NSF AAAS Science and Technology Policy (STP) Fellows

 

Izath Nizeet Aguilar  

Dr. Izath Nizeet Aguilar
AAAS STP Fellow
Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering
Division of Computer and Network Systems
Class of 2018-2019

Nizeet Aguilar is a 2018-2019 AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow working on the Cyber Physical Systems program in the Division of Computer and Network Systems. Nizeet received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Cornell University. Her Ph.D. dissertation involved both tissue engineering and gene therapy to treat focal cartilage lesions with an improved chondrocyte transplantation therapy. She was a National Institute of Health (NIH) postdoctoral fellow at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) School of Medicine in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery. During her postdoctoral work, she used the pioneering technology, the Regenova 3D Bioprinter (Cyfuse), for three-dimensional cranial bone reconstruction without scaffolds using immortalized mouse bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs). She was also part of the collaboration between IUPUI and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA/SpaceX) project aboard the International Space Station (Rodent Research IV) in February 2017. Her research focus was on bone healing and the effects of microgravity on cartilage in space.

Nizeet’s interest in policy making grew with her involvement in the Indianapolis Congregation Action Network (IndyCAN). IndyCAN’s research found a strong correlation between poverty levels and lack of transportation. Despite being qualified, job opportunities for those in poverty were being limited solely by the lack of transportation. An initiative was crafted to increase the effectiveness of Indianapolis public transportation, and the November 2016 election included a transit referendum on the ballot. Thousands of calls were made to inform Indianapolis residents as to the purpose of the referendum and how it would benefit the entire community. The people voted YES! As a result, Indianapolis now has a public transportation system that is more accessible to those in poverty-stricken areas.


 

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