Engineering Medicine (EnMed) recently welcomed its third and largest class of future physicianeers. The class of 2025 consists of 49 students — 40% are female, 32% are from out of state, the average MCAT is 513.5 and the average GPA is 3.75. Their undergraduate degrees represent almost every engineering discipline, as well as computer science, economics, and various fields of physics, but they all share the common goal of wanting to be a new kind of doctor who’s uniquely equipped to make significant contributions to the future of medicine.
Learn more about some of the students in EnMed’s newest class below.
Charles Foster says that he chose EnMed to learn and polish the skills and knowledge needed not only to identify medical needs, but also to engineer tangible solutions that address those needs. He hopes to one day create devices that help transform the health care landscape and create better outcomes for patients in a way that neither a physician nor engineer alone can do. He believes this interface between medicine and engineering is investigated uniquely by EnMed.
Originally from San Antonio, Foster holds a bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas at Austin and a master’s degree in medical science from the University of North Texas Health Science Center.
While at EnMed, he plans to continue his research on the gut microbiome and microengineering ‘organs-on-chips,’ as well as explore the electrophysiology of the heart.
Originally from Seattle, Joanne Kim skipped high school to attend the University of Washington where she researched the migration of breast cancer cells. After later transferring to Cornell University and graduating with a bachelor’s degree in materials science and engineering, Kim worked as an engineer at Intel Corporation, specializing in using chemical decapsulation methods for failure analysis.
“Identifying failure mechanisms in microchips was analogous to making diagnoses in human patients and largely inspired me to look into medicine from the world of tech,” she said. “EnMed allowed me to embrace and build upon my experience in the tech industry while simultaneously seeking the human element that I believe can only be found in medicine.”
Kim says she was also very excited by the challenge of earning two degrees in just four years from such distinct disciplines, and the idea of not being limited by traditional job titles.
Originally from Pocatello, Idaho, Hunter Mansfield chose EnMed to build the foundational skills, understanding and connections needed to be successful with medical devices.
“I hope to see several ideas of my own and my classmates go from concept to market,” he said. “I chose EnMed because I believe innovation is the driving force behind medical progress. Innovation is why we can expect to live twice as long as people 100 years ago, and innovation is how we are going to decrease the cost and increase the accessibility of health care in the years to come.”
A born tinkerer with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Utah, Mansfield plans to channel his passions into the bio-design process to create innovations that generate better outcomes for patients all over the world. His research interests include electromechanical devices, biometric wearables, artificial intelligence, augmented reality and rural medicine.
Divek Toprani received his bachelor’s degree in bioengineering and biotechnology from the University of California, San Diego. Originally from Cupertino, Calif., he also has a master’s degree in translational medicine through a collaboration between the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of California, San Francisco.
As part of his master’s program, Toprani worked as a strategy consultant with Netic Health, a digital health platform that provides remote physical therapy. He says that experience broadened his understanding of digital health platforms, and helped him think more creatively about ways to address common problems using a biodesign-adjacent framework.
“EnMed provides a unique and exciting opportunity to integrate my two interests, learning medicine through the lens and perspective of an engineer while being surrounded by motivated and like-minded individuals,” he said. “The location in the Texas Medical Center provides proximity to an environment ideal for medical innovation. In EnMed, I hope to learn to become a physician while also progressing as an engineer and aspiring innovator.”
Kajol Shah joins EnMed from Atlanta where she received her bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
During her gap year, Shah worked at a startup that specialized in developing rehabilitation devices for stroke survivors with motor impairments. She led projects that centered around helping patients set long-term recovery goals and kept track of their improvements.
Kajol’s Alzheimer’s disease research has been published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry and her research on traumatic brain injury was published in the Journal of Neurobiology of Disease. She plans to continue researching the complexity of neurodegenerative diseases at a cellular level and working on identifying clinical therapeutic strategies to target them.
Alex Ramos attended Texas A&M University where she received a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering. Originally from Coppell, Texas, she was first introduced to EnMed while on a study abroad summer internship in Rwanda through Texas A&M and Engineering World Health, where she learned how to repair medical equipment and speak the native language, Kinyarwanda.
Her research interests include type 1 diabetes, sports medicine and orthopedic implants. She is an active member of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation where she previously served as a youth ambassador and now participates by advising those who’ve been newly diagnosed and their families.
Raghave Upadhyaya joins EnMed with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering and combined masters degrees in computational science and engineering, and applied mathematics from the Oden Institute at UT- Austin, and a fellowship from Dell Medical School in the Texas Center for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease.
“I chose EnMed because of the unlimited resources and networking avenues it has here in the famed Texas Medical Center,” he said. “It allows me to continue creating medical devices while educating me about the clinical spaces they will be used in as well as how to get them there.”
While at EnMed, Upadhyaya plans to research the interplay between predictive power of machine learning with medical imaging modalities, the long-term effects of surgical correction in pediatric congenital abnormalities and medical devices that can be used in low-resource settings. He says he would like to pursue a surgical subspecialty that is focused on the pediatric patient population. Upadhyaya is originally from Arlington, Texas.