Innovating in Medical Research

Elaine Wong, in her final semester of her undergraduate degree at the University of Utah, is making major strides in the fields of engineering and medical research. She is an electrical engineering major with minors in cognitive science and biomedical engineering, though she didn’t always know this is what she wanted to do.

“I took a class that talked about technology that makes diagnosis easier and better for doctors,” Wong said. “I knew immediately that it was something I wanted to work on.”

Since then, Wong has undergone plenty of research dedicated to decreasing the disconnect between patients and those who create the technology that helps them. Her medical history has been a personal motivator in this work as well.

“Patients have to go through a lot, and they’re not super connected to the people who provide the resources that can give them help,” Wong said. “Because of that disconnect, there just isn’t enough technology getting created to help them.”

Wong has put this research to use in her undergraduate thesis as it applies to muscle disorders, tongue cancer, and facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy. She has also worked with doctors who specialize in skin cancer at the Huntsman Cancer Institute to further this research.

Furthermore, she is first author of a manuscript under review at the Journal of Investigative Dermatology. Her work on this skin cancer project was recently awarded the American Cancer Society’s Institutional Research Grant.

Wong’s work in the field of medical engineering is already making waves during her undergraduate years, and her work in this field is likely to truly change lives.

More articles like this in ‘Student Innovation @ the U!’

Find this article and a lot more in the 2023 “Student Innovation @ the U” report. The publication is presented by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute to celebrate student innovators, change-makers, and entrepreneurs.

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About the Author:

Mary Allen Mary Allen is an undergraduate student from Salt Lake City studying graphic design. She has been working in marketing with Lassonde since she began her time at the University of Utah and is also involved at the MUSS Board and the Daily Utah Chronicle. Her passions lie in the arts, sports, and outdoors.

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