Fellow:Jonathan Jou

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Jonathan is a University Innovation Fellow and Senior Biological Sciences major at the University of Notre Dame working to expand innovation and entrepreneurship on campus, targeting non-traditional areas of study for innovation and entrepreneurship. Beginning a research career early in his high school years studying the evolution of epithelial sodium channel subunits in the brain, Jonathan's interests shifted to stem cell research after a scarring surfing accident during his research stint in the Canary Islands, Spain.

From his matriculation at Notre Dame and joining a stem cell laboratory, he realized that the future of science and medicine lies beyond the traditional, single scientist centered model, and instead must embrace a team-based, highly collaborative model to continue to make breakthroughs at the pace the field has become accustomed to.

With that in mind, he dove into teaching, starting as a Freshman tutor, progressing to Teaching Assistantships and finally as acting Co-Chair of the Biology Senior Leadership Committee. To realize his dream of inclusive science, Jonathan serves as the Co-Science Chair of the NSF STEM Ambassadors grant tasked to increase STEM retention rates by offering academic, social, and career mentorship from a student-to-student basis across all STEM fields. He also serves as the Undergraduate Director of the DNA Learning Center, currently revamping a community outreach program to expose middle school students to molecular biology through the study of the effects of pollution on gene expression and cancer.

In entrepreneurship, through a course offered by Notre Dame, Jonathan has developed a flexible collagen derived substrate, mimicking the consistency of skin to address the growing need for surgical residents to address the stringent limits on their training hours while still gaining technical precision necessary to become successful surgeons. He is currently transferring the material into a filament adaptable to current generation 3D printers in order to print organs derived from MRI scans, a technology that was developed by another undergraduate at Notre Dame.

Jonathan joined the UIF program with the dream of creating an all-inclusive environment for undergraduate students to coordinate innovative, large scale entrepreneurial projects. Through UIF, he hopes to gain the skills required to create infrastructure and curricular changes to foster this type of cross-disciplinary thinking that will shape science and medicine in the future.