Episode 25: Cel Welch on Medical Diagnostics and Trans Health

A collection of large diagnostic machines in a lab.

Image: Thermo LC (Liquid Chromatograph) + LTQ (Linear Trap Quadrupole), used according to a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

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Transcript

Charles 0:00
Hello, this is Assigned Scientist at Bachelor’s, the only science podcast i know about with no cis people allowed. I’m Charles and I’m an entomologist.

Tessa 0:07
And I’m Tessa and I’m an astrobiologist.

Charles 0:10
And today as a guest we have Cel Welch. Cel Welch is a biomedical engineer and PhD researcher at Brown University. Cel earned a Bachelor’s of Science from McGill and a Master’s of Engineering at Brown. Cel’s reserch is on the subject of diagnostic device engineering and is interested in a range of engineering applications towards the goal of making healthcare more accessible to the individual. Cel is also founder and CEO of Queer Engineer International and the recipient of the 2020 Global STEM Service Award. Cel, welcome to the show.

Cel Welch 0:39
Thank you, it’s so great to be here, I’m so excited.

Charles 0:42
So to begin with we normally ask people just, how they got interested in science and how they got into science.

Cel Welch 0:48
It was kind of an innate quality that I’ve just always had. So I kind of knew that I wanted to be a scientist from a very, very young age and I was also really drawn to this concept of invention – I was really drawn to this idea that a person can kind of sit down and use their brain to develop something that serves a novel function that’s never been performed before. And I just, I guess, generally wanted to get to the bottom of how things work. But I guess my journey to actually becoming a scientist has been a little bit nonlinear – I’ve just kind of jumped around a little bit. When I, you know, entered my bachelor’s program I changed my major probably more times than anyone should ever do… I just liked a whole lot of stuff and I couldn’t really figure out how to focus down.

Which is also kind of a cool thing about biomedical engineering, because the thing that really unifies the field isn’t necessarily how you’re doing that engineering but, like, what kinds of problems you are solving. So if you’re interested in solving biological problems you can kind of use any means to get there.

Charles 1:49
So how did you get interested in diagnostics specifically?

Cel Welch 1:53
When I was a high schooler I interned at a chemical instrumentation position at Princeton. So, when i was doing that i had this kind of immediate feeling that i was really drawn to the devices and you know understanding how the chemical instrumentation works and i really started getting that engineering brain of mine working and thinking about how it all fits together and how i could optimize it.

I think for a lot of people the diagnostic process is sort of this black box because it’s not something that a lot of us get to experience so what we, most of us, know about how diagnostics work is that you go to your doctor, your doctor takes a sample from you – like a blood draw or nasal swab in the case of COVID – and that kind of just gets sent out to a satellite lab and you don’t really see any of that or hear that much about how it works. When i had that position it was kind of like the veil was pulled back for me in a way and i can see how all this stuff kind of goes down and like how you actually can, you know, do things like diagnosing disease or purifying chemicals and understanding things like that.

So that really planted the seed and then when i was an undergrad i kind of wanted to pursue some of my other interests, so i was doing kind of more bioinformatics stuff and the whole time that i was doing it i felt like this nagging feeling in the back of my mind that something was kind of wrong, and that it wasn’t hands on enough for me. Because i was thinking back to this idea of like the instruments in the first lab that i worked in and how that was kind of a more interesting and complex problem and i didn’t really think that i was feeling satisfied sifting through this data. I wanted to do more to generate new types of data and create new instruments. I came across this journal called “Lab on a Chip,” and when i was reading Lab on a Chip, I just kind of instantly knew that it was exactly what i was interested in and that this was exactly what i wanted to do because it combined this aspect of, you have your instruments, but I had always had this feeling when i was working with those really large instruments in my first lab that they’re so bulky and inaccessible and, like i said, they’re locked away kind of in these satellite laboratories that are very, you know – nobody gets to see them. So i had this feeling that “Lab on a Chip” could be the solution to bridging the gap between those large instruments and making them a little bit more futuristic and cool and like getting them out to the people. So i linked up with a new professor at McGill – I was still there – and i got my kind of first biomedical engineering job working on miniaturized diagnostic devices.

So when you say miniaturize diagnostic devices what does that look like ?

