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Statement of Purpose (Biomedical Engineering)

vanillafinger38 1 / 4  
Dec 1, 2010   #1
Could anyone please provide me with comments/advice on my SoP? Any comments will be greatly appreciated!!!! This is very urgent! Thank you all for your help!

Topic: Describe your reasons for pursuing graduate study and your academic and professional interests and goals.

I want to pursue my career in Biomedical Engineering because I believe in and have often witnessed the enormous synergy effect coming from a multidisciplinary teamwork. Biomedical Engineering is truly a broad multidisciplinary area, in which biological sciences, engineering, and medicine are blended in order to improve the overall quality of human health and life. My primary interests are in the areas of developing biomaterials for therapeutic and diagnostic...

After edits:

My first year at XXX University, I became acquainted with Professor G, in his 'Introduction to Chemical Engineering' class. His first lecture started with a founding question, "What do you need now to make these soy beans into a savory steak that tastes just like beef meat?" My five-second-long silence prompted him to add, "Let me give you the answer for this one and you can use this answer for any question in my class: What you need is a HAMMER." In his class I learned to find the hammer, the ability to identify and utilize the right tool to develop things.

Since then, I have collected and employed tools in my "tool box" other than a hammer. The tools I have found are in the areas such as cell culture, antibody purification, material characterization, protein-polymer interactions, surfaces and polymers/nanoparticles chemistry, nanofabrication and micro fluidics. Although these tools have helped my strong engagement in various research projects, I am now looking for the most essential tool to reach my primary research goal of developing biomaterials; I want to pursue my academic career in Biomedical Engineering. During my doctoral studies, I will develop the independent research mindset to become a tool master of my tool box, useful for designing biomaterials that are biocompatible, target-specific and that are responsive to and controlled by physiological signals to treat diseases.

My journey into gathering tools in polymer characterization and protein-polymer interactions first started during my undergraduate years at XXX University. In Professor M's research group, I studied high-capacity, electrostatically selective protein uptake properties of poly (2-(dimethylamino) ethyl methacrylate) or PDMAEMA as an effort to characterize the polymer and assess its use in biomedicine. In my second year in the research, mu research focus has transitioned and evolved after speaking with Professor H, the director of the Bone Tissue Engineering center at XXX University. I had focused on understanding the chemical properties of PDMAEMA and my thoughts on how to implement it for drug delivery were still at embryonic stages. His approach, on the other hand, in evaluating the potential of PDMAEMA as a biomaterial was distinctive, but more pragmatic from the viewpoint of biomedical engineers. In other words, how the material will incorporate biological cues at certain parts of human bodies is too complicated to be predicted and was still questionable.

After the conversation with Professor H, I began to look at the same matter from different angles, from the eyes of a biomedical engineer. Without a biological approach, I realized it was difficult to evaluate how a material would perform as a true biological agent for biomedical applications. This was the point when I decided to gain new tools in the field of Biomedical Engineering in addition to the knowledge in the core areas of Chemical Engineering. The excitement of exploring a new area led me to take courses like 'Biology', 'Stem Cell Engineering', 'Regenerative Therapeutics', and 'Physiology', which enabled me to obtain tools for understanding on the mechanisms in which cell-biomaterial and cell-cell interactions are regulated and incorporating the knowledge into developing regenerative medicine.

Propelled by my interests in medicine, I worked at Company P's Oral Product Development group as a graduate research intern and helped to build a mathematical model that can predict bulk powder flow properties of commonly used pharmaceutical excipients based on their particle size and shape distributions. To create a successful model, I employed my tool in characterizing the materials. First I studied their morphologies by using several techniques and developed the methodology for each technique to measure three material properties: powder flow properties, particle sizes and shapes. The established model quickly provided critical information for drug product quality and manufacturability. Consequently during my Master's degree, I joined the Q Lab at XXX University to study flow properties of nano-scale particles. There I used my tools in understanding the surface and polymer chemistry to carry out fabrication of patterned nanopellets of silica and gold nanoparticles on silicon surfaces using spin coating and photolithography methods.

