Meet the Bloggers: Maria Qadri

  • June 12, 2015
iJOBS Blog

1 “Where a door closes, a window opens.” But what happens when you stretch to keep the door and the window open at the same time? Even after being “in school” for more than two decades, narrowing the field of opportunities to pick just one career still seems like a daunting task. All science is exciting. Every good research presentation leaves me pumped and wishing I was breaking into that field. My academic career initially began in pursuit of becoming a doctor– I had been in so many doctor’s offices and had such a personal tie to rapid medical advances because of Type 1 diabetes that of course I became enamored. When my parents recommended that I start out as an engineer, I balked at the idea, until I began to read news articles about the blossoming field of biomedical engineering. Biological sciences, medicine, and engineering mushed together? Sounds like exactly what I wanted to do and a way to satisfy my parents’ wishes. Their nudge set me on the path I walk now: solving real problems and making the world easier to navigate with medical ailments. Over the last few years, I have worked on assistive devices, rehabilitation equipment, diagnostic tools, and a great deal of data analysis. Somewhere along the way, I realized I could have a greater impact by making tools for doctors rather than becoming one. Not only do I have the determination to deal with loads of information, but also, I enjoy finding patterns within human data. With this in mind and guidance from my advisor, Bill Craelius, I focus my current research on modeling aspects of neural physiology: how does intracranial pressure regulation behave after a traumatic brain injury and how can neuronal firing patterns identify specific structures in a Parkinson’s patient? (Read more about my research here and here). I am open to all opportunities, because everything seems exciting and engaging at this point in my life. Apparently, the new normal is to reinvent yourself often and undertake career changes every few years. All I really want is to make a meaningful impact on as many lives as possible. I’m very passionate about the changing state of higher education, the boom of big (and small) data analytics, and translational research. My next move may be a post-doc or it may be a biotech start up. It may be in science communication or public policy. I’m not sure just yet but I will have to be sooner than later. So stay posted for recaps of seminars and article suggestions that reignite my passion for science, open my eyes to unconsidered ideas, and make me wonder where my future lies. Questions? Contact Maria via LinkedIn or Twitter, or leave them in the comments below!