The National Collegiate Research Conference (NCRC) is a multidisciplinary undergraduate student conference with over 200 participants from universities across the nation. Three CHBE students namely, Haider Kamal (3rd year), Jamie Ngai To Lo (3rd year) and Ileana Co (4th year), travelled to Harvard University to attend the prestigious conference on January 19-21, 2017. The 3-day program consisted of workshops, panel discussions, mentoring sessions, career and graduate school fairs, a poster presentation, as well as high-profile keynote addresses, including one by Nobel Laureate Dr. Harold Varmus.
The students presented their undergraduate research work in bioengineering topics, supervised by Professor Vikramaditya Yadav. Haider presented his research on the ‘Development of a Stimulus Responsive, in-Situ Forming, Nanoparticle-Laden Hydrogel Formulation for Opthalmic Drug Delivery’ which aimed to formulate a novel drug delivery system in the form of eyedrops for treating Glaucoma. Ngai To and Ileana’s research presented their collaborative work on ‘Cerebro-engineering: Developing a pre-clinical model for neurodegeneration towards drug discovery’, which focused on using stem cell engineering to create miniature brain models.
The conference provided a platform for sharing and shaping both ideas and ideals, creating professional global connections, paving the way to new career paths, and starting dialogues on important issues. The atmosphere at the NCRC was electric, filled with excitement buzzing from young researchers hoping to make an impact in their fields of in the life sciences, physical sciences, humanities and environmental sciences. Overall, the conference was an amazing learning experience that has fueled their passion for research, and has imparted knowledge that Haider, Ngai To and Ileana hope to continue developing and sharing to their peers.
Photo credits goes to HCURA (Harvard College Undergraduate Research Association)