Always having interests in therapeutic drug development, after graduation, I took my current Associate Engineer position at company C two years ago. At company C, I acquired my tools in both upstream and downstream processes of monoclonal antibody drugs. I have developed and evaluated cell culture and protein purification processes and lead scale-up activities of multiple antibody drugs that are in their late phases of clinical development. Though I enjoy the developmental work for which I use my problem solving skills in antibody production, my work with late phase drugs is often recipe-based, not entirely research-driven. It is the main reason of my applying to a Ph.D.: my thirst about conducting independent research for which I will have more authority on identifying the current challenges in my field of interest and finding solutions to them while utilizing my toolbox. My enthusiasm about independent research drove me to voluntarily work for the Biomedical Engineering Department at L University on weekends. I am currently using my tools in protein science and nanofabrication to develop chemically modified nanopore arrays for detecting single molecules to further investigate protein folding and unfolding.

I now realize for the past seven years my tools have been advanced and strengthened through my educational and industrial experiences. Especially with broad work experience in commercializing medicine, I strongly believe in my success in finding the right tools to develop biomaterials that can benefit the current challenges in developing biomaterials that are self-assembling and self-evolving. For my dream to become a reality, XYZ University has the Biomedical Engineering program that motivates and satiates my scientific curiosities and research interests. There are a number of great professors specialized in many areas of Biomedical Engineering. I am particularly interested in the research pursued by Professors X and Y in developing bio-inspired materials and devices for various clinical applications. With years of industry experience in biotechnology and the pharmaceutical industry, I will apply my knowledge to the transition of my research into clinical applications while making use of the department's partnerships with other local hospitals and XXX medical center.

Upon completion of my Ph.D. program I would like to continue my research at where diverse research opportunities are available. I want to continue conducting independent research in an area for which my tool box can be used. I am particularly interested in translating research into realistic drugs that can benefit humanity by developing treatments for various diseases through partnerships between academia and industry.
OP vanillafinger38 1 / 4  
Dec 1, 2010   #2
I just revised and here's the new version! please give me any comments:) Thank you!!!
EF_Susan - / 2,364 12  
Dec 5, 2010   #3
This is inspired writing. I recognize the inspiration!

I am now looking for the most essential tool to design materials for biological systems.

You used a great approach, but I think when you take this approach there should be 1 or 2 more sentences at the end of the first paragraph to really share with the reader the theme you want to express.

You did not mention the "tool" any more after that introduction! I think you should continue that theme and use it maybe at the end of each body paragraph for the essay.

At the end of the essay, you can still use that theme when you talk about research pertaining to cardiovascular disease. Make sure the essay begins and ends with that memorable theme. That is how to communicate an idea to a reader's fickle human mind.

OP vanillafinger38 1 / 4  
Dec 8, 2010   #4
thank you that's exactly the feedback that i got from most of my readers. i'm working on it to tie that "toolbox" theme into other parts of essay. Thanks a lot for the comments!
OP vanillafinger38 1 / 4  
Dec 8, 2010   #5
Can anyone please really briefly take a look at my essay and tell me if there is any grammatical error or anything? Any help is greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Dec 16, 2010   #6
In This situation, I would use a colon:
His first lecture started with a founding question: "What do you need ...

And here I would use a dash:
After the conversation with Professor H, I began to look at the same matter from different angles -- from the eyes of a biomedical engineer.

Upon completion of my Ph.D. program I would like to continue my research at where diverse research opportunities are available. XXXXXX, YYYYYY, or ZZZZZ, because the research being conducted at these institutions is _____________. (Tell the reader what you would like to do, specifically.)

OP vanillafinger38 1 / 4  
Dec 23, 2010   #7
thank you all for your comments and advice!!

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