As a first year graduate student in the Doctoral Program in Biomedical Engineering at Stony Brook University, I see and do enough daily to make my life interesting. However, we cannot ignore how I got here, since that is quite a story by itself. I was born in Karachi, Pakistan on September 10, 1983, moved to Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania in early 1985. I lived there with my family and relatives until May 1993, whereupon my parents, my younger brother, and I migrated to the United States after receiving our Green Cards. We lived in Elmhurst, Queens (New York City, NY) for a year, through occasional trying times. After a little more than a year, my Dad was matched to a residency program at the University at Buffalo (Yes, he had to do residency all over). We lived in Amherst, New York for 4 years before moving five miles away to a "little" hamlet known as East Amherst, where my family continues to live, braving the infamous Buffalo winters (a bit overrated, I know) and easy access to the Canadian border. And me, you ask? Stony Brook, New York became my home August 2005 and I am becoming used to being a Long Islander.
Along the way, I have passed several milestones. In May 1997, I represented Sweet Home Middle School and Western New York at the National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. I also participated on Williamsville North High School's Scholastic Bowl team for three years, and helped it win the championship all three years on WLVL radio in Lockport, NY. During my junior and senior years of high school, I participated in Science Olympiad, and our team came 1st and 2nd in Western New York in those years, respectively, and went on to the New York State competition at West Point Military Academy. I also received 2 gold medals at the regional level. I entered the University at Buffalo in August 2001. In January 2002, I got my first (paying) job ever as a Sales Associate at the University Bookstore on campus and my first job as a lab technician in the Tissue Engineering Lab UB's Chemical Engineering Department. I continued with those experiences until December 2004 and December 2003, respectively. As a quality engineering intern at Par Industries, a Delphi automotive parts supplier, I helped recover several thousand dollars in accounting costs due to incorrect scrap recording procedures, as well as assisted the company in transitioning to the TS16949 quality documentation format, during the period from May to August 2004. In the Fall 2004 semester, I tested the hearing thresholds of chinchillas pre- and post-treatment with antioxidant drugs, at UB's Center for Hearing and Deafness. During the Spring 2005 semester, I studied at Singapore's Nanyang Technological University (NTU) as part of an exchange program. I returned to Buffalo in May 2005, just in time for graduation. I received my Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Mathematics from the University at Buffalo. In August 2005, I entered the Biomedical Engineering program at Stony Brook University, where I started working in Drs. Danny Bluestein's and Jolyon Jesty's laboratories, trying to determine the levels of shear-induced activation for interacting endothelial cells and platelets.
Besides curricular activities, I also enjoy jogging (when it is warm out), traveling (when funds permit), playing table tennis, playing Flight Simulator 2004 (this has not happened in a while), climbing mountains, and spending time with my family. I also manage several websites in my spare time. Currently, I have only one active personal website (this one) and one managed class website (BME 440). In July 2003, my father, my younger brother, 9 of my relatives, 2 friends, and I reached the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, which at 19,340 ft, is the tallest point in Africa and one of the Seven Summits. In February 2005, three fellow exchange students and I reached the top of Mt. Kinabalu, Malaysia (13,455 ft.), the tallest peak in Southeast Asia outside of the Himalayas. Some people ask me if I want to capture all the Seven Summits, and I have to say that the answer is a flat-out "NO." While I do enjoy climbing up big hills, I am not going to undertake a climb that poses risks beyond a reasonable amount (i.e. oxygen tanks, real climbing, high mortality rate, etc.). I am planning a trip to Mt. Marcy (Adirondacks, NY) next summer.