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Bioengineering student Minhal Ahmed, E'19, was selected as Northeastern's first George J. Mitchell Scholar, which sends future American leaders to the island of Ireland for a year of graduate study. This recognition is a reflection of Ahmed's superlative academic achievements as well as his leadership as President of the Northeastern chapter of Peer Health Exchange.
Ahmed chose to study bioengineering at Northeastern because of the field’s potential to transform medical care through novel technologies. He has studied the gut microbinome, which refers to the bacteria, virus, and fungi in the intestines while working with Assistant Professor Abigail Koppes' Advanced Biomaterials for NeuroEngineering Laboratory (ABNEL). He developed a mircofluidic device, which is a plastic chip that has small channels to culture cells, that can be used to mimic how sensory cells in the gut communicate with the brain—a connection that has become an emerging area of study in recent years.
He has also complemented his studies with research co-ops in a neurobiology lab at Duke University School of Medicine, where he led a pilot project studying cerebellar circuit function during locomotion; at Editas Therapuetics, where he researched novel gene therapies based on CRISPR/Cas9 technology; and at Mass General focusing on the enteric nervous system.