When Emory and Georgia Tech put their heads together, innovation results

By Mary Loftus | Emory Magazine | Oct. 28, 2013

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The Georgia Tech/Emory shuttle, bearing a bright Yellow Jacket logo, runs hourly between Emory's Woodruff Circle and the Georgia Institute of Technology's biotech campus. It's a bumpy six-mile ride through tony suburbs and over narrow city streets.

This particular Wednesday is the first day of fall classes for Emory, and Georgia Tech classes started the week before. The small bus is filled with passengers flipping through academic journals, plugged into smartphones, and watching Atlanta pass by out the window.

Tech students Nathan Neuhart and Jordan Varghese are headed to Emory University Hospital for medical records needed by Professor Cassie Mitchell 09PhD, a biomedical engineer, for her lab's research on Lou Gehrig's disease. Leanna Parchment 15C, a dual math and biomedical engineering major, is traveling between Emory and Tech for classes.

On the return trip, Hiba Zafar 16C, an Emory sophomore from Marietta majoring in "either psychology or neurobiology," is commuting across town to visit her sister, Madiha, a senior biomedical engineering major at Tech. And Wafa Soofi 15PhD, a third-year graduate student in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory, is attending a resume workshop and company recruitment session at Tech. Soofi works in the Astrid Prinz biology lab at Emory researching the neural networks of crustaceans. "One reason we use crabs as our model system is that certain neurons can be unambiguously identified between animals," she says. "That's really invaluable for experiments."

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