Student Spotlight: Shweta Karnik, Center for Preclinical Surgical & Interventional Research

“The work I’ve done here at THI makes me feel like I made an impact. THI is working toward something beneficial to a lot of people, and I’m so happy I got to be involved with this opportunity while developing my skills and making a difference,”

—Schweta Karnik, Center for Preclinical Surgical and Interventional Research


Shweta Karnik joined the Texas Heart Institute (THI) team this past summer as a student worker for the Center for Preclinical Surgical and Interventional Research. As a graduate student, Karnik is pursuing her master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Houston. Karnik serves her department by modeling and testing motor protypes for cardiovascular devices.


Karnik’s involvement at THI began in March of 2019 as a research volunteer under the direction of Drs. Alex Smith and Yaxin Wang. Having shown impressive knowledge in her subject and a fascination with the department’s projects, she returned as a student worker for the summer.


Karnik came to THI to expand her experience in the field. “As I was starting my thesis, I was interested in seeing how mechanical engineering worked with blood flow, and then came this incredible opportunity with THI,” says Karnik.


“I never worked with medical devices before, but I was prepared to apply my knowledge I learned from other positions and undergraduate school.”


Karnik says that she fulfilled that goal and the experience helped her understand the relation between mechanical engineering and the body.  Karnik continues to gain medical knowledge every day. From being involved in the lab, Karnik says that while she is excited and proud of her achievement of applying engineering to the body, her biggest achievement comes from using her skills for the good of others.


“THI made me feel like I’m really doing something good for other people. You can live without a lot of things, but you can’t live without your heart.


“I am very thankful to THI for this opportunity to gain this new perspective. I feel like this has given me insight on my future and the kind of professional I am. I hope to get involved with THI again and see something like this in my future.”


Karnik is now participating in another internship in San Jose, California. She will graduate from the University of Houston with her master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering this December.



A special thank you to our Visual Communications Student Intern, Carlos Uribe for the writing of this article.