So I give, like, a lot of presentations on this topic and generally what i do, or what i say, is, like, you’re starting out with a device that is larger than the size of a person, so – some of them are actually, you know, almost the size of an entire room, and we’ve had a whole lot of optimization with like chemical diagnostic systems so there… these are , you know, not like these old dinosaurs, there’s a lot of innovation that goes into them, but they’re still very, for the most part, very large, very expensive. And then what you’re trying to do is, they’re trying to take that and are trying to miniaturize it down to something that’s the size of a cellphone, or smaller, and it can perform, you know, either one tests or multiple diagnostic tests. And that’s kind of this idea of Lab on a Chip, because it’s meant, much in the same way as the micro electronics industry, miniaturizing things like cell phones, and micro processing chips.

Charles 5:31
What goes on inside a diagnostics machine?

Cel Welch 5:34
I guess my answer to this is that it really depends on what you’re looking for. The way that I describe diagnostics a lot is that you have your starting sample, which I mentioned earlier, it’s like your blood draw or your nasal swab, and then you have your target within that sample. So you’re looking for something that, you know, it could be a biological agent, like nucleic acids – DNA, RNA… it could be something like a protein, or it could just be, you know, like a general chemical.

For example, I’m doing a project on Transgender Health diagnostics, and in that context, it can be something like a hormone like testosterone in the body. So you have your sample, you have your target within the sample, and you have to have a way to be able to detect and potentially quantify the amount of target that you have for whatever your indication is. So it depends a lot on, I guess, what you’re trying to do with the device.

There’s different types of devices that can serve different functions, you have, you know, some of your generalized monitoring devices that can be used to just kind of perform something similar to a general checkup. And then you can have your actual diagnostic diagnostic devices which are telling you things like, yes, you have Coronavirus, or no, you don’t. Or, for example, yes, you’re pregnant or no, you’re not. So I think there’s sort of a range between those two options. But there’s a whole lot of things that you can do, I guess, in this field.

Charles 7:03
So in the case of, for instance, checking for hormone levels, how do machines… basically, how does that happen?

Cel Welch 7:11
I guess like the simplest answer is that it depends on what kind of machine you’re working with. So in some of my research, I’m working with, you know, the large instruments that I talked about earlier, that I’ve been working with ever since my first analytical chemistry lab that I did. So that would be something like an LCMS, or liquid chromatography mass spectrometer, or tandem mass spectrometer, which is like that thing that’s very large, basically.

And the way that that works is that it basically takes your chemical and it smashes it up into different fragments, and then measures the mass of those fragments to kind of tell you and quantitate how much your respective ions that you have. And that tells you essentially, how much of this chemical for example, testosterone Do you have. So that’s something that I work with for that particular project. And then there’s also in terms of the Lab on a Chip and the point-of-care diagnostics side of things, that would be something that’s more like an Eliza assay, or something where you have, you know, you can have binding in a micro weld plate, or on a paper based diagnostic or something that is a little bit more portable. And that is essentially just like measuring a colorimetric or fluorescent readout that tells you whether or not you have your analyte bound to the surface.

So in miniaturizing diagnostic tools, are you essentially miniaturizing what the larger machines are doing? Or are you finding ways of accomplishing the same diagnostic task, but with something smaller?

In my particular work, I’m finding new ways to look at the same old problems, so to speak. So in both of my research projects, and especially, I’m doing a cancer diagnostics project, and it really comes into play with this one I’m looking at, here’s this age old problem, how do we diagnose cancer, and you know, we have the same technology that’s been repurposed and re circulated over the past several decades to solve this problem. But what if we take these things out of the mix and throw something completely new and try to do the same thing with this, then I’m finding that you can kind of get in a rut with this incumbent technology and just trying to refine it and make it better. But sometimes you can have a better result if you just completely do away with that and solve the problem in a completely different and new ways. There’s also this aspect of incremental improvement and innovation.

Tessa 9:37
So when we talk about, you know, making stuff that’s more miniaturized and portable, is there sort of like an optimum size are aiming for or is it a question of how small could we go?

Cel Welch 9:47
Once again, it’s like it goes back to your indication. But let’s use for example, a cancer problem. It depends, once again – is this, what’s the indication and who is your target? So say you’re… say you’re starting a startup company, which I’m not doing, but say that that’s what you’re doing, and you have this technology, and you want to be able to sell the technology. So you need to understand who your target is for the technology. Is it going to be something that you want to disseminate to the individual patients themselves, which would be something like if you walk into CVS or Walgreens, you can see drug tests or pregnancy tests you can buy right there. But then you also will have other things, where you’re selling them to, for example, hospitals, who are then using that to test multiple patients.

