Lead Developer Digital Biomarker Discovery Pipeline and PhD Candidate Duke University
Don't be afraid to fail. Failure is what makes science...science!
WHAT DO YOU DO?
I train machines to learn digital biomarkers from wearable sensors, I build frameworks and software tools to help other people explore wearables data and learn digital biomarkers, and, generally, I help employ data science and machine learning methodologies in healthcare.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS FIELD?
In high school, I worked as a nursing assistant at a nursing home for children with cerebral palsy. I saw problems all around me that needed to be fixed - wheelchairs falling apart, problems with wrist-worn alert devices, eating utensils that were unusable - which led me to pursue biomedical engineering in undergraduate. It was there that I joined a research lab focused on developing new wearable devices for healthcare. I was able to be involved in many projects, most notably, developing the electronics behind wrist-worn sensors for asthma monitoring and an EEG-based sleep monitoring wearable device. The data science / software development came later, during my PhD and opened up a whole new world of using these wearable devices for monitoring chronic diseases. Now I work on a variety of projects using wearables to detect chronic diseases and I am helping to build a community of developers creating insights into health with wearables through the Digital Biomarker Discovery Pipeline (DBDP).
WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT & THINK, "I WISH YOUNGER ME WOULD HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS POSSIBLE?"
Being able to code is something I never thought I would be able to do, let alone do well! If you had told me I would be leading development and integrations of a software resource, I would have never believed you!
WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING IN STEM?
I love working in STEM because overcoming challenges and solving problems is extremely rewarding. I love having a problem that initially I think is impossible and solving it little by little over time. I wake up looking forward to understanding a tiny bit more about the world today.
BEST ADVICE FOR NEXT GENERATION?
Learn to code and learn git. Don't be afraid to fail. Failure is what makes science...science!
INSPO / FUN FACT
"It's okay to not know". This is a post-it reminder I have on my monitor. It reminds me that perfection doesn't exist and it is okay to say "I don't know NOW, but I can find out!"