Giselle Valdes

Degree: Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering

College/School: College of Engineering & Computing

Giselle Valdes became caretaker for her grandmother, who has Alzheimer’s, and her mother, who has multiple sclerosis. This inspired Giselle to research genetic disorders. A McNair scholar, she completed a competitive summer research program at MIT mapping the mutation that causes Treacher Collins Syndrome, a condition that affects the development of bones and facial tissue. The research findings may help prevent, and even treat, the disorder in the future by correcting the mutation through genetic engineering. Giselle also researched two classes of chemotherapy drugs, and that might impact how they are prescribed in the future. Giselle has been accepted –  and will decide between – Harvard and MIT for graduate school.