As of August 16th 2022
As of August 6th 2022, I got engaged! Writing a future blog post on the scheming that lead up to that event. I’m doing well overall, after getting engaged, burn out hit hard and I took a few days of doing absolutely nothing other than walks, meditation, and watching too much anime. Right now I’m back and feeling really good, realizing the impact burnout really had on me. Doing things that are good for me feels so easy right now as I genuinely want to do those things.
I also bought a Whoop band to test it out recently, definitely going to write something on how I feel it compares from a user experience and data validity standpoint. if you’re interested in it and want to try it, it’s ~$10 for shipping but otherwise free for a month if you use a referral code (if you use mine I also get another free month - https://join.whoop.com/2961CD).
Books I’m Reading:
Started reading “Healing: Our Path from Mental Illness to Mental Health” by Thomas Insel a long time ago now, and have not really kept reading beyond the second chapter. I definitely have been putting reading anything that isn’t an academic paper on the back burner.
You can find past books I’ve read and my notes on them in my Notion library here.
Since the Biodesign fellowship ended I have been mostly remote but I tend to have to come in roughly once a week at a minimum.
Medical Informatics Ph.D. Program at UCLA
I’m a 3rd (almost 4th) year Medical Informatics PhD Candidate at UCLA in Dr. Alex Bui’s lab. My research centers on the use of digital health data as taken from smartphones and smartwatches to enable monitoring of mental health. Recently after implementing a couple different models I’ve realized it is in fact hard to predict mood from passive wearable device data. I am beginning now to really focus on implementing anomaly detection methods and relating them to changes in symptoms of major depressive disorder as well as overall severity.
Recently (as of last Monday August 8th) submitted my first fellowship application for an F31 award. I think I did an overall good job but was very, very surprised with how many different forms and documents I needed to fill out. That was honestly overwhelming and took up so many hours of my time. Might be a good topic to have a blog post on later too.
My research is centered on data from a collaboration between UCLA and Apple to study mental health and depression through mobile health. We’ve begun to have access to initial data sets. Excited to take the work I’ve been thinking and writing about and actually apply it on these data. I also am now working
UCLA Biodesign Fellowship
I’ve been part of UCLA’s Biodesign Discovery Fellowship since August 2021 and we graduated on June 23rd 2022. The program has been a phenomenal experience. I’ve had the opportunity to shadow in many areas of the hospital, learn from really cool speakers, and work with people much more capable/accomplished than myself. Broadly learned so much about medical technology entrepreneurship and feel much more confident in my understanding of the space. Our team (AiroSolve) pitched at the Rice Business Plan competition in April, built our proof of concept device, and are starting to form an actual company. One of our biggest fears is that we lose momentum because all co-founders have a different primary occupation (mine is being a PhD student), to help mitigate some of that we are keeping ourselves part of accelerators and other programs that force us to hit more milestones. We are part of tha UCLA Anderson Summer Activate program and will be Biodesign Accelerator fellows for the following year.
Other Things In My Life
I’ve been meditating since 2017 (wow 5 years now) and while I was much less consistent the first year, it has become a keystone habit in my daily routine. Recently however I’ve definitely felt myself being less focused during the sessions themselves. I used to get through and enter a real meditation zone frequently but now am mostly distracted when I sit. I still do at least 10-15 minutes and normally 20-25 but its far from my “normal” during the pandemic where I was at 30-45 minutes. Improving my meditations is definitely a focus for me moving forward.
I’ve played the guitar since I was in middle school, but never felt good. I’m still not good, I don’t know how to “jam” with other players, don’t know music theory. But at least I can solo in a minor pentatonic pretty well. Rarely play in the last 2 months though.
Been well over a year now since I started surfing as a pandemic hobby. Still find it difficult, tiring, and incredibly fun. Recently I feel like I’ve hit a new skill level where I have a much better understanding of how to actually enter a wave. I still straight ride most of the time, but can consistently catch waves on a long foam board and even the Wavestorm foam fish board now. I am very far from being good, but nowadays when I go to surf I actually get to surf waves more often. Wild how long that took, I catch maybe 3-5 an hour but that is wayyy more than how I spent most of my time surfing at 1-2 waves (if any) per two hours.
I finished my 3rd run through of the MAPS anabolic program. Its been great but I started to really feel my body unable to keep up while on a mild cut. While I’ve made great strength gains I really need more mobility and flexibility work. I started the MAPS performance program this week to help try balance that out and round out my strength, very likely going to go back to Anabolic afterwards. My fiancée started working with a personal trainer who suggested cutting out alcohol for a month as a way to gauge its effect on progress and I joined her as I also want to re-assess my relationship with alcohol and its effects on my wellbeing. Hopefully I stop unintentionally bulking and actually cut some body fat this time. Goal is to lose roughly 10lbs before returning to maintenance. I feel closer than I’ve ever been to the body type I’d like to maintain which is exciting.