So that is kind of the difference between the point of care diagnostics and the kind of more large instrumentation that’s used for the recurrent, like, lab based or hospital based diagnostics. So I’m kind of doing both of them at the same time. But I think that this is really something that ties nicely into the size-based question, because if you want something that’s truly accessible to the patient as an individual and at the point of care, then that is going to have a much smaller size requirement than something that is going to be, for example, in a hospital or a lab somewhere.

So like I just mentioned, for the cancer diagnostic project, this is something that’s a lot more complex with regards to what you want the device of interest to accomplish. So in that kind of problem, you have a more complex diagnostic, and you also have something that you’re not going to be giving directly to the patient, most likely, because this is something that’s so complex, so you’re gonna have something that’s most likely larger in terms of instrumentation that’s required to achieve that. And you’re also going to have something that is going to be taking place most likely in a hospital. But you know, that’s definitely the kind of thing where, in the future, it would be great if we could optimize this to the point where it too, can kind of be downsized to the size of the cell phone. And a lot of researchers are kind of looking at this specific problem of cancer, from the perspective of blood samples and circulating tumor cells, trying to get that on the path where it’s a personalized diagnostic medicine for cancer.

Tessa 12:01
If we’re talking about something like the hormone diagnostic, could you foresee something in the near to medium term future where we got something small enough that it could potentially be like implantable? And you could monitor it like in real time on there?

Cel Welch 12:16
I love that question. Because I love the idea of wearable technology. And I love implantable diagnostics, and I love specifically wearable diagnostics, because you can kind of get the same function as an implantable without actually having to interface with these more sensitive regions of the body. So a wearable diagnostic, you know, that’s anything from your Apple Watch, or whatever you may have that’s measuring your heart rate and your, like, walking steps to something that is actually like a customized, you have these band aids that are actually being manufactured, that have like electrochemical sensors integrated into them that can monitor the sweat electrolytes that you’re producing as you’re exercising, for example, I’ve done a lot of this chemical based diagnostics. And I think like wearable sensors go very much hand in hand with chemical diagnostic systems and are generally functionalized with electrochemical sensors. There are some that can be integrated with other signal readouts as well like mechanical based sensors, but these are definitely something that’s a huge hot topic right now in terms of diagnostics.

And I absolutely can see this as something that can be translated into this… like, cheap disposable pregnancy tests-like diagnostic, you could have something that is more like an Apple Watch, or a wearable wristband that you just have on you at all times. And if you have any flare ups of any particular condition, then you would have a signal readout that can kind of come to, you know, a remote sensor based transport of information to both your cell phone and also to your doctor. So that is actually something that I’ve looked into with regards to cystic fibrosis monitoring previously and have done some like basic research in that area. And also for glucose, which is a very common one because of its, you know, relevance in diabetes and other similar conditions.

With regards to hormone monitoring, a lot of it is done from urine and also blood samples. So I’d be interested in seeing at the excretion of hormones in sweat, because I know that, you know, it’s very low concentrations, especially with regards to testosterone, we’re looking at generally low levels of those hormones that makes it a really interesting and challenging diagnostic problem. I guess basically what I’m saying is that you never really know how much certain type of diagnostic test is going to work for something until you actually are looking at the numbers of like, you have X amount of testosterone secreted into this, which means that you can or cannot detect it with this particular sensor, right, etc. But I do think that like the basic concept behind that all those component parts are there and it’s something that’s super interesting to me.

Tessa 14:57
You know, the idea of like looking for it in your sweat makes a lot of sense to me, given that having transitioned to female… testosterone, or the lack thereof, makes a huge impact on your scent, which of course is pretty strongly related to what’s coming out your sweat pores. So it kind of follows that there’s got to be something changing there in terms of the chemistry that presumably would be detectable.

Cel Welch 15:19
Yes, absolutely. I think that’s a super interesting thing to look into. You know, I’m also just so interested in kind of what’s going on in the biology of people who are on HRT, because I think this is something that generally is pretty poorly studied. And we really need more research just to make sure that we’re keeping trans people as healthy as we possibly can. So I think all these things are really important, both in terms of providing health care and resources for trans people and also just ensuring that, you know, we know all that we know – not me particularly, because I’m not like an MD, I’m not a medical professional, but I am somebody who’s very interested in, like, the medical fields, and making sure that medical information is kind of accessible to everyone. And that, you know, we’re not performing medical malpractice or anything. So that’s definitely an important thing to progress as well.

Charles 16:12
While on the subject of medical malpractice, I’m actually curious if you have seen or heard if, if it’s a common concern regarding like wearable or implantable diagnostic stuff with the idea of that information being uploaded remotely, if that ever comes up as sort of a privacy concern?

