Rachel has a colorful history as a bio and medical hacker, entrepreneur, and synthetic biology researcher.
She got her start hacking recombinant bacteriophage into off-the-shelf pregnancy tests to create accessible, point-of-care medical diagnostics. For two years, she co-lead the startup venture, PhageFlag, in the development of this technology and its application in the prevention of foodborne pathogens. (This included buying and dismantling more pregnancy tests than you can ever imagine!)
Further, fascinated with the idea of medical objects as an interface between biology and function, she takes great joy in having helped launch the University of Virginia’s annual Medical Hackathons to bring together hospital practitioners with students and makers, and to convey innovative thinking and problem solving to a wide spectrum of audiences. Areas of noted interest include hospital microbiomes against super-bugs, and the ‘form-factors’ of death, palliative and end of life care.
Currently, Rachel is an RA of the Mediated Matter research group at the MIT Media Lab. Her research focuses on formulating interactions between microorganisms and materials. She works in close collaboration with the advanced multimaterial fabrication capabilities of the team to find and mediate these living relationships, such that elegant, new cooperations can be derived from natural or synthetically engineered processes.
Please come find me at the Wet Lab Atelier of the Media Lab!