Q: How did you start getting interested in the biomedical field?
Aaron: A lot of my relatives are doctors and nurses, so my interest stemmed from them. The biggest inspiration I had in biomedicine was volunteering at a hospital. At first, I started at the front information desk, but I moved up from there. I now have EMT certification, which means I can help prep trays and restock everything.
Deborah: I first got introduced to the biomedical field as a volunteer at the hospital before participating in the Synopsys Science Fair. I was not only intrigued by the technical and sometimes intangible aspects of biology but also by its everyday application.
Q: Did you participate in the science fair? What was your project about?
Aaron: My partner and I did a project in which we made a microfluidic chip that measured potassium levels. The resulting goal was to measure the concentration of potassium in blood.
Deborah: My partner and I tested the effects of tea in the prevention of cavities. We had to gather 60 virgin human molars and, soak them in different types of tea before inoculating them with lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria. We took digital photos and X-rays at 24 hour intervals for three days. Gathering observations and data was long, but we managed to do all of it very thoroughly.
Q: What inspired your project?
Aaron: At my UC Irvine internship, I saw the Khine lab where I got to see a project that used flexible chips. My partner and I wanted to make a project like that, so we created our own formula.
Deborah: We were inspired by one of the lectures from Anu Sarkar, Science Department, that mentioned tea as a possible factor in the prevention of cavities. As avid tea drinkers, we had to investigate.
Q: What do you like the most about this field?
Aaron: For me, I think it is more about how I like figuring out puzzles. A person may not get the answer right the first few times, but it is really good to keep trying and persevering. And people definitely need that in this field.
Deborah: I really like the numerous applications of biology and how it basically governs every aspect of our lives.
Q: Do you plan on pursuing a field in biomedicine later on in your life?
Aaron: I want to intern at more labs and become well-rounded in the biomedical field. I plan to become a doctor in pediatric surgery, or even psychiatry. I will be majoring in psychology with an emphasis on neuroscience. Understanding human behavior and things like that is really interesting.
Deborah: I want to pursue nursing. I really love how human interaction is a big part of nursing. I feel as if nurses play a crucial role in the hospital and have the ability to better a patient’s stay in the hospital.