Cel Welch 16:33
Yeah, that’s actually a huge area of intersection between biological sensor data and cybersecurity. It’s a huge hot topic right now. And recently, like the this Aimia conference that I was speaker invited towards, there is like a whole section of people that are all speaking about this issue, because it’s definitely a hot topic. And it’s something that’s already kind of coming into play, right now, we have so much data about all these things regarding our medical function, even, that’s integrated into our cell phones, so we can have all this data mining that’s going on.

And I do think that that it’s something that is not my particular area of expertise, but what I would say about that is that, this kind of process is definitely going hand in hand with a lot of other types of science and engineering. And like I said earlier, biomedical engineering is just like such a nebulous topic, there’s a lot of work that’s going on, on people, or I guess, between people who work with devices, and people who kind of work on the software component of all of this. So generally, you know, these will be two different people, but sometimes it’ll kind of be a team of people that are all doing these things in conjunction, and generally, you know, you’ll have for something that’s like a wireless sensor, or you’re gonna have to have a transmission component generally was like near field communication, or Bluetooth, which is like a bit more of a classic one. And then you have, you know, your cell phone interface, or, you know, your data readout system, whether that’s wireless or not, and there’s a huge need to protect that data. So I think that’s with regards to the people that are on the software engineering side of things and doing more as a computer science, that’s something that they look into a lot. And a lot of people have a lot of great strategies for how to kind of protect this data. But I do think that absolutely, as we’re transitioning into more and more of medical tests being performed in this way, we have to make sure that patient’s data is remaining safe and not being able to be mined.

Charles 18:34
Well, from the other perspective, not of the person who’s being diagnosed or tracked, but from the perspective of medical professionals, do you get a lot of medical professionals who articulate skepticism towards the idea of empowering individuals to be able to have more access to diagnostic tools themselves?

Cel Welch 18:55
Yeah, so unfortunately, I do find that that is the case. Because for a lot of people, the primary motive, motivating factor in this type of research is the money. So people were very interested in creating this general same technology pipeline that’s been around for decades and decades now, which is essentially you create this great new device, you plug it into your device, you license your technology, and that technology is licensed to your big corporation, which most of the time, that’s not really going to be a negative entity in any way, but there is something to be said for kind of thinking outside the box with that, and instead of having this corporation or this company, kind of license your technology and then have that technology being sold out directly to your hospitals, or you know, these more removed entities, you could have an alternative strategy, which is focused on, like I said earlier, the point of care and getting that technology directly to the individual.

So as I mentioned earlier, I’m working on projects that are kind of in both of those areas, but what I will say is that there’s certainly, uh, much more interest that’s coming for the projects that, you know, have this patent potential and have the ability to be kind of licensed out to existing companies that make diagnostic devices and distribute them in this kind of traditional fashion. And I don’t want to say that there’s anything necessarily wrong with that. But I do think that within this kind of healthcare system and traditional workflow, there are a lot of people that aren’t getting the adequate care that they need, as patients. And a lot of people you know, go without health insurance, and generally just don’t have access to the resources that they need to be healthy.

And I think that this is something that we can’t really continue to neglect, which is also like getting back to @ on Twitter, citizenSTEM, and I kind of really consider myself to be more of like a citizen scientist, because my primary motivating factor for doing science is not necessarily to, you know, accumulate wealth, or accumulate status, but more to actually do something that can help my community and help people in general to be healthier, and, you know, have this connection between their own health and building this knowledge and capability of understanding their health. I think that’s really important to me. Like I said earlier, there’s nothing wrong with the traditional workflow. But I do think that there’s a whole new generation of, kind of diagnostic scientists are coming up having been educated in point of care diagnostics, and a lot of us are really interested in figuring out, like, non traditional pipelines, I guess, for the technologies that we’re looking into

Tessa 21:43
Along those lines, has there been much effort in terms of like open source approaches to developing these sorts of miniaturized diagnostic?

Cel Welch 21:52
Yeah, absolutely. So that’s not something that I have done so far. I’m certainly interested in kind of translating that into some of the things that I’ve worked on in the future. But I do know of, for other researchers in this area, that have kind of created open source, like specific open source platforms that are based on like Arduino and stuff like that, that they create for like a potential stat or something. And that is something that’s accessible to other researchers who may also want to use that potential stat, or whatever it may be in their individual diagnostics that they may be creating. And I do think that’s going to be a major component of this is just kind of creating a new way of increasing accessibility of these different component parts that you need to both understand diagnostics and create diagnostics.

