I did Biomedical Engineering at university because I loved Physics and Biology in high school. People often think of engineers as technicians who fix machines but there is so much more to it, as I have discovered working in respiratory research.
"I look for mathematical patterns in breathing, to help predict asthma or COPD flareups"
Currently, I study mathematical (fractal!) patterns in day-to-day breathing, to try and predict when a patient with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease will experience a flareup of their disease. All it takes is a quick 2-minute breathing test every morning, using a novel machine which uploads data to the internet for processing. We want to develop a tool for people to self-check their lung health at home, especially those in remote areas, and even alert their doctor if they are about to have a flareup so we could prevent it.
I loved the balance between interaction with patients and the more technical aspects of my work. The fact that we can use mathematics to describe breathing is simply fascinating, and the potential for helping others is an added bonus!
- Dr. Cindy Thamrin, Biomedical Engineer