News Article | April 27, 2017
GAITHERSBURG, Md., April 27, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- OpGen, Inc. (NASDAQ:OPGN) today announced that Tina S. Nova, Ph.D. has been appointed to its Board of Directors. Dr. Nova is a life science industry veteran with extensive experience building and leading novel genomics-based businesses. She currently serves as president and chief executive officer of Molecular Stethoscope, Inc., a newly formed molecular diagnostics company. Most recently, she was senior vice president and general manager of Illumina's oncology business unit. From 2000 to 2014, Dr. Nova was a co-founder and director, president and chief executive officer of Genoptix Medical Laboratory, which was purchased by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation for nearly $0.5 billion in 2011. She has also held senior positions with Nanogen, Inc., Ligand Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Hybritech, Inc. Dr. Nova currently serves on the board of directors for Arena Pharmaceuticals and Veracyte and is vice chairman of the board of directors for the newly formed Rady Pediatric Genomics and Systems Medicine Institute, which is part of Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego. Dr. Nova holds a B.S. degree in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Irvine where she graduated with honors and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of California, Riverside. “We are pleased to have Dr. Nova, a seasoned industry expert with a portfolio of high caliber successes, join the OpGen Board,” said Evan Jones, Chairman and CEO of OpGen. “Dr. Nova’s insights and experience from having built and advised successful molecular diagnostics companies will be invaluable as we continue to advance the development of our Acuitas Rapid Test and Acuitas Lighthouse Knowledgebase to combat the rise of multidrug-resistant organisms in our hospitals and health systems.” About OpGen OpGen, Inc. is harnessing the power of informatics and genomic analysis to provide complete solutions for patient, hospital and network-wide infection prevention and treatment. Learn more at www.opgen.com and follow OpGen on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Patel A.,Medicine Institute |
Parikh R.,Medicine Institute |
Howell E.H.,Medicine Institute |
Hsich E.,Heart and Vascular Institute |
And 3 more authors.
Circulation: Heart Failure | Year: 2015
Background-Heart failure (HF) guidelines recommend screening for cognitive impairment (CI) but do not identify how. The Mini-Cog is an ultrashort cognitive vital signs measure that has not been studied in patients hospitalized for HF. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether CI as assessed by the Mini-Cog is associated with increased readmission or mortality risk after hospitalization for HF. Methods and Results-We analyzed 720 consecutive patients who completed the Mini-Cog as a part of routine clinical care during hospitalization for HF. Our primary outcome was time between hospital discharge and first occurrence of readmission or mortality. There was a high prevalence of CI as quantified by Mini-Cog performance (23% of cohort). During a mean follow-up time of 6 months, 342 (48%) patients were readmitted, and 24 (3%) died. Poor Mini-Cog performance was an independent predictor of composite outcome (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.90; 95% confidence interval, 1.472.44; P<0.0001) and was identified as the most important predictor among 55 variables by random survival forest analysis. Inclusion of Mini-Cog performance in risk models improved accuracy (bootstrapped c-index, 0.602 versus 0.624) and risk reclassification (category-free net reclassification improvement, 27%; 95% confidence interval, 14% 40%; P<0.001). Secondary analysis of initial 30 days post discharge showed effect modification by venue of discharge, whereby patients with CI discharged to a facility had longer time to outcome as compared with those discharged home. Conclusions-Mini-Cog performance is a novel marker of posthospitalization risk. Discharge to facility rather than home may be protective for those patients with HF and CI. It is unknown whether structured in-home support would yield similar outcomes. © 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.
