Olivia Young

PhD Student, Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology Medical Engineering Program

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Never be intimidated by other scientists. Everyone is learning.

What do you do?

I investigate new techniques and new applications for DNA origami, a nanofabrication technique that relies on the base-pairing properties of DNA to self assemble DNA structures of various shapes and sizes.

Why did you choose this field?

I have had many great role models in STEM, starting with my parents. They patiently answered all my inquisitive questions and fostered a love of personal investigation through science camps and science fairs.

What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?

I wish I had known that I would be attending my dream PhD program and driving my own research project from start to finish. I never thought that I would have the knowledge, skills and commitment to devote 5+ years of my life to one thing, but I am one year into the program and I still love learning every day!

Why do you love working in STEM?

I love the attitude of scientists: everyone realizes that there is so much to learn and everyone is willing to learn from each other. I look forward to those "lightbulb" moments and impromptu discussions where I recognize the connections between diverse research topics and can apply the newfound knowledge to my own research.

Best advice for next generation?

Never be intimidated by other scientists. Everyone is learning.

Inspo quote / fun fact / role model

"Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood." - Marie Curie

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