Meet Megan Gelement, EG23

School: School of Engineering

Degree: Master of Science in Computer Science

Home: Wherever I can feel a sense of peace

What’s been the focus of your studies at Tufts?

I’m mainly involved in computational biology research—applying computational tools, methods, and algorithms to fields like medicine, genetics, and molecular biology. I came to that in a somewhat roundabout way. My bachelor’s degree is in biology, and I’d been working in a job that required data management. That job inspired me to pursue a career in computer science—but I knew I also wanted to come back to biology in some way. At Tufts, I figured out how to put the two fields together.

What have you learned that you know you’ll carry with you into your career?

Early on at Tufts, I learned that you can do whatever you want here if you can find the right person to ask for help. I had no computer science experience when I got here. I hadn’t taken a math class in six years. I did a lot of things that were outside my comfort zone at the beginning, but I kept asking for guidance, and I wound up finding the right career path for me. That showed me how important it is to ask for help—and to do what scares me.

Complete the following sentence: “Because of Tufts, I…”

Found a field that I’m passionate about.

What’s next?

This fall, I’ll be heading to Johns Hopkins, where I’ll start a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering. I’m not sure what will come after the Ph.D.—and I’m happy about that. Not being sure about exactly where I was going is what led me to computational biology and to research at Tufts. So I’m leaving myself open to possibilities.

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