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Freddy N

- Research Program Mentor

MD/PhD at University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC)


Cancer, optics, imaging, nanotechnology, engineering, chemistry, electrical engineering, chemical engineering, bioengineering, biomedical engineering, pathology, laboratory medicine, transfusion medicine


I'm currently a Research Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. I'm a physician-scientist with extensive experience in developing and translating nanotechnologies and biomedical optical technologies from the bench to clinic in areas of genetics, oncology, and cardiovascular diseases. I have also spent my career in several leadership roles in community building in the healthcare innovation, research, medical, and physician-scientist communities. Some of my current interests outside of my core research areas above are also research in healthcare innovation and entrepreneurship, health equity innovations, and the physician-scientist workforce. I love working with students of all experiences to show them about the wonderful world of science, engineering, medicine, and research! Outside of my day to day work which I love doing, I love to travel around the world to different cities and countries to explore and re-explore. I am passionate in building new communities to empower people and create new opportunities. I am also starting to get more into photography mostly around my travels, cityscapes, skies, etc. Some fun facts about me is that I originally grew up in Paris, France, graduated high school at the age of 16, and ended up going to high school at the historic Little Rock Central High School.

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Healthcare Innovation and Entrepreneurship - how to increase and accelerate the success of startup creation?

Here we are interested in looking at various factors that drive the creation of new ideas and ultimately new startups in the healthcare industry. What are the different factors such as the problem space, the innovation, the founding team, the resources, and the environment or ecosystem that leads towards a higher success rate for healthcare startups and a more accelerated pipeline from ideation to impact? Once a specific area of focus is identified, a deeper dive project can be developed such as the role of macroeconomic events is on startup creation, the gender disparities see in startup founders or investor workforce, the relationship between startups and their investors, etc ... This type of research starts with literature research of peer reviewed publications as well as public reports, web searches, and occasionally customer discovery research holding interviews with relevant stakeholders. This research involves data collection from both readily available databases such as Pitchbook and Crunchbase but also from not so well curated sources of information about startups, innovation programs and initiatives, investors, accelerators and incubators. This research can also involve the development of new tools via programs and scripts that can be used to automate the collection and analysis of certain data sets. The potential outcomes of this research can range from new programming tools for data collection and analysis, new web apps for visualizing the data, and/or research paper summarizing the current state of the field.

Health Equity Innovations - how can we innovate better to solve health equity problems?

Systemic health inequities have persisted throughout our American history. These inequities continue to impact many underrepresented and vulnerable groups. Historically, this population has been denied appropriate and equitable healthcare access and treatment leading to inequitable healthcare outcomes that are systemic or environmental and oftentimes beyond the individual's control. Over the last few years, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these existing health disparities and the call for action for social justice has increased. The goal of this project is to specifically identify existing solutions that have been tried in the health equity space, deemed to be successful, and by what criteria was it defined to be “successful”. We are looking to identify examples of what has been tried to close the gap in healthcare inequities and what has worked vs not worked. This work focuses on the why solutions were successful seeing if there are certain factors or environments that can be identified that led to the successful ideation, creation, development, and execution of these health equity solutions. This research includes literature research, web searches, as well as customer discovery research holding interviews with relevant stakeholders. The outcomes of this research will be a research paper summarizing the current state of the field and providing some new insights into the process of solution development for health equity issues.

Measuring impact of physician-scientists on innovation, research, and economy

Physician-Scientists (individuals trained both in medicine and in research) have long played an integral part of the biomedical workforce to drive and develop research from the bedside to the bench and back to the bedside. However, there is limited research available to objectively quantify the impact of this workforce over time, and what factors influence their training and careers. What are ways that we can use more publicly available information and databases to determine the impact of this particular portion of the biomedical research workforce on innovation by translating their research from ideation to IP generation to startup / commercialization? What are the types of information that is needed to not only determine their impact but also the return on the investments from the federal government and society on developing this particular workforce? The potential outcomes of this research can range from new programming tools for data collection and analysis, new web apps for visualizing the data, and/or research paper summarizing the current state of the field.

Coding skills


Languages I know

French, fluent.

Teaching experience

I have worked with and mentored students at the high school, undergraduate, master's, and graduate level largely in research capacities 1:1 and in small groups over the last 10 years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Mount Sinai Hospital, and Dartmouth. I have also guest lectured in a number of classes at MIT, Harvard Medical School, and Boston University over the years. I currently mentor high school and undergraduate students from MIT and Wellesely through a few different research groups focused on health equity innovations, healthcare innovation and entrepreneurship, and physician-scientist workforce development.


Work experience

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2016 - Current)
Postdoctoral Fellow (2016-2019), Research Fellow (2019-Present)
Massachusetts General Hospital (2019 - 2019)
In Vivo Microscopy Fellow
Darmouth (2022 - Current)
Transfusion Medicine Clinical Fellow
Mount Sinai Hospital (2019 - 2022)
Resident Physician (2019-2022), Chief Resident (2021)


Rice University
BS Bachelor of Science (2002)
Chemistry (Bachelor of Science), Mathematics (Bachelor of Arts)
University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC)
MD/PhD Doctor of Medicine and of Philosophy (2016)
Physical Chemistry, Optics, Biomedical Engineering, Medicine

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