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In this monthly spotlight, get to know the alumni and students of Columbia's Department of Biomedical Engineering. Read what our BME folks are up to, from our labs' latest research, to our students' plans for the future, to our teams' innovations, start-ups and other career successes.
Candidate, Biomedical Engineering. Christopher Jacobs. Our lab studied how to use the body's natural bone remodeling process to develop more effective therapeutics for osteoporosis. The CMBL was among the first to identify the osteocyte primary cilium, a solitary antenna-like organelle, as a mechanosensitive aling nexus that contributes to bone adaptation. My project focused on understanding the degree to which the primary cilium of macrophages regulated osteoclast differentiation and function.
Jacobs passed away in July of after a long battle with cancer. Rather than navigate the larger half of my Ph. Lance Kam. The MBL focuses on using engineered surfaces and biomaterials to study T-cell mechanobiology. In particular, our lab ly demonstrated that the activation of T cells is affected by the mechanical response of their surroundings. My project hopes to elucidate the mechanism by which components of the cytoskeleton translocate during T-cell activation, an understanding that will hopefully lead to new immunotherapeutic targets.
How did you become interested in STEM research and, more specifically, in biomedical engineering?
I was always drawn towards math and science as a. When I was finishing high school, I decided I would be pre-med and thought majoring in biomedical engineering would allow me to gain exposure to the technological side of the medical field. I also realized that biomedical engineering was a pretty cool discipline in and of itself. Tell us about your family. I grew up feeling like an only child in a single-parent household.
My mother and grandmother have been the strongest influences in my life. My mother in particular has always been my biggest supporter and voice of reason, and my grandmother has acted as my spiritual guide. Short answer: Black. Longer answer: I think it depends on the context and intent, but this is a very complex and nuanced question Looking for grad student woman adult Sutton necessitates some historical understanding.
When I think about the lingering impacts of American slavery and colonization, part of what was stolen was that lineage. Identifying as Black makes me a part of the greater African diaspora, and in America in particular, my daily lived experiences are not that different from someone with a similar complexion who was born on a different continent.
In the late s, admissions departments around the country began considering race as a factor when admitting new students, creating policies aimed to accept more students of color who had historically been excluded from colleges and universities. In the past couple of decades, the awareness of this educational imbalance and its need to be corrected has only grown, with emphasis on active and intentional intervention. Many organizations, including government-funded programs, have pools of money to incentivize Black students to enter STEM fields.
Now the bad… I will preface by saying I have been fortunate in my academic career to have had a predominantly positive experience in STEM. However, covert racism is extremely prevalent and just as harmful. And now the ugly… The pressure of being Black in a field where there are so few people who look like me is physically, psychologically, and emotionally exhausting. I do not do this to fit into a mostly White and Asian field and culture, or to be accepted, but to survive. Historically speaking, African American Vernacular English is perceived as a language indicating a lack of intelligence.
If I spoke or carried myself the way I am most comfortable, I would not be afforded the opportunities that I have. I would not be given the chance to allow my intellect to speak for itself.
If I want to succeed, I am forced to leave pieces of myself outside of the Mudd Building every day, because I am only given a pass and accepted in this field if I fit the mold that people in power have shaped. Psychologically, the limited of Black people in STEM spaces brings that much more weight on those who are there. If I ask for help, do I lack resourcefulness and initiative?
Knowing that I have to work twice as hard to get half as far as my peers is mental gymnastics, and being an example for my race is a burden that I did not ask for but am yet required to carry. That alone carries with it an added stress that I cannot expect others to understand. That is my experience. To me, Black History Month means that Black lives matter. They hold importance and value.
They have been, and continue to be, vital to global progress in every sector, despite the degree to which their lives are often devalued and easily forgotten. This month is a period of time set aside for the world to be reminded of the impact that Black people have made towards the advancement of society, which people of all races benefit from to this day.
My favorite historical Black figure is Dr. Charles R. However, just a year later, he reed from his position, because the U. Drew is a constant reminder that my little world of scientific research does not get to exist outside of the issues of American society. With every new drug delivery system or therapeutic, it is imperative to consider access and availability thereof for all people, particularly communities most often underserved. We must be citizens as well as scientists and engineers.
What accomplishment s are you most proud of, and what do you hope to accomplish in the future? There are many things of which I am proud and by which I Looking for grad student woman adult Sutton humbled. I am a year-old Black man who will soon have a Ph.
I have made positive contributions to my educational institutions in the form of student advocacy, most recently in the Columbia University Senate and the Engineering Graduate Student Council. I tutor underserved students in NYC and have personally seen their standardized test scores improve and them matriculate to four-year colleges and universities. I want to help underrepresented minorities who pursue STEM to feel supported enough to stick with their major after freshman year and even pursue advanced degrees.
I want to help fix a health system that still sees higher mortality rates and reduced access to care for Black people than White people. I want to have established myself as a respected leader and intellectual such that I have the privilege of being my true self, free of preconceived judgment, whenever I walk through a door. That could be maintaining contact with family, making new friends, seeking out social groups, and anything in between. The road is challenging with the best of help, and near impossible to traverse alone. You have options.
The sooner you discover which possibilities you might most enjoy, the sooner you can shape your own academic journey and emphasize the things that make you happy. Read below to get to know Michael! Michael Sutton M. Aliquippa, PA What is your current position? What does Black History Month mean to you? Images clockwise from left : 1. Morningside Park in Harlem friend had a cool new camera he wanted to break in. Kam Lab lunch at Thai Market. Spring break at Universal Studios.Looking for grad student woman adult Sutton
email: [email protected] - phone:(908) 972-8732 x 4073
February - BME Blaze: Michael Sutton