Alumni Profile: Salmon Wins Fulbright Award to Conduct Heart Research
October 22, 2018
Mandy Salmon, ChBE 2018, is researching an alternative treatment for a common heart arrhythmia called atrial fibrillation at Aarhus University in Denmark after receiving a Fulbright Program award.
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, the Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program, designed to increase mutual understanding between residents of the United States and people of other countries.
Salmon, who plans to attend medical school after her time in Denmark from August 2018 to June 2019, says she was drawn to medicine after working for a year as a research assistant in Professor Ajit Yoganathan’s Cardiovascular Fluid Mechanics Laboratory, where she built three-dimensional models of the heart.
“Doing cardiovascular research during my senior year taught me that you can apply chemical engineering to the body by running computational flow dynamic simulations, to get the pressures and velocities of blood as it flows through different parts of the heart,” she says.
While she held internships at The Dennis Group, which builds commercial-food facilities, and at ExxonMobil, working on projects to improve light oils refinery operations, Salmon ultimately decided on medicine. “I like helping people more directly. Volunteering at hospitals ultimately led me to choose medicine.”
Salmon, who’s won acceptance to the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, was a member of the Georgia Tech Chapter of the Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children, a global group that raises money for medically underserved communities around the globe.
She traveled to Peru with the group during her sophomore year, and as a senior, she served as the director of fundraising to raise money for medical supplies for a community in Costa Rica.
Salmon believes in the importance of spreading awareness of heart disease risk factors and prevention. She planned an event called Red Dress Gala for research fundraising and awareness of cardiovascular risk factors in her junior year, and is a strong proponent of including daily physical activity, which she promoted in her time as Swim Club President senior year