In early high school, the chance to solve world problems in a lab appealed to junior bioengineering student Medhini Sosale. Since then, she’s known that a combination of field and lab work is what she wants to do for her career, and her time at Mason has given her endless opportunities to explore it further.
Raised in Ashburn, Virginia, Sosale is currently working in bioengineering associate professor Parag Chitnis’ lab, where he is experimenting with ultrasound technology to deliver drugs. Her project is sponsored by the Office of Student Scholarship, Creative Activities, and Research and the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program.
“This semester, I am working on creating a 3D model of the blood-brain barrier of a rat’s brain,” says Sosale. In rats and humans, the blood-brain barrier is a protective boundary that keeps bacteria, fungi, parasites, and other organisms from penetrating the brain. It is an important part of the body’s immune system.
“The barrier is very effective, but if we could find a way to access it to deliver targeted medications through ultrasound, we could limit invasiveness and target specific illnesses,” says Sosale.
In her freshman year at Mason, she started working with bioengineering professor Juan Cebral. Her work with Cebral introduced her to new areas of bioengineering and computational research. “Professor Cebral was running a computational model on how to optimize the treatment of strokes. I was running tests on the model, and I learned that I enjoyed the computational side of bioengineering too,” says Sosale.
“For both of these projects, I learned a lot about neuroscience, and that is something I definitely want to pursue,” says Sosale.
Sosale grew up dancing and playing music and was curious about climate change. She hopes to combine some of her interests in her career and possibly look at the neuroscience and genetic implications of surviving a climate disaster.
Sosale hopes to pursue a PhD in a field like conservation biology. She knows her engineering mindset and skills will prepare her for whatever field she chooses.