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Hello, I'm David Botana, a dedicated and passionate biomedical engineer with a unique personal journey that has profoundly influenced my professional aspirations. Born with physical disabilities, I've transformed my experiences into a life mission centered around regenerative engineering and medical innovation. My educational path at Northwestern University and Purdue University, enriched with diverse experiences in medical device creation, prosthetic design, and research, has solidified my commitment to pioneering accessible and groundbreaking medical solutions.

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My Story

Early Inspirations and Challenges

From an early age, I realized that the conventional idea of an "average body" didn't represent everyone, including myself. Born missing the radial bone in my left arm, muscles in my arms, legs, hands, and a uniquely twisted spine, I've faced physical challenges that have shaped my identity and ambitions. My journey began in the nurturing environment of Camp No Limits and the corridors of hospitals, where I witnessed the transformative power of medical technology. At just twelve years old, I designed and 3D printed an attachment system for my left arm splint during a program at Autodesk, where I first encountered the potential of regenerative medicine.

Academic and Professional Development

At Northwestern University, my dedication to engineering research deepened. I engaged in research on menstrual blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells, aiming to create medical solutions rooted in anti-ableist principles. My experiences range from developing a cost-effective battery-powered blood sample incubator for remote areas to designing assistive technology devices at Purdue University's Institute for Accessible Science. As an undergraduate research assistant, I focused on utilizing menstrual mesenchymal stem cells for diabetic wound treatment, and as a project manager at the Segal Design Institute, I developed therapeutic systems for spinal cord injury patients.

Leadership and Advocacy

Leadership roles have been a significant aspect of my journey. As a Committee Athlete Representative for the Olympic and Para-Equestrian Committee, I've advocated for policy development and resource allocation to make sports more financially accessible. My commitment to community well-being extends to my role as Co-Director of the Sexual Health and Assault Peer Educators (SHAPE) at Northwestern, where I've organized events and educated peers on consent and healthy relationships. As President of the Happiness Club, I've focused on promoting mental health through barrier-free events.

Future Aspirations

As a Biomedical Engineering PhD student at the Center for Paralysis Research at Purdue University, my research focuses on developing machine learning models of secondary injury mechanisms in spinal cord injuries. This work aims to enable rapid, evidence-based treatment customization, ensuring that each patient receives the most effective and personalized care. I am dedicated to developing tools that accelerate research and translation to clinical applications, addressing inequities in academic and clinical spaces. I'm driven to bridge the gap between scientific discovery and clinical application through entrepreneurship, translating research breakthroughs into accessible health technologies. My vision is a future where medical treatments are not just reactive but regenerative, a synergy of research excellence and entrepreneurial acumen that resonates globally. Through my story, I embody the spirit of innovation and a determination to create a world where physical limitations don't define one's abilities or potential. My goal is to contribute meaningfully to the field of biomedical engineering, ensuring that medical advancements are accessible and transformative for all.


I'm always looking for new and exciting opportunities. Let's connect.


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