Alex Szojka - Dissertation du lauréat, 2016

Alex Szojka

My career goal is to be a Professional Engineer in tissue engineering, world-renowned for my contributions to the field. I seek to develop a novel treatment for injured meniscus that fully restores knee function using a lab-grown functional replacement.

In order to achieve my dream, I pursued a rare degree combination and have gained research experience relevant to the field of tissue engineering. I will graduate in April 2016 with two Bachelor of Science degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Biological Sciences from the University of Calgary. I have conducted research in cell culture, 3D printing, and biomimicry during two summer terms sponsored by student research scholarships at two post-secondary institutions.

My background has already helped me make valuable contributions to the field of tissue engineering in Dr. Adetola Adesida’s laboratory. I created the world’s first meniscus scaffolds with a biomimetic fibre architecture using computer-aided design and 3D printing. For this achievement, I had the honour of presenting at two 2015 research symposiums at the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary; further, I was named a Finalist in the prestigious 2016 Sunnybrook Research Prize competition in Toronto.

My next step is to begin a Master of Science in Experimental Surgery, during which time I will grow cartilage tissue on the meniscus scaffolds for animal trials. If successful, this project will be a colossal step forward for the field of tissue engineering and will allow development of a new treatment for hundreds of thousands of patients in Canada alone.