Roshni Gandhi: Combining Innovation and Research in Biomedical Engineering

Roshni looks through microscope.

Roshni Gandhi, a Biomedical Engineering major and future doctor, is a student in the accelerated engineer/physician program who shares her profound research and experiences.

I always knew I wanted to be an engineer first and then a doctor. I think biomedical engineering is super special, because it allows me to combine my passion for medicine and engineering. It also allowed me to diversify my skill set so I’ll have experience to help innovate new medical therapies and medical technologies in the future.

What is your ideal vision? What do you ultimately want to be doing in three more years?

I hope to be treating patients as a doctor first, but I’d also like to use my engineering background to be able to innovate and meet some of the unmet needs and challenges patients have as well. There are some gaps in therapies that are available to patients and I want to fill them. I hope to be able to combine my medical and engineering background to treat patients and be an innovator. 

Roshni working in lab.

Can you share an “aha” moment that you had throughout your time in the program that made you feel like you made the right decision to choose Rowan?

Through my clinic course, I’m working on research with one of the professors here. I remember when I first got involved with his research, he was telling me about a project I could work on that involved developing an injection that’s able to regenerate bone within the body. At that moment, I just remember thinking, “Wow, this is so cool.”

One day, someone who’s suffering from osteoporosis can use this medical therapy so that they have extra bone where they may not have had before. I also remember thinking “I’m working on research that one day will be able to  really help patients.” 

What advice would you give to someone who is considering this route?

I think biomedical engineering is really cool because it places an equal emphasis on innovation and research. So if you’re interested in designing new things, and hands-on technical work with machines and things like that, it’s a great choice for you. If you’re interested in research, that’s also a path you can take within biomedical engineering.

I think the faculty and staff here at Rowan are super supportive. I think everyone goes into engineering thinking, “this is going to be so hard, I don’t know how I’m gonna make it.” But they’re really there to help you. They work with you step by step as you progress from freshman year to senior year to help develop the skills you need to think like an engineer. By the end of it, you have this new skill set, this new way of thinking to be able to solve any problem.

Roshni looking at camera in lab.

Explain a research experience that you really enjoyed. 

I really enjoy working on this injectable hydrogels project. I get to go into the lab work on developing a biomaterial called the hydragel. It’s a very new type of biomaterial that you can add into the body, which is something the BME department is really big on.

I’ve also had the opportunity through some of the skills and projects I’ve been working on through my BME classes to cofound a startup company. The project helps meet some of the unmet needs of Parkinson’s patients and the amputee population. I’ve been able to come up with some devices to be able to help those individuals, and our first device is actually on the market. I think it’s the coolest thing to be able to do both research and innovation here.

Why did you choose Rowan?

I think Rowan’s program really stood out to me because we have small classroom sizes. From day one, I got to meet the professors. They knew my name. They’re working on different things with me, really getting to know my story and offering resources to help me.

The student community is also great. We’re always helping each other, which is so fundamental as an engineering student to be able to work on things together. This helps us develop a community that helps us reach our goals.

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Story by:
Loredonna Fiore, senior public relations and advertising major

Photos by:
Joe Gentempo, art graduate

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