Who is part of Yachay Tech’s first class?
We spoke with Estefanía Benavides, a Biomedicine major from Ibarra who’s working with plant fiber to create bio-compounds with biomedical applications.
March 13, 2019
Estefanía was part of the High Performance Group and she had the possibility to win a scholarship to study abroad. However, she decided to give Yachay Tech a try. She wanted to go to med school but without leaving aside the technological part, so Biomedicine was perfect for her. Although the University is near her home in Ibarra, she decided to live on campus. She wanted to have the experience of living with her classmates and it became a wonderful experience. In fact, she says her classmates will be what she misses the most of Yachay Tech.
When she started her first semester that’s what she liked the most: meeting people from all over Ecuador and other countries. She highlights that the faculty was always close to students, despite the difficult academic demand. She always knew that Biomedicine was the major she wanted to pursue and that´s why she picked it since her first day at Yachay Tech.
After the common core, the most difficult thing for her was the transition between English and Spanish. She had to get used to taking classes in English but had the support of the faculty in this process. They have enriched her academically and personally.
Furthermore, what she likes the most is the practical part: being in the laboratory. She conducted her pre-professional practices in a molecular biology laboratory at Universidad Técnica del Norte. Her thesis project also involves many hours at the laboratory. She works with plant fibers to create bio-compounds that have biomedical applications.
Her tutor is Frank Alexis, Ph.D., a Yachay Tech faculty. At the moment, she works specifically with coconut and jute; her bio-compounds could be applied in dental implants. To obtain them, Estefanía extracts fibers from plants and combines them with a polymer matrix. Once they are obtained, the next step is to run mechanical tests to analyze the properties of the compound and if it is viable for the application.
After finishing her undergraduate studies, Estefanía wants to work in Ecuador for a year, before starting her master’s degree. She is interested in the pharmaceuticals industry, so next year she hopes to do a master’s in that field.