News Article | December 13, 2016
Scott P. Bruder, M.D., Ph.D., Chairman of the parent company of Amendia, Inc., spoke at the World Stem Cell Summit on December 8 at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Florida. Dr. Bruder’s presentation was titled “Our Journey from Autologous to Allogeneic Stem Cell Therapy: How did we get here & when do we use what?” and was delivered in collaboration with three other leading experts as part of the event’s cell therapy program. The World Stem Cell Summit & RegMed Capital Conference is the original, translation-focused global meeting of industry stakeholders. Now in its 12th year, and with over 1,200 attendees, 225 speakers, and 90-plus hours of programming, the World Stem Cell Summit serves as the choice venue for forging collaborations with worldwide pioneers across multiple disciplines. "This summit is the premier opportunity to illuminate and explore the business of regenerative medicine on a worldwide scale,” said Dr. Bruder. “My presentation on allogeneic cells with Timothy Ganey, Ph.D., Lou Barnes, and Lisa Ferrara, Ph.D. is one of several important and distinguished cell-manufacturing discussions that focus on translation and commercialization for the present and future of stem cell medicine.” Over the course of his 25-year career in healthcare, Dr. Bruder has united principles from basic science, clinical medicine, and industrial development to deliver products that enhance patients’ lives and improve outcomes. As a veteran physician, scientist, and executive, he now leads Bruder Consulting International, LLC, providing a variety of services to medical device, biotechnology, and regenerative medicine entities. Currently, he serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the parent company of Amendia, Inc., helping to develop biologic implants and medical devices for spine applications. “Dr. Bruder’s command of the business of regenerative medicine, and influence in healthcare as a whole, is invaluable to the present and future of Amendia’s spine device and biologics innovation,” said Amendia CEO Chris Fair. “We’re honored to have such an insightful luminary on our team.” About Regenerative Medicine Foundation The World Stem Cell Summit is a project of the nonprofit Regenerative Medicine Foundation. Since 2003, Regenerative Medicine Foundation and its predecessor Genetics Policy Institute have built the strongest, most comprehensive and trusted global network of Regenerative Medicine stakeholders, uniting the world's leading researchers, medical centers, universities, labs, businesses, funders, policymakers, experts in law, regulation and ethics, medical philanthropies and patient organizations. Our mission is to accelerate regenerative medicine to improve health and deliver cures. We are committed to the ethical advancement of innovative medicine powered by regenerative, restorative, and curative technologies. Learn more at http://www.regmedfoundation.org. About 2016 WSCS The World Stem Cell Summit is the "window to the world" to stem cell research and regenerative medicine. It is the original, translation-focused global meeting of stakeholders, now celebrating its 12th year. With 1,200+ attendees, 225+ speakers and 90+ hours of programming it is no surprise that attendees travel from 30+ countries in order to attend. WSCS16 is organized by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), the sole manager of the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory; Centre For Commercialization Of Regenerative Medicine (Canada); Diabetes Research Institute Foundation; Kyoto University Institute for Integrated Cell Material Science; Mayo Clinic; NOVA Southeastern University Cell Therapy Institute; The Cure Alliance; University of Miami Miller School of Medicine ISCI (Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute); and Wake Forest School of Medicine Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Learn more at http://www.worldstemcellsummit.com. For more information on the World Stem Cell Summit & RegMed Capital Conference, and Dr. Bruder’s presentation, visit the event website. About Amendia Headquartered in a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Marietta, GA, Amendia is a leading designer, developer, manufacturer and marketer of medical devices used in spinal surgical procedures. Amendia’s mission is to exceed surgeon and patient expectations by creating balanced solutions with disruptive technologies for medical devices paired with biologics and instrumentation. Amendia’s vertically-integrated strategy focuses on improving surgical outcomes and the lives of patients with spinal disorders. For more information, please visit http://www.amendia.com.
