NE alumna Kiara Bruggeman (NE BASc and CHEM BSc ’12, double degree) is engineering groundbreaking treatments that could help stroke victims essentially regrow parts of their brains. Her research team at Australian National University (ANU) is creating materials that can be used to tell stem cells to start behaving like brain cells in order to replace stroke-damaged tissue.
Bruggeman, who aims to spread knowledge and enthusiasm for science everywhere, uses playful language to describe her serious work:
"So the same way a university is a supportive and encouraging environment to turn teenagers into really productive members of society in various fields and functions, we make materials, we'll make that infrastructure in which stem cells can live to turn them into nice, healthy tissue," she said.
"So it's kind of like if you think of stem cells, they're pretty much tiny teenagers. They're full of potential, they can do anything they want but left to their own devices, they're a bit lazy and they need a kick in the pants to tell them what to do."
Read more about biomedical engineer Kiara Bruggeman, including her perspectives on diversity in science and technology and her recent acceptance into the Australian government’s Superstars of STEM program: Dr Kiara Bruggeman is engineering groundbreaking stroke treatments.