AlexofSomeSorts)