As a biomedical engineering major here at Cornell, like many others, I was looking for a way to gain experience outside of my coursework. There are over 10 research labs just in the BME department alone, with each one specializing in a different angle in biomedical research: bone biomechanics, genetic engineering, medical imaging, and many more. I was accepted into a position at the Butcher lab, which focuses on studying the effects of mechanical forces on cardiovascular diseases. My main project within the lab is to make improvements to our 3D bioprinting technology. 3D bioprinting is one of the hot topics in cellular tissue engineering, allowing the printing of complex structures for studying diseases, devices, and someday even living prosthetics.
To be honest, I didn’t even know research was something that people did in college until I got to Cornell. I thought engineering students took hard classes, looked for summer internships, and worked on some cool projects on the side (like project teams!). And while these are certainly all things that many engineering students do, I didn’t realize there were so many more possibilities to get involved.