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I have always known exactly what I wanted to do with my career – transform scientific discovery into products that change lives. This is why I choose engineering as an undergraduate, rather than the basic sciences, and why my graduate research was application driven. As an undergraduate I quickly learned that I could accomplish this goal inside or outside academia. As an academic I could follow the path pioneered by the likes of MIT professor Robert Langer who has co-authored over 1,000 articles, co-invented over 750 patents and patent applications, licensed or sublicensed his work to over 220 companies, and founded over 20 successful companies. In industry, I could follow the path of those like Craig Venter, co-founder of Celera Genomics and Synthetic Genomics. Thus, the potential was there to reach my goal irrespective ...