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College of Engineering & Science - Louisiana Tech University

Kate Elfer

Kate ElferI was a 2012 Graduate in Nanosystems Engineering with a concentration in Biomedical Engineering, which lent itself quite easily to the challenge of Engineering Better Medicines. Most of the activities I had already completed to better prepare myself for graduate school aligned easily with both the undergraduate integrated curriculum and the goals of the GCSP. I'd completed REUs at universities with strong international collaborations, was working with Dr. David Mills in his research lab for a year on a project that then became my senior design project, and also participated in the Top Dawg Business Plan competition as part of senior design.

I believe this experience allowed me to draw my diverse experiences into a cohesive whole, which helped with both graduate school applications and in obtaining a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. I'm now in my third year of a Ph. D. Program at Tulane University in Biomedical Engineering. I work with doctors and engineers across the globe to design and implement microscopy instruments for use in the Operating Room for on-site cancer pathology identification. My adviser has created a start-up company with past instruments, and my entrepreneurial knowledge is useful when planning long-term use of the devices. The faculty and staff at Louisiana Tech work so hard to provide a unique engineering education that prepares students for whatever they encounter later in their careers. The Grand Challenge Scholars Program is just one of the opportunities available to Louisiana Tech students and I highly encourage all students to take advantage of it.