To help new GLOBE Entrepreneurship Visiting Scholars navigate their experience here at UC Berkeley, we spoke with Ding-Yuan Chen ’20, a Taiwan Berkeley-Taiwan Biomedical fellow, about his one-year entrepreneurship experience in GLOBE.
Why are you interested in participating in the GLOBE Program, and what are your startup ideas?
My undergraduate and graduate education provides me a background in genetic engineering, medical material science, stem cell therapy, and polymer science. I also have working experience in biodegradable design. So, I am interested in the global industry for medical devices, and that’s why I want to explore the medical devices area under the mentorship of Prof. Liwei Lin at Berkeley Engineering.
My first idea is how to predict cell activities for cancer cells. If you can stimulate the cancer cell system, you can use a drug delivery system to kill the cancer cell in the location you want. This helps physicians to predict where cancer cells are. My second idea is to build a mind device to help patients see where their brain injury areas are. Patients with brain injuries lost their actions, and their neurons are dying, so it’s important to locate their injuries effectively.
What did you like about Berkeley/the Bay Area?
UC Berkeley is the top public university in the world, and UC Berkeley and UCSF have strong connections, so it was a good place for me to learn about medical devices, designing software, and hardware here at the same time. The program introduced me to not only resources at UC Berkeley, but also resources at UCSF which includes one-on-one courses.
It was helpful for me to learn about the culture of biomedical start-ups. And it was also an exciting experience to see patients, start-ups, and new technologies. I was connected with faculty and physicians from clinical and engineering programs, so it’s a fantastic system.
What advice do you have for future GLOBE Scholars?
Don’t be shy, just communicate. During my first month at UC Berkeley, I often stayed in the coffee shop, listened to people’s conversations, and eventually joined them. First, learn, then make friends, lastly, chat with them. Through this, I learned how to speak with students, physicians, and professors. Also, attend a wide range of activities, not just from your backgrounds. I attended computer science and biological-related events to expand the scope of my knowledge.