img-vazirabad-photosYusef Vazirabad

BioMolecular Engineering

Class of 2013

“I really liked the small class sizes and getting to know all my professors. Everyone at MSOE is motivated to try their best and succeed as well.”

Yusef Vazirabad was part of the first class of students who graduated from MSOE’s biomolecular engineering program. “I got very excited about organic chemistry and biochemistry my senior year of high school,” said Yusef. “I saw that MSOE was offering biomolecular engineering, so I took the plunge so to speak. I am very happy with my decision. The field itself is still developing, so there are many opportunities out there in nearly every industry.”

“The biomolecular engineering faculty at MSOE come from a diverse range of fields, such as cellular biology, bioinformatics and protein engineering. They invest a lot of their time working with the students one-on-one,” he noted. “I am confident that with the forward-focused education I am receiving in the biomolecular engineering program, I will be very prepared for any career opportunity that comes my way, be it in industry, research or furthering my education in graduate school.”

Yusef’s on-campus jobs revolved around helping high school students. “One of my favorite experiences at MSOE was working in MSOE’s Center for BioMolecular Modeling with the SMART Teams program.” SMART Teams is a program where high school students work directly with a scientific researcher to create models of proteins. “It was a great experience getting high school students excited about molecular biology and biological research before they get to college. I wish I had that opportunity when I was in high school.”

Yusef also worked in the MSOE Admissions Office. “There was a lot of variety on the job. I’d do data entry one day, answer phones another, and answer students’ questions on MSOE’s ‘Bridge’ admissions website still another day. I loved talking to prospective students and parents and giving my perspective on MSOE. Choosing MSOE was not a hard decision for me. I knew I wanted individualized attention from industry-trained professors who really know what they are talking about. MSOE is one of the few universities in the Midwest which offers this type of opportunity.”

“I really liked the small class sizes and getting to know all my professors. Everyone at MSOE is motivated to try their best and succeed as well.”

While he was a student, Yusef interned at the Blood Center of Wisconsin and the Medical College of Wisconsin. “I was greatly helped by many of the courses in the biomolecular engineering program. More specifically, I took a biotechnology class the spring of my sophomore year. This class gave me much of the theory of many biological techniques that I ended up using during my internship at the Blood Center of Wisconsin. In my junior year, I took two courses in Bioinformatics, which helped me attain my internship at the Medical College of Wisconsin.”

After graduation, Yusef’s plans were to work in the bioinformatics field—and he succeeded. He started out as a data analyst at the Medical College of Wisconsin working on a program called Carpe Novo, a clinical bioinformatics program which tracks DNA mutations that cause disease.

He then was able to attain a salaried position at the BloodCenter of Wisconsin as a Bioinformatics Analyst. “At the BloodCenter, they use Next-Generation Sequencing to do diagnostic testing. My job will be to help analyze the genomic data that come from the DNA Sequencers.” The Diagnostic Labs of the BloodCenter, the labs that Yusef supports, were featured in an article from the Journal Sentinel. “Bioinformatics deals with analyzing relations between structure and function of proteins, DNA, etc. via computer algorithms and tools, and how these relations can be used to generate new knowledge which can be helpful in drug design and prediction of interactions between various biomolecules. I find this field very exciting.”

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