"Biomedical engineering provides me with a unique set of skills in problem solving and critical thinking. I have learned how to identify niche-specific problems in healthcare and develop solutions to improve the lives of many." Read more about Chelsea Stephens, Ph.D. Student
Rohan Roy, B.S. '18
Where are they now? - update July 2019: After graduating in 2018, Roy completed an M.Eng. in BME from Cornell this past December. After taking a few months off to relax at home, he is now a first-year M.D.-Ph.D. student at the Tri-Institutional Program at Weill Cornell, Sloan Kettering, and Rockefeller University in New York City!
Hometown: Cheshire, Connecticut
Why did you choose Cornell?
Right out of high school, I knew I wanted to pursue an engineering degree in college since I enjoyed math and science. Cornell has one of the best engineering schools in the country, and I was drawn by the opportunities for undergraduates to do research with faculty.
Why did you choose to major in BME at Cornell?
I have always held a fascination with biology, and I felt like biomedical engineering is a new field with a lot of potential. I wanted to use my engineering skills in a way to directly improve the health of patients.
What opportunities has the major given you so far?
The major has exposed me to many different research opportunities, as well as practical experience with biomedical technology. I am also extremely grateful for the opportunity to act as a teaching assistant for sophomore and junior level BME classes. I love teaching, and it has been great interacting with students in other years.
What was your favorite class at Cornell BME and why?
My favorite class at Cornell BME was cellular systems biology (BME 3110). It exposed me to the world of computational systems modeling, which I think is a powerful tool that can be used to understand complex biological networks. It was a class that influenced what I would like to study and research in my career following Cornell.
Are you affiliated with any research group or faculty? If so, what research are you working on?
I have been in the Zipfel lab for three years working as an undergraduate researcher. My current project focuses on imaging the deformation of the cell nucleus as the cell migrates through tight spaces present in the extracellular matrix.
What clubs/organizations do you participate in at Cornell?
I have worked four years at the Cornell University Reis Tennis Center. I string racquets for members as well as the Cornell Men’s team. In addition to this, I volunteer with a furniture redistribution charity called Love Knows No Bounds. LKNB picks up gently used furniture and distributes it to low income areas around Tompkins County.
What is something that surprised you about the major/experience?
I was most surprised by the close interaction I had with graduate students in the major. The PhD students in the department have really served as mentors and have helped tremendously with coursework and career decisions. I am thankful for the close community of students of all levels within the department.
Do you have any advice for other students considering research in Biomedical Engineering?
I think it can be difficult to juggle coursework with research, so I would advise students to plan their schedules carefully to make sure they have enough time for both.
While at Cornell, what did you do for fun?
I like hiking around the gorges and playing basketball outside when the weather is nice. There are so many different activities happening around campus that there’s something new to try almost every week.
My favorite memory is when my senior design group won first place for best design and presentation during the project showcase of all the senior and M.Eng projects. We worked extremely hard over the last three months to put together a functioning prototype, and it was great to see all that hard work pay off.
I will be finishing my Master of Engineering degree at Cornell this coming fall. I am currently applying to MD/PhD programs for matriculation in 2019.