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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For a chance to win up to $500, imagine how engineering can help your community. Then write a plea to your city or county council to make the case for an infrastructure improvement.