Founder and co-host of “The Sci-Files” researches biosensors to detect swine fever
Chelsie Boodoo, founder and co-host of “The Sci-Files” on Impact 89 FM, is a Ph.D. candidate researching DNA-based biosensors to detect swine fever viruses.
Chelsie Boodoo is a doctoral candidate in the Michigan State University (MSU) Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR), researching DNA-based gold nanoparticle biosensors to detect swine fever viruses.
“Our biosensors can be used to rapidly detect bacteria and viruses which can help save lives and improve biosecurity,” Boodoo said. “There are numerous things that you can do with a degree in biosystems and agricultural engineering. You can innovatively save lives and positively impact others.”
Combining her communication skills with a love for science, she was inspired to help MSU students learn more about the value of science communication. This led to one of her best experiences, founding and co-hosting “The Sci-Files” with Impact 89 FM, a student-run radio station based on MSU’s campus.
“As scientists, we're usually taught that it's our data that's important, but if we can't communicate that data effectively, we can't actually reach the public or certain collaborators outside of academia.” Chelsie Boodoo, Biosystems Engineering Ph.D. student
“As scientists, we're usually taught that it's our data that's important, but if we can't communicate that data effectively, we can't actually reach the public or certain collaborators outside of academia,” Boodoo said.
"Usually, people are only encouraged to communicate their science whenever they are up for some award at a conference or if they're applying for funding,” Boodoo said. “By effectively communicating our science, we're able to have a much further reach and we're able to have a much deeper impact.”
One of the 2022 CANR Alumni Association Scholarship recipients, Boodoo serves as a coordinator for the Global Alliance for Rapid Diagnostics (GARD), is a student leader with the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities Commission on Economic and Community Engagement, and is a pod leader for 500 Women in Science East Lansing. Previously, she served as a digital content creator for the MSU Science Festival and founded MSUSciComm, a student-led organization empowering students and young professionals to communicate complex scientific topics.
After graduation, she aspires to continue her work with GARD on international biosecurity and societal inequities in the fight against sickness, which would also allow her to use her science communication experience. In the long term, she would like to pursue a career in biosecurity in Washington, D.C.
Graduate students in Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering are engaged in cutting-edge research in four areas: food (food safety and quality); environment (sustainable ecosystems and resource conservation); energy (bioenergy and bioproduct solutions); and health (diagnostics, systems models, and risk-assessment tools to enhance public health).
Name: Chelsie Boodoo
Hometown: Miami, Florida
Degree working on (master’s degree, Ph.D. and any sub-programs): Ph.D.
Expected graduation date: 2023
Research focus: Gold nanoparticle biosensors
What inspired your interest in your advanced degree area?
Our biosensors can be used to rapidly detect bacteria and viruses which can help save lives and improve biosecurity.
Why did you choose to study at MSU?
I love the people and the campus. There have been many opportunities here where I have been able to thrive.
What has been one of your best experiences within graduate school so far?
Hosting “The Sci-Files” where I have been able to meet students in many different degrees.
What do you want others to know about this program?
There are numerous things that you can do with a degree in biosystems and agricultural engineering. You can innovatively save lives and positively impact others.
What are some of the best things about being an MSU student?
The sense of campus unity and Spartan Pride.
Any thoughts or advice for current or new students?
Prioritize your mental health. Stay organized because it will help you in the future. Meet others and branch outside of your program. Attend the events by the graduate school and don’t be afraid to try new things.
What are your future plans?
I would like to move to Washington, D.C., to pursue a career in biosecurity.