News Article | February 21, 2017
Abstract: Nominations also sought for $10,000 prize recognizing a young nanoscientist Deadline for nominations is May 15, 2017 Biennial prizes are awarded by the International Institute for Nanotechnology Global team of experts in the field will select winners, announce names in September Northwestern Universitys International Institute for Nanotechnology (IIN) is now accepting nominations for two prestigious international prizes: the $250,000 Kabiller Prize in Nanoscience and Nanomedicine and the $10,000 Kabiller Young Investigator Award in Nanoscience and Nanomedicine. The deadline for nominations is May 15, 2017. Details are available on the IIN website. Our goal is to recognize the outstanding accomplishments in nanoscience and nanomedicine that have the potential to benefit all humankind, said David G. Kabiller, a Northwestern trustee and alumnus. He is a co-founder of AQR Capital Management, a global investment management firm in Greenwich, Connecticut. The two prizes, awarded every other year, were established in 2015 through a generous gift from Kabiller. Current Northwestern-affiliated researchers are not eligible for nomination until 2018 for the 2019 prizes. The Kabiller Prize -- the largest monetary award in the world for outstanding achievement in the field of nanomedicine -- celebrates researchers who have made the most significant contributions to the field of nanotechnology and its application to medicine and biology. The Kabiller Young Investigator Award recognizes young emerging researchers who have made recent groundbreaking discoveries with the potential to make a lasting impact in nanoscience and nanomedicine. The IIN at Northwestern University is a hub of excellence in the field of nanotechnology, said Kabiller, chair of the IIN executive council and a graduate of Northwesterns Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and Kellogg School of Management. As such, it is the ideal organization from which to launch these awards recognizing outstanding achievements that have the potential to substantially benefit society. Nanoparticles for medical use are typically no larger than 100 nanometers -- comparable in size to the molecules in the body. At this scale, the essential properties (e.g., color, melting point, conductivity, etc.) of structures behave uniquely. Researchers are capitalizing on these unique properties in their quest to realize life-changing advances in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease. Nanotechnology is one of the key areas of distinction at Northwestern, said Chad A. Mirkin, IIN director and George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry in Weinberg. We are very grateful for Davids ongoing support and are honored to be stewards of these prestigious awards. An international committee of experts in the field will select the winners of the 2017 Kabiller Prize and the 2017 Kabiller Young Investigator Award and announce them in September. The recipients will be honored at an awards banquet Sept. 27 in Chicago. They also will be recognized at the 2017 IIN Symposium, which will include talks from prestigious speakers, including 2016 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry Ben Feringa, from the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. 2015 recipient of the Kabiller Prize The winner of the inaugural Kabiller Prize, in 2015, was Joseph DeSimone the Chancellors Eminent Professor of Chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at North Carolina State University and of Chemistry at UNC-Chapel Hill. DeSimone was honored for his invention of particle replication in non-wetting templates (PRINT) technology that enables the fabrication of precisely defined, shape-specific nanoparticles for advances in disease treatment and prevention. Nanoparticles made with PRINT technology are being used to develop new cancer treatments, inhalable therapeutics for treating pulmonary diseases, such as cystic fibrosis and asthma, and next-generation vaccines for malaria, pneumonia and dengue. 2015 recipient of the Kabiller Young Investigator Award Warren Chan, professor at the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto, was the recipient of the inaugural Kabiller Young Investigator Award, also in 2015. Chan and his research group have developed an infectious disease diagnostic device for a point-of-care use that can differentiate symptoms. About Northwestern University About Northwesterns International Institute for Nanotechnology In total, the IIN represents and unites more than $1 billion in nanotechnology infrastructure, research and education. These efforts, plus those of many other groups, have helped transition nanomedicine from a laboratory curiosity to life-changing technologies that are positively impacting the world. The IIN houses numerous centers and institutes, including the Ronald and JoAnne Willens Center for Nano Oncology, an NIH Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence, an Air Force Center of Excellence for Advanced Bioprogrammable Nanomaterials, and the Convergence Science & Medicine Institute. For more information, please click If you have a comment, please us. Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.
