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Recent graduate took advantage of every opportunity

Chandhana Voleti

Malcolm X said, “education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”

A recent graduate of the Richard and Loan Hill Department of Biomedical Engineering Chandhana Voleti used her time to the fullest extent possible at the University of Illinois Chicago.

Prior to graduating this May with her bachelor’s in biomedical engineering with a concentration in bioinformatics and a minor in computer science, Voleti not only worked in the laboratories of Assistant Professor Beatrix Peñalver Bernabé and Assistant Professor Zhangli Peng, but also was the Society of Women Engineers’ vice president, the treasurer of the Biomedical Engineering Society, helped to host the fifth annual symposium along with BMES, participated in the college’s Guaranteed Paid Internship Program, and other various internships.

“I always really wanted to get involved at UIC and I’m really glad that I did,” Voleti said. “I wanted to make an impact through the organizations I was part of and feel like I’ve been able to do so.”

She feels that participating in research is the best way to get experience for the real world, adding that her internships and working in labs opened a lot of doors during her time at UIC. This experience, along with working at other internships in Chicago, helped her to get a job after graduation.

During her time in Bernabe’s laboratory, the Bea Lab, Voleti worked to create metabolic models of ovarian follicle cells to see how obesity impacts infertility.

Chandhana Voleti (bottom center) stands with other graduates of the Richard and Loan Hill Department of Biomedical Engineering during the 2023 ceremony

A recurring theme that appeared throughout Voleti’s senior year was a focus on women’s health. The research she assisted with in Bernabé’s lab and her senior design project focused on creating a biofeedback device to improve maternal labor efforts helped Voleti realize a passion for women’s health. She explained there are still gaps that exist in women’s health research due to a lack of research.

These experiences also led her to present at the fifth annual UIC Women’s Health Research Day. Working on these projects was a little unexpected for Voleti, but they sparked a passion she was originally unaware of.

“Being part of all of these opportunities helped me realize how interested and passionate I am about women’s health and I’m going to continue to look into it and always make sure I’m up to date about research within women’s health,” Voleti said.

Voleti pursued biomedical engineering as a way to help people live better lives. She noted medical data can impact public policies and health standards having a larger impact on populations.

Of all aspects of engineering, Voleti most enjoys the problem-solving aspect as it allows her to approach problems in multiple ways and with background knowledge and research experience.

Voleti will begin working for Cigna Healthcare this summer and plans to eventually get a master’s degree in data analytics or a related field. She hopes to possibly incorporate women’s health into her career in the future.

“Everything I’ve been part of made my college experience more memorable,” Voleti said. “I’ve made friendships that will last a long time.”

The 2023 graduating class of the Richard and Loan Hill Department of Biomedical Engineering