Katrina Guido wins 2019 NDSEG Fellowship Award

Posted: April 11, 2019

Katrina Guido
Not quite satisfied with the opportunities for hands-on applications as a physics student, Katrina Guido decided to follow her muse into graduate school as an engineer at The Ohio State University.

Her goal now is to find ways to use her technical abilities for good.

“I knew I wanted to do something with my life that helped people, and I have always been interested in how the electrical impulses in our brains allow us to do everything from breathe to think complex thoughts,” Guido said. “So, I started looking for research that was aligned with both of these ideas.”

She took a chance and hopped on the electromagnetic wave as a Ph.D. student in Ohio State's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). 

It’s clear her change in focus is already paying off. 

Guido recently won the prestigious and highly-competitive 2019 National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship Award. She also won the Best Poster Award at the Chronic Brian Injury Research Day sponsored by the Ohio State’s Discovery Themes Initiative, and this summer was selected to attend the National Institutes of Health BRAIN Initiative Summer Course.

Guido is studying under the guidance of ECE Assistant Professor Asimina Kiourti at the Wearable and Implantable Technologies Lab (WIT) at Ohio State’s ElectroScience Laboratory (ESL).

Kiourti said Guido is already an asset to the ESL team, working on developing wireless and batteryless brain implants designed to record neural signals.

Learning about Kiourti and the WIT Lab, Guido said, really opened up new doors.

“When I first found her lab, it seemed too good to be true, but luckily here I am today,” Guido said. “I was really impressed with how even the rest of her research is primarily focused on implementing various technologies to help people.” 

Guido wants to advance the existing technology toward studying neurological disorders.

“The brain-computer interface technology currently in existence has way too many downsides to be considered close to being feasible for normal, everyday use. My current research aims to address some of these issues,” Guido said. “If we can get a clearer picture of how electrical signals propagate through the brain during normal, everyday life situations then it’s possible that we can begin to better understand the underpinnings of disorders such as epilepsy, depression and anxiety, Parkinson’s, addiction, and many others.”

While she loved how physics offered answers to thought-provoking scientific questions, she said, electromagnetic engineering creates applications to solve those dilemmas plaguing society.   

For the next three years, Guido is working to earn her Ph.D. at ESL. In the meantime, she's already learned to take every single day as a new adventure as a student at Ohio State. 

“I used to try to plan every aspect of my life, but I would never have imagined I’d end up where I am today," she said. "So, I’m going to take the next few years as they come and see where my experiences take me.”

Story by Ryan Horns, ECE/IMR Communications Specialist (Horns.1@osu.edu)

Category: Awards