News Article | October 6, 2016
A study published online in Nature by Albert Einstein College of Medicine scientists suggests that it may not be possible to extend the human life span beyond the ages already attained by the oldest people on record. Since the 19th century, average life expectancy has risen almost continuously thanks to improvements in public health, diet, the environment and other areas. On average, for example, U.S. babies born today can expect to live nearly until age 79 compared with an average life expectancy of only 47 for Americans born in 1900. Since the 1970s, the maximum duration of life--the age to which the oldest people live - has also risen. But according to the Einstein researchers, this upward arc for maximal lifespan has a ceiling - and we've already touched it. "Demographers as well as biologists have contended there is no reason to think that the ongoing increase in maximum lifespan will end soon," said senior author Jan Vijg, Ph.D., professor and chair of genetics, the Lola and Saul Kramer Chair in Molecular Genetics, and professor of ophthalmology & visual sciences at Einstein. "But our data strongly suggest that it has already been attained and that this happened in the 1990s." Dr. Vijg and his colleagues analyzed data from the Human Mortality Database, which compiles mortality and population data from more than 40 countries. Since 1900, those countries generally show a decline in late-life mortality: The fraction of each birth cohort (i.e., people born in a particular year) who survive to old age (defined as 70 and up) increased with their calendar year of birth, pointing toward a continuing increase in average life expectancy. But when the researchers looked at survival improvements since 1900 for people aged 100 and above, they found that gains in survival peaked at around 100 and then declined rapidly, regardless of the year people were born. "This finding indicates diminishing gains in reducing late-life mortality and a possible limit to human lifespan," said Dr. Vijg. He and his colleagues then looked at "maximum reported age at death" data from the International Database on Longevity. They focused on people verified as living to age 110 or older between 1968 and 2006 in the four countries (the U.S., France, Japan and the U.K.) with the largest number of long-lived individuals. Age at death for these supercentenarians increased rapidly between the 1970s and early 1990s but reached a plateau around 1995 - further evidence for a lifespan limit. This plateau, the researchers note, occurred close to 1997 - the year of death of 122-year-old French woman Jeanne Calment, who achieved the maximum documented lifespan of any person in history. Using maximum-reported-age-at-death data, the Einstein researchers put the average maximum human life span at 115 years - a calculation allowing for record-oldest individuals occasionally living longer or shorter than 115 years. (Jeanne Calment, they concluded, was a statistical outlier.) Finally, the researchers calculated 125 years as the absolute limit of human lifespan. Expressed another way, this means that the probability in a given year of seeing one person live to 125 anywhere in the world is less than 1 in 10,000. "Further progress against infectious and chronic diseases may continue boosting average life expectancy, but not maximum lifespan," said Dr. Vijg. "While it's conceivable that therapeutic breakthroughs might extend human longevity beyond the limits we've calculated, such advances would need to overwhelm the many genetic variants that appear to collectively determine the human lifespan. Perhaps resources now being spent to increase lifespan should instead go to lengthening healthspan--the duration of old age spent in good health." The study was supported by National Institutes of Health grants AG017242 and AG047200, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine Institute for Aging Research/Nathan Shock Center and the Paul F. Glenn Center for the Biology of Human Aging at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
Dutta R.,Cleveland Clinic |
Chang A.,Cleveland Clinic |
Doud M.K.,Cleveland Clinic |
Kidd G.J.,Cleveland Clinic |
And 6 more authors.
Annals of Neurology | Year: 2011
Objective: Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory demyelinating disease of the human central nervous system. Although the clinical impact of gray matter pathology in MS brains is unknown, 30 to 40% of MS patients demonstrate memory impairment. The molecular basis of this memory dysfunction has not yet been investigated in MS patients. Methods: To investigate possible mechanisms of memory impairment in MS patients, we compared morphological and molecular changes in myelinated and demyelinated hippocampi from postmortem MS brains. Results: Demyelinated hippocampi had minimal neuronal loss but significant decreases in synaptic density. Neuronal proteins essential for axonal transport, synaptic plasticity, glutamate neurotransmission, glutamate homeostasis, and memory/learning were significantly decreased in demyelinated hippocampi, but not in demyelinated motor cortices from MS brains. Interpretation: Collectively, these data support hippocampal demyelination as a cause of synaptic alterations in MS patients and establish that the neuronal genes regulated by myelination reflect specific functions of neuronal subpopulations. Copyright © 2010 American Neurological Association.
Husseinzadeh H.D.,Medicine Institute |
Garcia J.A.,Cleveland Clinic
Current Clinical Pharmacology | Year: 2011
Inhibitors of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) have entered the landscape of treatment for advanced RCC. Their development has been based on their unique biology and their potential to simultaneously inhibit both tumor cell proliferation and angiogenesis. Despite the solid biologic rationale for their development, existing clinical data is somewhat mixed. Although Temsirolimus is capable of improving overall survival it does so only in a minority of selected mRCC patients and its effects on tumor burden reduction and PFS are minimal. Similarly the activity and clinical utility of Everolimus in the refractory setting is questionable. First, because it is unknown if mTOR becomes the major driver or cancer growth after developing progressive disease on a VEGF inhibitor and secondly because existing sequential VEGF data in same setting appears to be the same if not a bit more robust to that reported with Everolimus. Combination of mTOR and VEGF inhibitors has been disappointing due to the excessive toxicities encountered in early trials without a noticeable difference in efficacy. Efforts are now placed in a series of novel compounds capable of inhibiting both mTOR and the upstream signaling pathway of PI3K/AKT. © 2011 Bentham Science Publishers.
