Haley Warren

MIT Department: Health Sciences and Technology

Undergraduate Institution: University of Vermont

Faculty Mentor: Jose Gomez-Marquez

Website: LinkedIn

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Biography

I am a biomedical engineering major at the University of Vermont, where I am also minoring in Chinese. My research interests include wearable robotics, joint biomechanics, and the role of the nervous system in human motion. In addition to pursuing a PhD in biomedical engineering, I intend to advocate for rare disease research and awareness. In my free time, I love playing violin, trying new recipes, and writing science fiction.

2018 Research Abstract

A Compact and Cost-Effective Robotic Replica Plater

Haley Warren1, Jose Gomez-Marquez2

1Department of Electrical and Biomedical Engineering, University of Vermont

2Department of Health Sciences and Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

High-throughput experimentation is essential to answering many of the most pressing research questions in cell biology, and replica plating (the process of copying one culture onto many secondary plates to screen for phenotypical variation) is a key step in many high-throughput protocols. However, robotic replica platers often cost over a hundred thousand dollars, rendering those experiments completely inaccessible to labs that cannot afford the equipment. To address this barrier, we aim to develop a robotic replica plater that costs approximately $25 to produce. The robot’s structural components are primarily acrylic plastic or 3D-printed, and most of the electronic components can be easily purchased online. The robot is also coded in Arduino/C++, the open-source nature of which allows for potential user customization. Once finalized, an inexpensive method of automated replica plating will make high-throughput experimentation possible in many labs for which it was once financially unfeasible. This will allow those labs to keep up with larger institutions, creating more equitability in the field of cell biology and enabling greater numbers of researchers to tackle the many pressing questions of the discipline that require automation.