Mr Michael Drakopoulos (2017)
I believe that the purpose of science is to understand, the purpose of medicine is to cure, and the purpose of engineering is to improve quality of life. I studied biomedical engineering at Purdue University seeking to bring regenerative medicine into widespread clinical practice. My research at the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute convinced me that regenerative blood therapies will be the first sub-field to see widespread clinical translation, and I will study such a therapy during my MPhil at Cambridge. Beyond learning the scientific techniques required for the creation of regenerative blood therapies, I also wish to understand the regulatory, economic, and ethical challenges brought about by the approval of such treatments. At Purdue, my developmental biology research, genetic engineering policy work, and efforts in co-founding a nationally-awarded medical device design team led me to take a broad perspective incorporating pragmatic approaches to therapy development, approval, and adoption. I wish for regenerative treatments to reach all those who need them across the globe, and I intend to identify and work through the barriers to this goal, scientific and otherwise. I am honoured and humbled to join the Gates Cambridge community, and I look forward to working with this incredibly diverse group of individuals united in the goal of leading efforts to improve the lives of others.