Tugce Capraz


Majors: Biomedical Engineering and Neuroscience

I am Tugce Capraz and I am a junior at Duke University. I am double majoring in Biomedical Engineering and Neuroscience. I am very passionate about Neural Engineering and I want to spend the rest of my life exploring more in this field and teaching what I learn to others. After college, I plan to go to graduate school in neural engineering at a top research institution to earn a Ph.D. I would then like to pursue postdoctoral research on the brain-machine interface and obtain a tenure-track faculty position in a university. Subsequently, I would plan to devote the rest of my life to conducting research and teaching Neuroengineering classes to undergraduate and graduate students.

I have been reflecting my passion for Neuroscience and Engineering through my various involvements both on and off campus. In the Summer of 2011, I conducted research in Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School on investigating the brain networks involved in Alzheimer’s disease and how these networks interact. In Fall 2012, I initiated, developed and instructed the first Neuroscience House Course ever taught at Duke. Through this course titled “A Tour inside Your Brain”, I taught Duke undergraduates about the most recent advances in the field, providing a framework to explore the power of the brain. Additionally, I received a Pratt Fellow position to work in the laboratory of Professor Miguel Nicolelis. I am currently working on reproducing monkeys’ arm movements robotically using the input they send from their brain. Already, we have started designing the wireless technology to achieve this; the eventual goal is to apply our findings to help human patients. Additionally, I am the Pratt School of Engineering Representative of Duke Neuroscience Majors’ Union, the secretary of Duke Synapse and I am also involved in various other clubs such as FEMMES (Females Excelling More in Math, Science and Engineering) and Duke Red Cross for Kids. I am specifically interested in the Reverse-Engineering the Brain Engineering Grand Challenge and I am planning on using all my experience in the Neuroscience and Engineering field to contribute to the success of the Boeing Grand Challenges Program.