Biography

 

Elizabeth Wiita

Elizabeth Wiita

  • Scholar-elect
  • United States
  • 2021 PhD Chemistry

As an undergraduate studying Chemistry at Barnard College, I developed an interest in manipulating cellular structures and surroundings to improve global health outcomes. Before college, I had witnessed major disparities in health care while traveling abroad as an artistic swimmer for Team U.S.A., inspiring me to study ways to increase access to medicine: Diseases do not have geographic borders; everyone deserves treatment. I furthered my studies after Barnard as a Fulbright Scholar in Romania and through subsequent studies in the Chemical Engineering Department at Columbia University. During my PhD in Chemistry, I will explore the transportation of nucleic acids into cellular environments. This delivery of materials is fundamental to achieving targeted health treatments, including therapeutics, CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing, and vaccines. With this research, I seek to address not only crucial scientific questions, but also gaps in international medical care, where stable and easily transportable therapeutics are crucial in ameliorating health disparities. In the lab, I feel an overwhelming sense of comfort, curiosity, and responsibility; I look forward to the opportunity to enact change as a part of the Gates Cambridge community.

Previous Education

Columbia University Chemical Engineering 2021
Columbia University Chemistry 2019