Natasha Hunt: Committing to the long haul

Natasha Hunt ’22, Bioengineering major

Sometimes, it’s hard to come up with a better word than “cool.” For Natasha Hunt, it best sums up her research experience at Lehigh.

“I get excited by so many different aspects of research,” she says. “You get to design the project and organize how it goes, then you actually do it and hope it goes great. But the failures are research, too, because when things don’t work out, you learn so much.”

Hunt works in the Chow Lab with the team designing 3D scaffolds to address osteochondral defects—those composed of both bone and cartilage—in the knee. She’s collaborating on a project with the Grayson Lab at Johns Hopkins University that is using the same approach for craniofacial injuries. It’s been funded in part through Lehigh’s Grants for Experiential Learning in Health program.

Hunt came to campus convinced she wanted to become a doctor—maybe a gynecologist or an oncologist—especially after shadowing physicians and attending more than a dozen surgeries the summer after her first year of college. But doing research as a sophomore and junior gave that certainty a twist.

“I was swinging back and forth between the two, and now, getting an MD-PhD and potentially working for a research hospital appeals to me most.” It checks a lot of boxes.
She loves puzzles, and diagnosing patients and analyzing results present interesting problems to solve. Every day is different. And success depends on teamwork.

It would be a long process, she says, eight years at least. But she’s decided she’ll just look at all that time as time launching her career. And that’s pretty cool.

Next up: Andrea Jones >>

This profile is part of Resolve Magazine's Soaring Together series.

Photography by Douglas Benedict/Academic Image