Desai keynotes BioEHSC 2017

Inspiring future bioengineers

Professor and department chair Tejal Desai, PhD, had the honor of keynoting the 2017 Bioengineering High School Competition (BioEHSC) held recently at UC Berkeley. BioEHSC is hosted annually by the Bioengineering Honor Society (BioEHS) at Berkeley. Desai’s lecture, entitled “My Fantastic Voyage: A Convergence of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology,” captivated the sold-out crowd with dreams for their own future scientific adventures.

Since its inception in 2014, BioEHSC has tripled in size and garnered interest worldwide. The one-day event is an annual bioengineering research and design competition for high school students. They welcome teams to showcase their work and receive feedback from both Berkeley researchers and biotech industry professionals. In addition to the competition, the event showcases student posters and videos, which are made available to remote audiences.

Tejal Desai delivers keynote address

Tejal Desai delivers keynote address

Prior to the competition, there is a seven-week research and design period to help high school students explore bioengineering, immersing them in rigorous scientific literature review and engineering design methodologies. Contestants work in groups of four or five, and receive mentorship and advice from an undergraduate researcher in bioengineering or a bioengineering-related field at UC Berkeley. The contestants then create posters for the competition. The panel of judges is comprised of bioengineering professors, graduate students, and industry representatives.

In addition to the competition, there are electives and laboratory activities.

The Bioengineering Honor Society (BioEHS) is the premier honor society of bioengineering majors at UC Berkeley, aiming to advance bioengineering at the university level and the community beyond. BioEHS recognizes undergraduates who have demonstrated exemplary academic talent and abilities in the field of bioengineering, and fosters an environment that encourages both scholarship and academic integrity.

In the community, BioEHS inspires the next generation of bioengineers by encouraging K-12 students to explore the bioengineering discipline through an expansive set of outreach programs and educational events. BioEHS frequents Bay Area schools and science fairs with bioengineering-centered activities, and participates in philanthropic events to give back to the Bay Area community.

In thanking Desai for her participation, 2017 BioEHSC Junior Chair Nikko Jeffreys said, “It was wonderful to have you share your passion for bioengineering with so many young and eager individuals, and engage them in such a revolutionary engineering field.”

“I really appreciate your commitment to STEM outreach and informing the next generation of bioengineers,” added Sean Kitayama, 2017 BioEHSC Senior Chair.


Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences

About the School: The UCSF School of Pharmacy aims to solve the most pressing health care problems and strives to ensure that each patient receives the safest, most effective treatments. Our discoveries seed the development of novel therapies, and our researchers consistently lead the nation in NIH funding. The School’s doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree program, with its unique emphasis on scientific thinking, prepares students to be critical thinkers and leaders in their field.