Natalia Trayanova, Murray B. Sachs Professor of biomedical engineering, recently gave a TEDx talk at Johns Hopkins discussing her lab’s efforts to develop personalized virtual hearts. It may not have been an easy journey so far, but that hasn’t stopped her team.
“We created the ‘Wall of Shame’ in my lab. We would paste every rejected paper, every rejected grant, and every rejected abstract. It’s pretty full,” says Trayanova. “We would look at that and instead of discouraging us, it actually greatly inspired us to fight back…and get to that vision that we had. And here we are.”
Her profession as a biomedical engineer actually began as a physicist, but she always knew she was destined for a career in science.
“My parents put me on an elevator to a science career. And there I was – I became a scientist,” she explains. “That elevator took me to a truly unexpected place. I would have never imagined I would get to a floor where I would be working directly with physicians, making the decisions on how to deliver the best care.”
She closes her talk with an inspiring message. “Like me, you may not know where your elevators are going to take you. But take a chance, press a button, get out of the elevator, and find out.”