Vanessa Tolosa is a Biomedical and Chemical Engineer in the Materials Engineering Division at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). LLNL has a mission of strengthening the United States’ security by developing and applying world-class science, technology, and engineering. Vanessa designs and creates neuro-prosthetics and materials. The prosthetic communicates with the neurons of your brain. This controls the robot hand.
Vanessa received her PhD in Chemical Engineering with a focus on Biotechnology from UCLA and her BS in Chemical Engineering at the University of Florida.
She is the first person in her family to go to college. According to Vanessa "What I love the most about my work is that a big component of it feels more like a hobby, than a job. The articles that I read in my free time overlaps with a lot of what I have to learn for my work. When it comes down to it, my job is to solve puzzles. I have to think outside the box, and use science and engineering to solve those puzzles. Working for a national lab makes the work even more rewarding, knowing that when we solve some of those puzzles, we will have an impact on society. Another benefit - my work is never boring. There’s too much too learn to ever get bored".
Vanessa took a lot of classes in math, chemistry, and neuroscience. She got a lot of hands on experience in the lab. Vanessa decided to become an engineer because she loved chemistry and biology and she wanted a job that helps people. Vanessa loves studying the brain.
In the future, she wants to create a neuro device so people can live better lives. Vanessa wants to solve Alzheimer's Disease and others neurological diseases.