Undergraduate Research Program

Bhavica Saxena

Bhavica smiling in front a fieldMajor: Bioengineering
Mentor: Dr. Scott Telfer, Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Contact: bhavi12@uw.edu

Current research project: Assessment of Regional Bone Quality for Surgical Planning of Posterior Pelvic Ring Fracture Fixation


Bhavica is a junior majoring in bioengineering. She is interested in the application of engineering to solve problems in the medical world and is currently working in the Yager Lab. She has also worked in the computational, robotics and biomechanics lab before on a project for improved surgical pelvic fracture fixation. This summer she started a health empowerment initiative in India focusing on increasing first aid knowledge. She enjoys playing (physically and on the xbox) and watching sports and is currently a sports medicine intern with the UW athletic training program. She also loves binge watching and munching on snacks in her free time.
Fun fact: She’s born on a leap day.


Translate your work so that we can all understand its importance
To surgically fix a fracture in the pelvis, screws are placed in the sacrum bone to hold it in place. We are trying to find areas of consistent (across all ages and sex) bone density in the sacrum to find points to place these screws so that they remain compact and hold the bones in place throughout the healing process.


When, how, and why did you get involved in undergraduate research?
It wasn’t till I arrived at UW did I slowly begin to realize the scope for research and my potential involvement in it. Initially, for me researchers something braggable some of my STEM friends were doing. Meanwhile, I thought it might be something constructive for me to do with my time. However, I wondered about my place in the world of research as an inexperienced freshmen; nevertheless, I jumped on to the bandwagon and started to dip my toe into the research finding process towards the end of my freshman quarter. Although with its fair share of waiting, hearing labs are full or not getting a response, the process for me was easier than I had expected. I got into the lab in my sophomore year and oh my had I underestimated the meaning of being involved in research. I instantly felt like I was contributing to something that mattered. I was learning new things and even gaining the confidence to take up other opportunities.


What advice would you give a student who is considering getting involved in undergraduate research?
– Don’t underestimate yourself from the onset of the process, it isn’t easy for any freshmen to understand everything in a research abstract and you aren’t expected to.

– Don’t only apply to 1-2 labs since a lot of times a lab can be at capacity at that time or you may not even get a response from some.

– Take help of the resources like the undergraduate research database and department websites to find opportunities. Talk to an Undergraduate Research advisor to help you frame a cover letter.