Taking an engineering approach to biology

Victoria Hsiao ‘10

Scientist 1 Strain Engineering at Amyris

I decided to go to grad school before doing my Fulbright! As a E:BioE major at Olin, I felt that I would really need a PhD to do higher level research. So I applied for both a Fulbright research grant and for grad school in bioengineering during the fall of my senior year. When I was offered the opportunity to do a Fulbright, I asked Caltech if I could defer a year and they said it wasn't a problem at all. My year as a Fulbright fellow gave me the break that I needed after graduating, gave me the chance to travel throughout Asia and really prepared me for the lifestyle of a graduate student.

 Victoria went ot Taiwan in June 2010 on a Fulbright scholarship to study at the National Taiwan University in Taipei, where she worked on a tissue engineering research project in the biomedical enginerering department. She researched ways of mechanically stimulating cells to grow into ligaments, such as those that are commonly torn in the knee during exercise.

Since I was working on my own project in an academic lab, my Fulbright experience allowed me to start my actual graduate program with a lot more maturity and foresight than if I had jumped in after my senior year.

"Thanks to the Fulbright, I was able to collaborate iwth talented researchers from halfway across the world, to reconnect with my culturela heritage and to share my experiences abroad iwth everyone int he community. I am tremendously grateful for this opportunity."

Today Victoria worls as Scientist 1 at Strain Engineering at Amyris.

Victoria chronicled her Fulbright adventure via her blog Ten in Taipei: an american's guide to Taiwan and provides an update on her studies at Caltech via a recent Post-Graduate-Planning blog post: Studying Synthetic Biology at Caltech.