PHASIQ has hired Cameron Yamanishi, University of Michigan biomedical engineering graduate student, to intern in our lab this summer.
What is your academic background?
I studied Bioengineering at UCLA, working in Dr. Dan Kamei’s lab on using aqueous two-phase systems to improve the detection limit of lateral-flow immunoassays. After I graduated with my BS, I came to UM and joined Dr. Takayama’s lab in Biomedical Engineering.
During my undergraduate research, I enjoyed applying the thermodynamic and mass transport principles I had learned in classes to real-world applications. This was particularly true for the ATPS separation of particles and antibody binding in immunoassays. When I found Shu’s lab, I thought they had a creative application of ATPS. When I met with Shu for the interview, I was impressed with the work he and his graduate students were doing, as well as the way that they interacted.
How/when did you become interested in biomedical engineering?
My parents work in the medical field, so I spent a good amount of time following them to work in the hospital. That gave me a chance to see a lot of fancy medical equipment. I thought it might be fun to build some of those tools.
What do you plan to do after you complete your Ph.D.?
At this stage, I’m still open to different career paths in science and technology. I’d like to stay close to the benchtop, because I enjoy setting up experiments and interacting with the raw data that they generate. So far, the startup environment seems to provide a good mix of opportunities to try new ideas.
Will this summer internship help you in your long-term career plans?
My work this summer has shown me a different perspective on research and development than I’ve seen in my Ph.D. work. It’s much closer to the development side, with more emphasis on complete characterization and validation. As I move forward in my career, these experiences will help remind me to consider scale-up and reproducibility with any new techniques or devices I generate.
When you aren’t in the lab, what do you like to do?
I’m playing in a city baseball league on weekends. It’s a nice way to stretch out and run a little. I also like to try out cooking new dishes. The last one was braised rabbit. I thought it turned out alright, but my girlfriend disagreed. I’ll have to tweak that recipe a bit.
Any fun facts that you want to share?
I’m going to be an uncle soon!