2013 Summer Intern Nic Hogan


The bioeffects section on our website is brief and does not contain images or references. My job has been to conduct in-depth research on these bioeffects, discover some that were not present on the list, create new categories and divisions, and write more in-depth descriptions of each mechanism. I also worked with an illustrator to request illustrations for each bioeffect, developed a website containing potential layouts for the page, and collected references for use in a paper on the biological effects of focused ultrasound.

Expand bioeffects section of website, develop the list into a complete paper, obtain/create videos and photos for each biomechanism, and research references for each mechanism.

All bioeffects have been given in-depth summaries unique to either the website or the paper. Useful references have been added to both, and a convenient way of including these references on the website has been designed. Illustrations have been requested and should be completed shortly. Figures must be inserted into the paper along with illustrations before it is considered complete, but it has been drafted and edited multiple times. A complete layout for the bioeffects page has been created using minimal CSS and HTML coding (the idea was to make it simple for implementation but with a more smooth user interface). After illustrations are obtained, they will be added to the website. The final step in the project is obtaining animations for each bioeffect, although some placeholder animations have already been added to the website housing the layout.

What was the most important learning point of your internship experience?
I believe that the vast amount of knowledge on the bioeffects of focused ultrasound is what will be most important to me in the future, as it truly allowed me to understand how this technology works. That understanding has allowed me to fully comprehend the clinical potential of focused ultrasound. As far as skills are concerned, learning to write in CSS and HTML for web design, while not part of my job description, ended up to be incredibly interesting and useful.

What do you see yourself doing in the next year? The next five years?
Next year I will be continuing my studies in the biomedical engineering program at UVA and hopefully also be beginning my neuroscience major. In the summer I will be leading an outdoor sports and leadership program for a change of pace. Five years from now I hope to be either researching the neurological basis of behavior or developing a product based on biomimicry principles.

What is your dream job?
My dream job would combine my passion for engineering and design with my fascination for biological systems in the field of biomimicry, which revolves around designing products based on the adaptations of living species. Biomimicry has led to the synthesis of spider silk with an incredible tensile strength, the use of bioluminescence to create energy efficient, artificial light, and replication of the micro-pattern on shark skin that reduces drag as they move through the water. I love how this field finds answers to our problems in the flora and fauna that we see every day but fail to appreciate. Being able to turn these adaptations into solutions for the struggles we face has always been a dream of mine.