Undergraduate Research Program

Louise Hansen

Hansen, Louise

Mentor: Paul Yager, Bioengineering

Contact: llhansen@uw.edu

Current research project: Development of a Competitive Inhibition Assay for Implementation in Fluorescence-based Point-of-Care Diagnostics



Translate your work so that we can all understand its importance
My lab is working on improving the universal access to healthcare by engineering and creating point-of-care diagnostic devices that are capable of identifying diseases without any external power, trained personnel or clean water. These devices function like the common pregnancy test, and are essential for the timely and proper treatment of many infectious diseases, such as respiratory syncytial virus and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Our current research is focused on making faster diagnostics by replacing the current read-out method, which includes lateral flow strips, with a fluorescence-based assay that is capable of providing a quantitative readout.

When, how, and why did you get involved in undergraduate research?
I joined a lab at Fred Hutch while I was still in high school as a part of an internship program. Since then, I have worked in three different labs on a handful of projects ranging from neuroscience to stem cell research. Overall, research has allowed me to explore different fields to helped me figure out what subjects and career paths interest me, and it helped guide me to my college major. The phrase that has helped me get into labs is: “It is better to be interested and interesting.”

What advice would you give a student who is considering getting involved in undergraduate research?
There are many different kinds of labs, covering a wide range of fields, so spend time finding a lab that fits your interests! Use research as a tool for deepening your understanding in a field that you enjoy.