For most PhD students, the question of what to do after you graduate can seem to pop up around every corner, often beginning long before graduation is in sight. The underlying questions, though, are about what you value and how you want to channel the skills you’re building. I’m pleased to share the next step in my journey after PhD and postdoc: I’ve joined Q Bio as an MR Engineer.
Of course, searching for the next step isn’t unique to graduate school. I first gave it real thought when I was graduating from high school. I liked engineering, and I liked the idea of using it to improve health in some way, so I joined a biomedical engineering program. Towards the end of my undergraduate study at Johns Hopkins University, I worked on identifying areas of brain disease in patients based on whether tissue appeared bright or dark in different types of MRI scans. After graduating, I began using MRI to better understand mental health, neurodevelopmental differences, and information processing in the brain.
While working on my PhD at Vanderbilt University, I learned about using focused ultrasound to treat cancer and neurological conditions non-invasively. Imaging during treatment is essential for success, and I developed ways to use MRI to improve treatment monitoring. As a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University, I validated an MRI technique to image where the focused ultrasound is located within the brain, in order to verify treatment plans prior to therapy.
I’ve arrived at each of these stages by following what is meaningful to me. I want to make a difference in the lives of patients and in healthcare. At Q Bio, we’re building MRI and bioinformatics tools to characterize complex physiological conditions. By integrating these measures, we build snapshots of peoples’ health over time and identify deviations from a healthy state. Our goal is to provide actionable results through an accessible, safe, and comprehensive health exam that empowers people to know more about their own health.