El-Sameed Y.,Medicine Institute |
Waness A.,Medicine Institute |
Al Shamsi I.,Medicine Institute |
Mehta A.C.,Medicine Institute
Lung | Year: 2012
Pneumothorax from bronchopleural or alveolopleural fistulae can be complicated by prolonged air leak (AL). This can occur in a variety of clinical settings. Examples include structural lung disease, such as bronchiectasis, and cavitary lung disorders. Prolonged AL is associated with prolonged hospital stay, atelectasis, pneumonia, and thromboembolic disease. Endobronchial valves (EBVs) have been recently introduced to manage such situations. The global experience in this novel therapeutic modality is still evolving. We report our preliminary experience with managing persistent AL treated successfully with EBVs and review the current literature on this subject. Our experience shows that EBVs are an effective tool for the management of prolonged AL from persistent bronchopleural or alveolo-pleural fistulae. It is a minimally invasive procedure recommended as an option, particularly in patients not fit for surgical repair. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012.
News Article | November 22, 2016
Press Registration & Interviews: To apply for press registration credentials, visit worldstemcellsummit.com/media/. Advance registration is requested. On-site and remote interviews can be arranged. What: A full day of stem cell education designed for patients, doctors, the general public and students. Price for the day is $30 for general admission. Free admission for students. Learn how stem cell scientists conduct research in space; meet an astronaut; enjoy dazzling art created by youth inspired by cell biology; and discover anti-aging technologies, possible cures for macular degeneration, insights into clinical trials, rescuing species from extinction with stem cell technology, and more! What: Celebrating its 12th year, the 2016 World Stem Cell Summit (#wscs16) brings scientists, clinicians, philanthropists, investors and patient advocates from more than 30 countries to share breakthroughs that were once thought impossible. The Summit meets to accelerate the discovery and development of lifesaving cures and therapies. This is an ideal event for health, science, biotech and business reporters to interview the world's stem cell leaders and pioneers. Some interviews may be able to be scheduled in advance of the Summit. The World Stem Cell Summit is a project of the nonprofit Regenerative Medicine Foundation. Since 2003, Regenerative Medicine Foundation and its predecessor Genetics Policy Institute have built the strongest, most comprehensive and trusted global network of Regenerative Medicine stakeholders, uniting the world's leading researchers, medical centers, universities, labs, businesses, funders, policymakers, experts in law, regulation and ethics, medical philanthropies and patient organizations. Our mission is to accelerate regenerative medicine to improve health and deliver cures. We are committed to the ethical advancement of innovative medicine powered by regenerative, restorative, and curative technologies. Learn more at www.regmedfoundation.org. The World Stem Cell Summit is the "window to the world" to stem cell research and regenerative medicine. It is the original, translation-focused global meeting of stakeholders, now celebrating its 12th year. With 1,200+ attendees, 225+ speakers and 90+ hours of programming it is no surprise that attendees travel from 30+ countries in order to attend. WSCS16 is organized by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), the sole manager of the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory; Centre For Commercialization Of Regenerative Medicine (Canada); Diabetes Research Institute Foundation; Kyoto University Institute for Integrated Cell Material Science; Mayo Clinic; NOVA Southeastern University Cell Therapy Institute; The Cure Alliance; University of Miami Miller School of Medicine ISCI (Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute); and Wake Forest School of Medicine Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Learn more at www.worldstemcellsummit.com.
