Joshua Andrews


Atlanta, Georgia

Academic Interests

Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science, & Neural Engineering

Fun Fact

I’m allergic to peanuts but I can eat peanut butter.

For as long as I can remember, I have always been fascinated by the brain and how it functions. However, this fascination was further amplified when I discovered the existence of neurological and psychiatric disorders. The brain is arguably the most important organ in the body, so the manifestation of diseases that would cause it to work against us intrigued me. I started researching the illnesses and their effects on society; but with the more research I did the more often I came across the word “incurable.” After more research, I realized that it was my life mission to transform these “incurable” diseases into curable ones and put an end to their reign of terror on the world. I soon discovered the field of neural engineering and current research being done to cure these ailments by using neural engineering applications. I knew then that I wanted to pursue neural engineering and utilize the skills I gain as a neuroengineer to cure neurological and psychiatric disorders ranging from depression to Parkinson’s. To get my foot in the door, I began shadowing research assistants at a Neural Plasticity Research Lab to see neurorehabilitation in action. Outside of my neural engineering interests, I’m also very passionate about improving the social status of marginalized communities, especially in the African diaspora. A couple summers ago, I went to Nigeria with a social justice group I founded and led a protest against SARS and police brutality along with creating a fundraiser to offer financial support to victims of terrorism. The following summer, I led another fundraiser to raise funds for a mission trip/COVID relief project to Ghana along with building playgrounds for children in homeless shelters. At Duke, I am a Senator of the National Society of Black Engineers, and a current member of DukeAfrica and the Biomedical Engineering Society with hopes to increase my impact in both communities. 

What do you like about being a SPIRE Fellow?

The strength of Duke’s community and the support offered within it. Duke is home to so many different cultures and backgrounds but makes such an active effort to foster this diversity. No matter where you hail from or what you identify with, Duke has a space for you. They invest so much into our academic success regardless of our intellectual interests, and naturally cultivate a strong support system between students and faculty. Despite everyone’s differences, the entire Duke community pushes each other to succeed and to strive for academic and extracurricular excellence. 

Josh Andrews
Joshua Andrews