We have a new Thrust 2 lead, Dr Hatice Ceylan Koydemir. We would however like to first thank Dr. Kristen Maitland for her service within PATHS-UP and wish her all the best in her future endeavours.
We recently had a Q&A with our new Thrust 2 lead which is an assistant professor at Texas A&M. Keep reading to get to know our new thrust 2 co-leader.
How did you get into Academia?
During my undergraduate study, I met with my M.Sc. and later Ph.D. advisor, Prof. Canan Ozgen. She was one of the top leader women scientists in the university. In a short time, Prof. Canan Ozgen had become my role model with her self-confidence, wisdom, ethics perspective, and patience. Valuable discussions with Prof. Ozgen, being a mother of two children, on the role of women in science and technology, had also a huge impact on my life on the way of pursuing academia.
How does your research align with PATHS UP?
My doctoral and postdoctoral research focused on a variety of aspects of lab-on-a-chip systems ranging from the fabrication of biosensors using Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) technology to the evaluation of custom-designed mobile microscopes in sub-Saharan Africa. I designed, fabricated, and tested disposable MEMS-based sensors integrated with microfluidics for electrochemical detection of antibiotic-resistant genes and dielectrophoretic characterization of cancer cells. In addition, together with my colleagues, I developed field-portable optical platforms for the detection of a variety of target analytes such as waterborne pathogens, bloodborne parasites, bioaerosols, blood cells, cancer cells, micro-algae, plant chlorophyll content, honeybee parasite, ions in artificial urine samples, Schistosoma eggs, fluorescent markers and cardiovascular disease markers. We used supervised machine learning models and deep neural networks for data analysis and image enhancement and getting the measurement result in the field settings through a custom-developed smartphone application.
Personalized healthcare and digital therapeutics require immediate feedback on changes in the human body, allowing more people to get accurate and on-time treatment. Therefore, there is a need for smart systems to enable the next generation’s continuous and precise sensing and diagnostics for personalized healthcare and digital therapeutics. I envision these smart devices as a combination of different noninvasive diagnostic sensors and wearable electronic systems using real-time data processing and artificial intelligence.
My interdisciplinary research team at Texas A&M University focuses on designing and developing nano- and bio-electronic devices that advance noninvasive continuous on-body monitoring of analytes through personalized telemedicine and develop high-throughput laboratory assays to provide alternative quality control systems for environmental and food monitoring applications. Towards this aim, we will integrate optical sensors with other sensing modalities such as electrochemical and magnetic sensors to build noninvasive monitoring devices. We will enhance device sensitivity and performance using new functional materials and micro/nano structures. Disposable parts of these devices will be made of low-cost and easily accessible materials for affordable and scalable batch manufacturing for high-throughput analysis of samples. In parallel efforts, we will work on developing mathematical models of the healthy and unhealthy states of the human to predict the output in the presence of a disturbance to the human body. We will share the results of our findings by publishing articles in peer-reviewed journals and presenting them at scientific conferences and meetings.
What communities are you hoping to reach?
I am hoping to reach to underserved populations by bringing affordable technologies with simple and effective solutions by aiming to advance the human health and improve the quality of life.
What advice do you give future students?
I always support women in science and encourage the researchers to believe in their selves and continue to work hard on their dreams. I also advise them to cope with failure, learn from their mistakes and don’t give up.
What are you most excited about in regards to your research?
The most exciting part of my research is that with the technological solutions that we develop, we can touch people’s lives and advance their health.