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Rachel Mintz

Rachel discovered her passion for research in high school while working at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research where she employed magnesium to abate chemotherapeutic toxicity. Her research was published twice in the American Journal of Renal Physiology, and she was named an Intel Semifinalist.

Rachel Mintz

At Columbia, she conducts research in Professor Kam Leong’s Nanotherapeutics and Stem Cell Engineering Lab. To pursue her CRISPR breast cancer research, she was awarded a Columbia Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, Johnson and Johnson Scholarship, and Sigma Xi grant. She was invited to present at the 2017 Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting and the 2018 3rd Annual Bioengineering and Translational Medicine Conference. She also first-authored a review paper in Advanced Biosystems entitled, CRISPR Technology for Breast Cancer: Diagnostics, Modeling, and Therapy. The graphic she helped design based on the article was chosen as the front cover of the journal issue. In 2018, she was named a Goldwater Scholar.

Inspired by her research in Professor Leong’s lab, Rachel first-authored a paper discussing the ethics of CRISPR germline engineering with Professors John Loike and Ruth Fischbach, which has been published in Science and Engineering Ethics. With two friends, she engineered a human-centric cooling system prototype for the 2016 Columbia Rio Design Challenge and traveled to Brazil as a finalist. Working in Professor Harris Wang’s lab on Columbia’s 2016 iGEM team, she developed a microbiome synthetic mosquito repellent and earned a gold medal at the iGEM competition.

On campus, Rachel is the co-founder and president of the Systems Biology Initiative. She is also co-president of Columbia Against Cancer. She volunteers with Columbia Health as a Stressbuster, providing students with free back rubs. Off campus, she volunteered at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s hospital and works with the nonprofit organization Chemocomfort, providing cancer patients with comfort kits to manage their treatment side effects.

Upon graduation, Rachel hopes to pursue an MD/PhD, applying biomedical engineering to oncology. Ultimately, she plans to lead a lab, treat patients, and teach at a university.