Degree: Bachelor’s in Biology
College/School: College of Arts, Sciences & Education; School of Environment, Arts & Society
As a junior, Marisol Soula traveled to Jamaica to volunteer in a clinic that treated homeless children and adults who were mentally disabled. She couldn’t entice friends to accompany her, so she convinced her mother to go. A year later, she returned – this time with six friends, more than 300 pounds of donated supplies and $1,000 that was used to purchase composition books and other school necessities for 400 children. This calling to help others has guided Marisol’s undergraduate experience.
The 21-year-old is currently working in the Adaptive Neural Systems Laboratory in the College of Engineering & Computing’s Biomedical Engineering Department. She and her colleagues are trying to elicit sensations in amputees by electrical stimulation of severed nerves. By targeting peripheral nerves and analyzing cortical signals, the researchers hope to provide prosthetic users with natural and human-like sensations.
Next month the QBIC scholar and MARC U*STAR fellow heads to New York to begin a one-year, paid internship in the Albert Einstein College of Medicine PREP Program funded by the National Institutes of Health. Marisol, who graduated with a 4.0 GPA, was one of only eight students accepted into the program.
Marisol’s ultimate goal is to earn an MD/Ph.D. and use technology to mimic biological systems in order to improve the lives of those with brain injuries and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.