Charles 23:01
So we’ve talked a lot about the impact and the impetus behind a lot of these. What you’re doing essentially, is trying to make tools that will be used by people. So what does the pipeline of getting these tools out to a situation where they would be used? What does that look like?

Cel Welch 23:18
So that’s another thing where a lot of people will ask about this as they should, because like I said, it’s… some things have a different pathway to becoming commercialized. And some things that you do in academia just never become commercialized. And I think that there’s this huge thing within diagnostics. So a lot of people talk about, where there’s a lot of really, really interesting pivotal work that’s happening in academia. But it never necessarily gets outside of academia. And that could be because of the aspect of, you know, it’s difficult to commercialize all of these really innovative technologies, because there are so many other things that we have to keep in mind. Like, for example, if you’re creating a microfluidic chip that has 10 different layers of hard plastic that are glued together, that’s not going to be amenable to scale up. Because imagine having to create those seven different pieces of plastic and glue them all together, when you could just create one piece of plastic that gets the job done. So that’s like the mentality of manufacturing scale up that’s really common.

But then there’s also this whole aspect of, a lot of times people don’t want to go the corporate route, and they have these technologies they’re made to be more humanitarian or point of care are generally just accessible, and it becomes difficult to get those technologies out.

For the technologies that I’m currently playing Hang on kind of commercializing, or taking a step further beyond academia, the process I’ve been through so far is to get intellectual property up and running and file invention disclosures, and get on the way to patenting some of the technology. And then like, as I mentioned earlier, there’s this pipeline where you can then license the technology out. Or, for example, if you wanted to create a new company that is able to distribute this technology, however you would like to, then there’s always the opportunity to create your own startup or other company, I think that my plan is probably to license my technology out to a company that is supporting the research that my lab is doing here at Brown, which is perkinelmer. But I do think there’s like a whole lot of routes that people can take.

Do you have much insight on …for the end users of a lot of these tools, so like medical professionals in a medical setting?, howdo they choose what it is they want to use?

So I think that with regards to the individual medical professionals, a lot of times it’s the hospitals that are kind of making the decisions for them. But there are some products that are sold kind of directly to the like mt physicians. At that level, I do think that it’s almost like more common to have these, like deals that are made with the hospital and like the hospital has various individuals that are associated with like the board that would invest in the technology or not. And in that situation, some physicians may be able to give their opinion on it, but that may not count for very much. And that’s not something that I personally have experienced only some things I’ve heard about and learned about. So I think that, you know, it could really be a very different process from what I’m imagining in my head. I think that generally like what I’m a little bit more familiar with is kind of licensing or technology to approve existing company, that then just kind of creates a technology available on their website. And you know, essentially anyone can buy it. But the people who do buy it are people that are in these academic, or I guess like other clinical research labs, and they purchase this device, and they put the device in the lab, and then the device generally, is something that can be reused again and again and again, with multiple samples. So it kind of just persists in the lab, kind of similar to just any other piece of instrumentation, like a centrifuge or something like that.

Charles 28:44
Well, is it difficult to make inroads with new technologies, because in my admittedly somewhat limited experience with like wet labs, people get very attached to the machines that they learn how to do things on and can often be somewhat resistant to learning new tools.

Cel Welch 29:02
Yeah. So I think that’s another great question. And that’s another thing that we as diagnostics engineers have to constantly keep in mind. So there’s both like this preference for like, oh, what do I want to use, and also this preference for like, Okay, I have, you know, such and such skill level, and I technically can’t use anything that exceeds that skill level. Or if I do attempt to use that as a technician, then, you know, maybe it’s going to be very challenging for me.

So I think that we have to create what’s called like a design consideration that is built around these preferences of the person who’s either the consumer or the user of the device. So these are things like just making these complex instruments a lot more easy to use and streamlined, and generally not something that is considered like an advantage of the technology, making something that’s very easy to use, and a little bit, you know, has a better user interface. Like I said earlier, there can be very simple detection mechanisms like simple colorimetric readout and things like that, as opposed to having to take that data, extract it and analyze it. Generally, things like that are considered a better option for, like, field based readouts or point of care based readouts.

And I think that, in general, the simpler that you make the technology, the more people will want to use it. So that’s something that has been definitely very ground into my head by my PI, he always says that, you know, sometimes you want to make something that’s a very intricate, elegant device that uses lots of complex physics and chemistry and engineering. But at the end of the day, nobody’s gonna want to buy that device, because it’s so complicated, and they can’t understand how it works. And it would be way easier if you just created a very simple device that just got the job done quick. So you know, sometimes it’s, it’s difficult when you’re like, a more creative person that’s working in this area, and you want to create a really, really interesting thing. And you just have to kind of tell yourself, okay, you know, this isn’t gonna go very far. But I do think that that is something that I personally tried to address with my research.

