Everyone always asks me what my favorite classes are, but I can never narrow it down. As someone who is super passionate about medicine, all of my Biomedical Engineering (BME) classes really excite me. To give you a bit of a window into my life as a BME, I’ve decided to compile some of the BME classes I have taken that have impacted me especially. Comparing classes is like comparing apples and oranges, so these are in no particular order!

BME 426: Basics of Biomedical Imaging: Ionizing Radiation

CT Image of a Mouse

I am currently taking this class as one of my anchor courses, and I cannot overemphasize how awesome this class is. The focus of this course is to learn the physics behind biomedical imaging that utilizes ionizing radiation and also learn the basics of interpretation. Specifically we are studying X rays, mammography, fluoroscopy, PET, and CT. What makes this class even better is our professor, Dr. Zavaleta. She is a really kind professor and incredibly passionate about medical imaging. Additionally, she is a newer professor, so she can relate more with us just because we are closer in age. Also, she’s really mindful of our time, so she gives us days off and has designed the class to end mid semester. This gives us all more time to focus on our other classes for the second half of the semester (“crunch time”).

BME 405: Senior Projects: Measurements and Instrumentation

For those of you who don’t know, BME 405 is the Biomedical Engineering Senior Design course. This is essentially our capstone project where we work in teams to generate some sort of biomedical device from start to finish. So far, I have really loved working with my team and getting hands on experience this semester. My team has had the opportunity to meet with doctors at UCLA to discuss problems in healthcare and potential solutions. This class is very teamwork based which has been a great change of pace. Can’t wait to continue working on my project and hopefully update you all soon!

BME 499: Tissue Engineering

Organ on a Chip

Tissue engineering in applications like “organs on chips” is such a hot topic now, and I am so grateful to have been able to dive into this more at USC. This class was broken up into 3 sections: tissue biology basics, tissue engineering techniques, and how to combine these together to engineer your own tissues. I loved how the class steadily built on itself and ended with a final that consisted of questions like: “you need to engineer a heart valve replacement, how would you do so?” By testing us on engineering problems, we were able to come up with a limitless number of feasible solutions. Additionally, since tissue engineering is so relevant, we had the opportunity to read and understand new research publications for class. Finally, I love how my professor took the time to address ethical concerns about tissue engineering. I think it is really important for engineers to think critically about the impacts of their engineering, and I am glad he gave us a space to explore this further.

Emily Powis

Emily Powis

MAJOR: Biomedical Engineering YEAR: Class of 2022 HOMETOWN: Denver, Colorado PRONOUNS: she/her/hers INSTA: @emilyspowis Within Viterbi I conduct research in 3D ultrasound development. Outside of engineering, I am co-captain of the SC Climbing Team, guide outdoor trips with SC Outfitters, work as an Emergency Medical Technician, and help provide mentorship for K-12 students as a counselor in Troy Camp.

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