Andreea Merloiu is a recent graduate of Syracuse University with a degree in biomedical engineering who intends to continue her studies in the pre-med track while also tackling her innate passion for innovation. Andreea was born and raised in Romania and bravely took the opportunity to come study in the United States, 5,000 miles away from home.
Andreea’s inspiration to create derives from her family’s malignant history with health complications. A significant instance of these complications for Andreea was the growing sickness in her godfather with morbid obesity and her grandmother’s diagnosis with breast cancer. Her godfather was battling these issues for a long period of time, and this ultimately was the driving force behind Andreea’s creation of Lateral Assist. She used her godfather’s experience with sickness and improper procedures in the hospital to create the idea of an automatic device that allows people battling obesity to shift into a lateral position with no assistance from medical professionals. She ultimately lost trust in the nurses that were supposed to assist her godfather to properly adjust him into a lateral position. She recalls a time where these nurses attempted this procedure right after a surgery of his which resulted in the opening of his stitches leaving his chest cavity open.
To Andreea, an innovator, had to have purpose behind their innovations. She says help from a team and hard work remain factors in successful innovations however it is essential to have a “why”.
Andreea’s superpower is the way she leverages her “why” to innovate effectively.
Soon Andreea has plans to spread the use of computational research libraries for effective research on infections that have impacted her family and families alike. In her own words the implementations of these research libraries would “allow accessibility to more people, you wouldn’t need a lab, and it would require a lot less funding.
5,000 miles away from home and Andreea is still using her “why” as her fuel to make the changes that she deems necessary.
Story by Zaccai Foundation Fellow Samba Soumare