2015-2016 Luce Scholar

Institute of Advanced Biomedical Engineering and Science Tokyo Women's Medical University Tokyo, JAPAN

Allie Speidel will be placed with the Institute of Advanced Biomedical Engineering and Science at Tokyo Women’s Medical University, in Tokyo, Japan. The Tokyo Women’s Medical University / Waseda University Joint Institution for Advanced Biomedical Sciences (TWIns), established in March of 2008, is a center for the advancement of biomedical science research based on a fusion of medicine, science, and engineering. Allie recently received her Ph.D. in cardiac tissue engineering from Imperial College London, at the age of 25. At TWIns, she will work on cell sheet technology with Dr. Tatsuya Shimizu and Dr. Jun Kobayashi.

Alessondra Speidel is interested in the intersections of research, engineering, commercialization and policy in a medical context. She will complete her Ph.D. studies on heart regeneration at Imperial College London in June 2015. Her Ph.D. project, funded by the Marshall Scholarship and Rosetrees Trust, explores strategies for imaging, understanding and improving heart tissue regeneration after heart injury. Alessondra graduated with Distinction in Biomedical Engineering and a Howard G. Clark Award for excellence in research from Duke University, obtaining a B.S.E. in Biomedical Engineering and a minor in Chemistry in 2011. As a Pratt Fellow at Duke, she published her research on the optimization of drug delivery methods, focusing on how cells respond to their surface environments. Through her immersive Collegiate Athletic Premedical Experience (CAPE) internship shadowing various surgical, clinical, and laboratory medicine professionals at the Duke University Medical Center, she fostered and developed her interest in medicine. Outside of her academic work, she was a Baldwin Scholar, freelance SAT tutor and college application consultant, Duke University peer tutor, Imperial College student union steward and bar staff member, Ph.D. Department committee member, Biomedical Young Entrepreneurs Scheme’s best healthcare business plan winner, and member of the Duke Varsity Swim Team. Before continuing on to medical school, Alessondra is interested in broadening her perspectives on medical policy and exploring the considerations taken by organizations that regulate clinical trials. She also enjoys exploring different cultural and personal horizons through travel.