Lia Hsu-Rodriguez Discovers her Passion and Future


Samantha Winn, Co-Writing Editor

The chance to keep learning and broadening her horizons is what made senior Lia Hsu-Rodriguez want to study bioengineering at MIT in the fall.

“Bioengineering is basically… half biomedical engineering, so the machines that go into hospitals and stuff, and developing those machines and improving them so that they help doctors diagnose patients and treat patients better,” Hsu- Rodriguez said. “The other half of it is really genetic engineering, so going in and seeing what you can do with DNA and how working with DNA and the immune system can help solve this or that problem.”

Hsu-Rodriguez discovered what bioengineering was while on a summer math program at MIT this past summer.

“One of our residential mentors…her name was Lauren, she is a bioengineering graduate student at MIT and she took me and one of my friends on a tour of where she does her research and she’s basically doing immunotherapy research and seeing how she can work with the immune system to help improve the cancer fighting mechanisms of the immune system.” Hsu-Rodriguez said.  

“She introduced us to what bioengineering is and what it’s like and it was really appealing for me because it would allow me to get a taste of a bunch of different disciplines and not necessarily restrict me to just biology, or just engineering, but also chemistry and physics and everything, which was something that was really cool to me,” Hsu-Rodriguez continued.

One of the main ways Hsu-Rodriguez was able to help gain more insight and knowledge about bioengineering was taking as many classes as possible in a range of topics.

“I’m kind of a super geek and took like all of the AP sciences that I could, so I took AP Bio and AP Physics C last year and then I’m in AP Chem and AP Environmental Science now,” Hsu-Rodriguez said. “So I kind of wanted to get that taste of a bunch of different disciplines and because bioengineering would allow me to continue to take classes in a bunch of different areas of science.”

One of the biggest changes Hsu-Rodriguez is looking forward to is moving to a brand new place for college.

“I grew up as a military child and I keep telling my mom that I think I’m getting cabin fever because Mount Pleasant is the place that I’ve stayed for the longest,” she said. “I’ve been here since the summer before my freshman year, so I’ve been here for about four years, which is a really long time for me, so I think I’m just really excited to get out and to see a new place and explore a new city.