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Dartmouth Engineer - The Magazine of Thayer School of EngineeringDartmouth Engineer - The Magazine of Thayer School of Engineering

Q&A: Professor Jane Hill

Professor Jane Hill
Professor Jane Hill. Photograph by Karen Endicott.

Jane Hill joined the faculty as an associate professor last year.

What sparked your interest in chemical and environmental engineering?
In high school I enjoyed all my subjects and had an aptitude for chemistry and mathematics. In college and after participating in summer co-op experiences with Unilever and the Colonial Sugar Refinery company, I discovered my interests lay in applications in the biological and environmental areas. After my chemical engineering degree I worked on a master’s with an environmental technology and management emphasis. As a graduate student at Yale, I immersed myself in the chemistry and biology of microorganisms, which have remained my passion ever since.

How did that lead to work on infectious diseases?
I have always been fascinated by biology and microorganisms, particularly. We know so little about the microbes that run our daily lives, such as those in the gut that regulate our immune system to those that threaten our very existence, like Ebola. It is exciting for me to get up each day and, with my great team, apply what we know about microorganisms, analytical chemistry, and humans to the infectious disease diagnostics topic.

What would you like your research to achieve?
Our overarching goal is to identify robust biomarkers that allow for a rapid, non-invasive, sensitive, and accurate detection of infectious diseases. As we make progress, this will lead to improved healthcare for all.

What do you enjoy most about your students?
They are smart, motivated, and curious. How can that be anything but fun!

What do you like doing aside from engineering?
Skijoring, hiking, tennis, making and playing music, reading and writing fiction, gardening, making bad art, and traveling to experience new cultures and see lovely vistas.

Categories: The Great Hall, Q&A

Tags: engineering in medicine, faculty, research

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