PhD candidate’s research cuts to the bone

1 Nov 2011

Elena Irina Pascu, PhD candidate in tissue engineering and biomaterials science

Meet Elena Irina Pascu, a biomedical engineering and a nursing graduate, currently an IRCSET-funded PhD candidate who will be working as an intern with as part of its Science November initiative – a whole month dedicated to science and innovation.

Here, Paşcu explains her research:

What makes research, medicine and foreign languages come together? Pure passion for study and a desire to think out of the box.

This is me, Elena Irina Paşcu, a biomedical engineering and a nursing graduate from Romania, currently an IRCSET-funded PhD candidate in tissue engineering and biomaterials science, at Dublin City University, Dublin. My PhD research focuses on mimicking the bone tissue architecture, thus building a tri-dimensional structure (scaffold), intended for bone defects repair.

Before starting the PhD, I was part of an international team of researchers, working on innovative methods of producing hard and soft tissue substitutes, aimed to replace parts of human bone or human arteries in the case of disease or trauma.

Driven by the passion for medicine and care for the human being, I have also been trained as a registered nurse and worked as a volunteer for almost two years. My work as a volunteer focused on helping AIDS/HIV-infected teenagers, fundraising and social campaigns in partnership with government and non-government institutions.

Besides biomedical research, I am passionate about learning foreign languages, as the language is what makes us humans. It is the tool to share our thoughts and dreams, to express ourselves. Could you imagine thoughts without language? Learning a new language is like learning a new way of thinking and a new way of singing. It is also a good way of keeping one’s mind healthy, as it has been proved to delay the onset of dementia.

As computer science Prof Randy Pausch once said: “Your passion must come from the things that fuel you from the inside.” In this way, one can overcome the impossible and make it significant. 

Elena Irina Paşcu is also the winner of a competition for a top notch intern to work with the editorial team. View the video that won her the internship here:

PhD student Elena Irina Pascu talks about her research 

In advance of Dublin City of Science 2012, is hosting Science November, a month dedicated to news, reports, interviews and videos covering a range of Irish science, research and innovation.