Meet Professor Madeleine Oudin!
Pronouns: She series
Hometown: Paris, France
Department: Biomedical Engineering
Qualities you admire in Tufts’ students
Tufts students are incredibly motivated, excited to learn and enthusiastic about getting involved in research. I have really enjoyed having undergraduate researchers in my lab. They work very hard, are very resourceful, and help create a fun environment in the lab. In 2.5 years, we have had 25 undergrads work in the lab – either volunteering, research for credit, or working over the summer. It is really inspiring to hear about their motivation for wanting to work in the lab, see them grow as scientists and generate data, contribute to publications and go off to the next step in their career. 6 of these undergrads have contributed to papers from my lab, with more to come I am sure.
Looking forward to next year
I am excited to be teaching a new class which is mandatory for all the sophomores who have declared a BME major – the class is BME33 entitled ‘Biomedical concepts at the molecular, protein and cellular level scales’. When I joined the department we decided that we wanted to reorganize our undergraduate curriculum to make it more integrated and give our students broader exposure to BME concepts. I have been developing this class in collaboration with our department Chair Prof. David Kaplan. Currently, students take the intro biology class (BIO13) and then learn about engineering techniques applied to biology in later years in separate classes. We have now created this new class where students will learn the biology and then immediately the engineering methods that can be used study biology and that propose the premise for the engineering tools. The students will also have weekly labs – some in person and some computational, and discussions around societal and ethical issues that impact BME. We are also organizing visits to local biotech companies that use these methods to give concrete examples of how bioengineering methods are used in companies. We have developed 4 classes with this format – 2 focused on cell biology and 2 focused on physiology. I think the newly declared BME majors will really enjoy this class and benefit from getting such an integrated curriculum which will provide a strong basis for the upper level classes.
Best place to get food
I love taking my lab to Frozen Hoagies just a few minutes from the lab. They have delicious ice cream sandwiches in fresh cookies and we like to go there to celebrate a new lab member or a successful thesis qualification.
Recommendations for getting involved in Tufts
I would encourage students to try and engage in many activities at Tufts to get a better idea of what they want to do in their careers. For those in engineering, research is an option, so I would encourage students to email faculty early on if they are interested in doing some research in their labs, initially volunteering and then perhaps getting more involved in the summer or for credit during the year. Do your research when you email professors, know what they do, and be able to explain why you want to work on their lab. Be proactive, if they don’t respond right away, you can follow up. Sometimes labs are full and cannot take more undergrads, but don’t give up, email other faculty and keep trying.
Advice for prospective students
Get involved with things you are passionate about at Tufts – there are so many opportunities at Tufts and within the Boston area to get experience in different areas and get exposure to different careers. Don’t be afraid to try things out to see what you like and figure out what you want to do in the future.
Fun fact about me
I used to be a circus performer! I have been doing gymnastics and aerial arts since I was young, with a particular interest in flying trapeze and aerial silks. I used to teach flying trapeze as an undergrad and perform during the summers – instead of during research and kept doing this well into my post-doc. While I work very hard, I also need to take a break and stay active and flying trapeze has helped me keep my body active and my mind working in different ways!