GMI Student Perspectives | Hannah Jackson: Getting A Running Start On The Semester

Reflections from Global Medical Innovation MBE students.

Pulse-Ox Circuit for Guide-Ox device

After a long and much-needed break, it was time to head back to Rice for the spring semester. We had left our projects on hold long enough and there was much that needed to be done. Last semester focused on finding unmet needs, and then validating the needs through observations and stakeholder interviews. This semester’s main focus is on the technical – creating low-fidelity prototypes and proof of concepts – and business end. One major development that occurred over the break was that my HIE project for treating prolonged air leaks in the lung was disbanded after it was decided that it was a bit too complicated to tackle in a semester and we were short resources. Because of this, me and my partner Luc joined a new team – Team Guide-Ox!

This new project focuses on preventing anastomotic leaks from occurring intraoperatively. Although it was a bit of a letdown to give up my old project, I do enjoy working with my new team and I think our project has a lot of potential. My role in the project is technical engineering and I am currently focusing on building and testing a pulse-ox circuit that can be used to determine blood perfusion in intestinal tissue. On the business side, Aedan and Luc have been developing our project pitch for the upcoming RBPC and Napier business competitions.

Looking at my global project, one of the first thing we did when getting back was rename ourselves to PatchVax! This project – which focuses on combining microneedle patch technology with novel controlled-release microparticles developed in the McHugh lab in order to facilitate vaccine delivery in low-resource settings – has been very well established and we our working closely with Dr. McHugh on it. One major difference between this project and my HIE project is that this project focuses heavily on the technical side and is almost like a research project. We spend most of our time working in Dr. McHugh’s lab testing different procedures and biomaterials for creating our micropatch. We have also applied to a few business competitions that focuses on global health projects.

On another note, this semester has been the start of track season for me and I have already had 4 competitions! This is my last collegiate track season and so I am both excited and a bit sad, although I plan to keep running is some capacity after college. Track has meant so much to me through all of these years and being both a bioengineer and an athlete has helped with time-management skills and made me eager to take on challenges.

Hannah Jackson, 2019-20 Cohort, MBE in Global Medical Innovation