News Article | December 16, 2015
Camilo Ruiz was only four when his parents moved from Colombia to the United States, and though he doesn’t remember the move, his bicultural upbringing and his close ties to Colombia have shaped how he views his role in the world. “I'm a very impact-driven person,” explains Ruiz, a senior biological engineering major. “Over my life, I seek to contribute to society in a way that scales across people and across time.” During his time at MIT, Ruiz has sought out collaborative research projects with real-world impacts. At the DNA Medicine Institute, a small biotechnology startup in Cambridge, Massachusetts, he helped develop a handheld blood diagnostic device. “Effectively you can take a whole room’s worth of hospital equipment and shrink it down into a device that fits in the palm of your hand,” Ruiz said. The device, which won the Nokia XChallenge Competition, uses 1,500 times less blood than a standard blood test and may allow patients to test their own blood at home. Ruiz and his five team members each had a different area of expertise, and he said he was inspired by the way everyone worked together toward a common goal of improving health care. Ruiz has also conducted research with Robert Langer, the David H. Koch Institute Professor at MIT and a member of the Koch Institute, whose lab developed the CellSqueeze, a device that allows researchers to put almost any molecule inside a cell, including DNA, RNA, or protein. “Cells are self-contained compartments with the conditions necessary for life, so they’re picky about what they let in,” said Ruiz. “Yet as engineers, we must breach that barrier to harness cells as substrates to solve problems.” As part of the Langer Lab, Ruiz tried to figure out how to use the device to target cells of specific sizes in human blood. Some cancer patients have large tumor cells circulating in their blood, so if the device can selectively mark and isolate those cells, it could help monitor a patient’s tumor without the need for a physical biopsy and provide insights into how cancers progress. Ruiz also worked on using the device to deliver different molecules to T-cells, the cells that regulate the immune system. If the right molecules are delivered to T-cells, the immune system will ramp up a response to defend against cancer or another disease. Ruiz’s family had lived in Colombia for many generations, but during the early 1990s his parents became concerned about escalating violence close to home and decided to leave their extended family and move to the United States. “It was a difficult decision to move,” said Ruiz. “But my parents made that sacrifice so that my brother and I could have a safer place to grow up and better educational opportunities.” Ruiz visits his family in Colombia as often as he can, at least once a year, and his trips back have profoundly influenced him. He recalls one Christmas vacation during high school when he volunteered at an orphanage with his grandmother and met kids his own age with much less fortunate circumstances. “I saw a stark contrast and a chasm in opportunity that I lived every day,” explains Ruiz. “Because of that I feel a deep sense of obligation to generate the most social impact I can over my career.” As a high school student in Katy, Texas, Ruiz was drawn to science courses, where his teachers encouraged him to ask questions and start dialogues about topics that interested him. The summer before his senior year, he participated in E2, a week-long engineering program at MIT. His group worked on building a suite of low-cost health care devices, and the program, which allowed Ruiz to experience the power of team-based, applied research, put MIT on his radar. “At E2, I discovered the intensive, collaborative culture and scientific powerhouse that characterizes MIT,” he said. Ruiz found an effective mentor in Armon Sharei, a postdoc in the Langer Lab. Sharei helped Ruiz troubleshoot his projects and taught him the power of reaching out to other researchers and creating a strong collaborative network. He also encouraged Ruiz to stay focused on his long-term research goals, which made it easier to overcome the smaller obstacles he encountered along the way. “I think that type of experience where you can conduct real, top-notch research with some of the best professors, postdoctoral students and graduate students in the world is something that's quite unique to MIT,” said Ruiz. During his time at MIT, Ruiz has developed a strong foundation in a number of other fields, including computer science, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering. In the process, he has developed an interdisciplinary perspective that allows him to look at problems from many different angles and generate solutions that work in the real world. Ruiz is currently managing a 22-person team for his capstone mechanical engineering project. The team is developing an automatic bathroom stall door, which is much more hygienic than doors that have to be manually opened and closed. Ruiz said he has particularly enjoyed his foray into mechanical engineering because it is possible to turn an idea into a real product in a much shorter timeframe than can be accomplished in biological engineering. Ruiz’s strong community of close-knit friends at MIT is a constant source of support, and he also credits his parents with helping him stay balanced. “My parents have been a huge influence,” said Ruiz. “They’ve given me great opportunities and a cultural heritage which influences how I see my life in the U.S.” After graduating this May, Ruiz plans to continue working on applied biotechnologies, either in graduate school or in industry. In the meantime, he is making the most of every moment at MIT. “Even the weeks where it's insane and there's a workload way beyond anything you'd expect, I chuckle a bit and think to myself this is what I'm here for,” he said.