Alex Cruz is a doctoral student in biomedical engineering from New Jersey. He studies tissue engineering approaches to calcific aortic valve disease under the guidance of Jonathan Butcher at Cornell. Read more about Using tissue engineering approaches to better understand cardiovascular disease
Shawn Malloy, M.Eng. 2013
Hometown: Syracuse, NY
Lab affiliation/Adviser: Lammerding Lab
Why did you choose Cornell?
When it came to education I wanted the best. Cornell is one of the best ranked engineering schools in the world. Cornell was my first choice school and had everything I wanted, great academic curriculum, plenty of research opportunities, a beautiful campus, and a supportive community.
Why did you choose biomedical engineering?
I knew I wanted to be an engineer, but I wanted something that would provide meaningful contributions to people’s health. I saw biomedical engineering as the best way to apply math and science in a way that had the biggest impact to human health.
What have you been up to since graduating?
I spent six years working in large pharmaceutical companies (Amgen, Biogen, and AbbVie). There I spent most of my time in product development for late stage clinical products. I brought several products into the clinic, and on market, including an infusion pump for parkinson’s disease, autoinjectors for MS, and reconstitution systems for stroke drugs. I recently finished my MBA and joined a startup, Curebase, that is running clinical trials in a more distributed mannar via technology to reach any patient and any provider for research across the globe.
How did your Cornell degree prepare you for what you are doing now?
Cornell taught me how to think and tackle complex problems with no obvious solution. Instilling a disciplined, yet open and connected approach to problem solving helped me think about issues in ways that others may not have. There is no set right answer to the problems you will be tasked with solving, that is what you are hired to do. So having the ability to think on your feet is key.
Favorite Cornell experience or memory?
I remember my first calzone at “Nasties” freshman year and never looked back. My friends and I senior year would regroup to reminisce on those late nights we would all meet up.
What advice might you give to Cornell BME students considering a similar path to yours?
Things get easier. For me freshman year was the hardest as I was thrust into a new and challenging environment, but I got used to it and was better for it. Getting your first job is also the hardest career move. Once you establish yourself with experience it becomes much easier to find your next job, and in a lot of cases those jobs come to you.
Favorite quote that helps inspire you in your work/life?
The only difference between success and failure is the ability to take action. ~ Alexander Graham Bell