Charles 31:34
You know, is there anything in like the bio diagnostics engineer community, are there any things that are just sort of like, everybody just loves and falls over themselves in admiration of, because you mentioned, like, pregnancy tests. And to me, if I’m imagining myself as like, a diagnostics engineer, I would be so jealous of whoever developed the like, portable pregnancy test, because it’s so simple. And it’s so just straightforward and easy to use, and has such a low inaccuracy rating.

Cel Welch 32:15
Yeah, so the pregnancy test is using what’s called a lateral flow assay based platform. And the lateral flow assay is something that has kind of been like stolen and re appropriated to a variety of other diagnostics and systems, since it has been created and kind of used in the format of the pregnancy tests. So I definitely think that you made a good point with that, because I, I certainly think that the LFA is almost like the gold standard of the point-of-care technology.

And now we have these paper biosensors that are kind of building off of those basic LFA, and are adding multi dimensional paper structures and like multiple different detection, binding regions, and making it look a little bit more complex. But I do think that some of the fundamental technology that’s used in a lot of these systems has already been created. So it’s more of like mixing and matching the component parts as I talked about earlier. So I think, for some things, it’s like, it’s almost like a blessing to already have such a well established workflow that works for a variety of different applications, like the LFA. Or for example, like, you know, any Eliza like binding, which is similar to what happens in the LFA. That is something that is used very widely in a lot of diagnostic applications. And I think that is something that people use very frequently. But people are also getting really creative and trying to get beyond that and create something that works in a different way, almost. So a lot of what I individually work on is more adjacent to like the sample preparation side of things as opposed to the detection. And I do a decent amount of detection stuff also.

But I think the sample prep area is something that has more room for like a similar kind of eureka moment in it as opposed to the detection area, which has a lot of researchers that are kind of all trying to crack that same problem. I am of the opinion personally, that sample prep is very neglected. And that’s kind of part of why I think it’s such a cool thing to focus in on because so few people are, you know, trying to crack that question. And I think that there’s like a lot of potential within there to kind of make these groundbreaking discoveries or like even just doing something different is really appealing to me. So I think like I’m a big fan of you know, using the great technology that’s already been created, but then also grabbing some new stuff and like discovering something stuff as well. So I really think it gives you a good opportunity to be both a scientist and an engineer.

Charles 35:06
So is there anything that you would like to say about science or diagnostics or diagnostic science that you haven’t gotten to?

Cel Welch 35:14
One thing that I would say is that I, like strongly urge anyone who’s listening to this to develop more of a relationship with your health and your healthcare and the particular diagnostics that you’re taking, and are engaging in on a regular basis. When we all go to our yearly checkup, or whenever we get like a blood panel or something like that done, that is a diagnostic test.

And I think just getting a little bit more close to what’s actually going on with these panels and with your health is something that I personally think everyone should kind of start doing. Because there’s, like I said earlier, this huge black box of diagnostics, and I think that once you start breaking that down, and really having more of a personal, educated relationship with your health, it can really help you to just improve your health a whole lot. And also just understand, you know, what you need to be healthy. And, you know, once you do develop that knowledge, I encourage everyone to go out and share that with your community and try to educate other people about how they can connect to their health and just, you know, be as healthy as they can be. Because I think this is, especially with all of the COVID stuff going on. This is really a time for all of us to learn about our health and how we can all stay healthy.

Charles 36:42
Cel, if people want to find out more about you or your research online, where should they look? Well,

Cel Welch 36:47
I think that I would first want to plug queer engineer because I think that if you’re interested in any of this stuff, then you probably would be interested in our organization which features a lot of cooler people than me who’ve done way cooler research our Twitter at is queer engineers with an S and we also have a Facebook which is at we’re engineer International, and an email address which is just query engineer international@gmail.com for now, and with regards to like my personal contact information, I have Twitter and my ad is citizen stem. Fantastic.

Charles 37:24
I’m on Twitter @cockroacharles.

Tessa 37:26
I’m on Twitter @spacermase.

Charles 37:31
The show is on Twitter @ASABpod or at our website where we post transcripts and show notes for every episode at asabpodcast.com.

Tessa 37:40
And until next time, keep on science-ing.

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