Jennifer Elisseeff
Jennifer Elisseeff
Biomedical Engineer, Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, MD

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Close Up
  • Describe what you do in your current work situation.
    I am an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins University.
  • Why did you choose engineering?
    As a child I always liked toys or projects that were scientific or engineering-related, but I started focusing more in middle school and high school on engineering science fair projects. I did research projects related to my father's area of research (he is a professor of engineering) and loved working in his lab after school.
  • Where did you go to school and what degree(s) do you have?
    I received a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Carnegie Mellon University and a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology. I did research in the department of chemical engineering at MIT and medical classes at Harvard.
  • What kinds of activities have typically been part of your work?
    My lab works on regenerating tissue, mostly cartilage. Cartilage is on the end of your bones in joints like your knee and hip. We work on developing new biomaterials and using stem cells to make these new tissues. Being a professor, it is important to think not only of the basic science and engineering and teaching but also how your work will impact society and how you can make your research help people.
  • What do you like best about being an engineer?
    I like being able to work with a diverse group of very smart people to find solutions for common medical problems. In our lab we work with basic scientists, engineers, physicians, and people in industry working to take research to the real world.
  • What challenges have you met and conquered in your pursuit of an engineering career?
    The biggest challenge, balancing a career and family, is also the most fun and gratifying part of my life.
  • Please tell us a little about your family.
    I am blessed with a wonderful 4-year old daughter named Sophie.
  • What are your short-term (1-2 years) and long-term (10+ years) goals?
    In the short term I would like to develop a productive research laboratory working to solve important medical problems using principles of engineering. In the long term I would still like to be a professor but also start a company and get involved with science policy.
  • What (or who) had/has the greatest influence on your life choices?
    My family and mentors have had a strong influence on my decisions.
  • Any other stories or comments you would like to share with EngineerGirl visitors?
    As a child I always liked toys or projects that were scientific or engineering-related, but I started focusing more in middle school and high school on engineering science fair projects.
  • Describe something about your life outside of work: your hobbies, or perhaps a favorite book.
    Outside of work I enjoy riding horses, playing the piano, and traveling.
Biography

I am a professor of biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins University. My lab works on designing new strategies for rebuilding and regenerating tissues in the body. We work on developing new biomaterials to help rebuild the tissue and study how stem cells can be used to make these new tissues. Being a professor, it is important to think not only of the basic science and engineering and teaching but also how your work will impact society and how you can make your research help people. As a child I always liked toys or projects that were scientific or engineering-related, but I started focusing more in middle school and high school on engineering science fair projects. I did research projects related to my father's area of research (he is a professor of engineering) and loved working in his lab after school. My short-term goal is to develop a productive research laboratory working to solve important medical problems using engineering. In the long term I would still like to be a professor but also start a company and get involved with science policy. The biggest challenge, balancing a career and family, is also the most fun and gratifying part of my life.

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Volunteer Opportunities
  • I am willing to host a field trip to my place of employment.
Latest Questions
  • Sarah, San Antonio asked Jennifer Elisseeff, Johns Hopkins University

    Added Saturday, July 16, 2016 at 1:25 PM

    I'm a current junior in high school with an interest in cell and tissue engineering. I think it sounds like such an interesting field and would like to learn more about it, however, I can never find any opportunities to meet with cell/tissue engineers since it is a newer field with very limited oppourtunites in my town. The few times I have been able to get in contact with someone, I am not allowed to shadow them in their research because most places don't allow minors to be in a lab for ...
    Related to Chemical, Internships & Jobs, Preparation for College, Special fields and Interdisciplinary
    Answers 0
  • Emily, Ellicott City asked Jennifer Elisseeff, Johns Hopkins University

    Added Wednesday, July 6, 2016 at 10:34 AM

    Hi, I am going to be a senior in high school next year and am interested in biomedical engineering. I would like to go to a smaller school nearby me, but very few of these schools offer biomedical engineering for undergrads. Some of these schools have 3-2 pre-engineering programs with larger schools that have engineering programs. Do you think these types of programs are good options or should I start at a school with a developed engineering program? Also, would it be better to major in ...
    Related to Bioengineering/Biomedical, Choosing a School, Preparation for College
    Answers 0
  • Ella, Weston asked Jennifer Elisseeff, Johns Hopkins University

    Added Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at 8:11 PM

    Hey Jennifer! I was wondering what kind of writing do you do on a daily basis? Are you in charge of writing mostly official documents or is it mainly e-mail and memos? Also, who are you usually writing to? Is it mainly other engineers or individuals with a similar background? Also, are there any journals or blogs that you read for your field? Thank you, Ella
    Related to Internships & Jobs, Work Environment
    Answers 0
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