Zoe Chau, a senior bioengineering undergraduate student, received a MEXT scholarship to study in Japan starting in the fall. This scholarship is funded by the Japanese government to assist students interested in studying at Japanese universities. MEXT, an abbreviation for the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, offers scholarships for undergraduate, master’s and Ph.D. studies.
Zoe is a research assistant for the Lai Lab managed by James Lai, a former UW Bioengineering research associate professor who is now at National Taiwan University of Science and Technology. Zoe’s research focuses on developing 3D printed devices and using heat-responsive polymers to improve SARS-CoV-2 viral antigen detection in saliva. “If these devices are successful, we hope to apply the technology to other infectious diseases such as Hepatitis B, where salivary diagnostics are not yet available or lack sensitivity.” Zoe said.
Beginning in October, Zoe will study at the University of Tsukuba where she will continue using polymer chemistry but with a shifted focus to breast cancer therapeutics, specifically self-assembling antioxidant nanoparticles. “I am tremendously excited to be receiving the MEXT scholarship,” Zoe said. Earlier this year she had the opportunity to explore clinical needs in Nepali hospitals through the department’s study abroad program where she enjoyed building connections with the international community. “The MEXT scholarship will be an invaluable opportunity for me to continue collaborating with diverse research perspectives to help address some of the world’s most pressing clinical needs,” Zoe said.
In addition to the MEXT scholarship, Zoe has received two Washington Research Foundation Fellowship awards as well as three awards from the Mary Gates Endowment. She has also been very involved with the Engineering Peer Educators Program, in addition to the department’s outreach efforts where she helps to organize introductory bioengineering workshops for K-12 students. Zoe was also involved in writing an exosomes paper that was published in a prestigious journal during the height of the pandemic.
The MEXT scholarship will be an invaluable opportunity for me to continue collaborating with diverse research perspectives to help address some of the world’s most pressing clinical needs. – Zoe Chau
In her free time, Zoe likes to read books, particularly mystery novels.