Alex Skauge

From The Circuits and Biology Lab at UMN
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About Me

I am a Computer Engineering student in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department in the College of Science & Engineering at the University of Minnesota. I work under Professor Marc Riedel on a couple of projects. I am currently in the sophomore year of my degree, and I have a passion for AI & robotics assisting in the medical field. I hope to be able to get into working with embedded systems, specifically those aimed in the medical field, geared towards helping in a more dangerous environment. An environment similar to what we currently see in hospitals today with Sar-CoV-19, or even from the Ebola outbreak a few years back. We currently see something similar that has been implemented in Rwanda, where they are able to keep healthcare workers interact with the dangerous environment to a minimum, as these robots are able to take temperatures, keep records, and able to screen for symptoms as well as notify staff of any anomalies(1).

(1)https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/25/africa/rwanda-coronavirus-robots/index.html

Research

The goal for one project is to work on a neural network and improve upon already existing MHC & peptide-binding strength prediction AI's, such as NETMHC, for a more accurate prediction of how the SPIKE protein, presented by the Sar-CoV-19 virus, binds to the various MHC-1 's in human's, which then prompts an immune response. From there we can better tell which types of Sar-CoV-19 strains one might be more susceptible to, as well as if we can make more "personalized" vaccines based on their genetics.


The other project, also under the guidance of Prof. Riedel, we are working on digital microfluidics for pharma applications.