Simran Sokhi



Academic Interests

Major: Biomedical Engineering Other academic interests: Medical device design, marine biology and marine technology

Fun Fact

I have been skydiving twice (even though I’m afraid of heights), and can adopt several different accents from around the world!

I am truly blessed to have been born and raised in Singapore, where the advancement of not only academic knowledge but also of diverse cultures is promoted. Our four national languages and hundreds of global patois enrich our vision for a united world. My proficiency in English, Spanish, Hindi, Punjabi, and Singlish, Singapore’s very own creole language, stands as testimony to my penchant for experiencing new cultures.

I was raised in a family where we emphasize the values of meritocracy and ‘first deserve then desire’. My years of relentless pursuit for perfection paid off when I became an IB Diploma World Topper in high school through achieving a perfect score of 45, proving to myself that academic brilliance is achieved primarily through perseverance, resilience, and hard work.

In 2017, I was selected for the Youth Research Program of Singapore’s premier scientific research organization, A*STAR, during which I assisted my mentor with his research on ultrashort peptide hydrogel scaffolds. The fantastic experience showed me the unique thrill that comes with justifying theoretical hypotheses in a practical setting. I went on to do two summer research internships in biomedical engineering in the Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore, at Dr. Virshup’s Wnt signaling lab. Most recently, during the summer of 2021, I interned as a quality engineering at Cook Medical, a medical devices company. This was my first time interning in industry, and I now realize that medical device design and engineering is the track I want to take after Duke.  

Additionally, as a volunteer for the NGO CRY (Child Rights and You), I have been involved in raising funds for girl child education in India over the last five years. At Duke, I am part of FEMMES, where I help conduct STEM-based activities for young girls, Duke eNable, which creates 3D-printed adaptive devices for amputees, and am an executive member of Engineering World Health, which designs innovative and low-cost healthcare devices.  

I also strongly believe in the merits of interdisciplinary research. Distinct fields of research are like sparkling lenses, waiting to be angled so that they can converge onto a single focal point. Indeed, it is through collaborative efforts that the best of scientists and engineers create a potent amalgam of knowledge that can metamorphose into a brilliant invention for mankind. At Duke, I want to continue nurturing my interest in cutting-edge Biomedical research which can make a positive difference in the lives of people.

At Duke, I dream to continue the tradition of deepening human knowledge to alleviate human suffering and create communities where old-world fissures of prejudice are bridged with a common vision of advancement.

What do you like about being a SPIRE Fellow?

It is an honor and a great privilege to be a Duke SPIRE Fellow. I am very appreciative of the fact that each Fellow receives individualized support and attention from the deans and mentors. As someone very much immersed in STEM, being part of the SPIRE Fellows allows me to dive deep into research in areas of my interest. I hope to learn and grow further under the guidance of the terrific Spire mentors, who I know will provide me with the finest chisel to shape my scientific career.

Simran Sokhi