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Outstanding Graduate, Spring 2024

Devin Nikjou

Devin Nikjou aspires to attend medical school. By combining innovative ideas with a strong desire to help others, he hopes to inpire others to pursue their interests with the same determination and focus.

As a child, Nikjou excelled in math and physics classes and has always been fascinated by problem-solving and medicine. 

His passion for medicine drove him to study biomedical engineering at the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University. Despite being enrolled in one of the largest engineering schools in the nation, Nikjou grew to appreciate the close-knit community in the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering

“I enjoy learning in a small classroom environment and being able to get close to professors,” Nikjou says. 

As being a part of Barrett, The Honors College, Nikjou had several opportunities to explore his medicine, which solidified his goal to work in the field. In one project, he interned as a special research student at Mayo Clinic, working as a medical scribe for Dr. Steven Chang at Barrow Neurological Institute.

Additionally, he served as a teaching assistant for laboratory manager Michael Sobrado and Associate Teaching Professor Gary Cabirac. He also considers Sobrado as his most influential professor during his undergraduate studies. “As someone who wants to continue working with medical devices as a physician, he was a great resource for learning the basics of how to create a medical device,” Nikjou says.

During the summer of 2022, Nikjou shadowed physicians as part of an internship at Valleywise Health Medical Center. While there, he approached Iman Feiz-Efran, a neurosurgeon, about collaborating on an important case series. 

“I could not have asked for a better mentor than Dr. Feiz-Erfan, who always took the time to explain everything during his cases,” Nikjou says. “Publishing my own first author study is undoubtedly my biggest academic accomplishment.”

Beyond his medical interests, he also volunteered every Saturday at Refugee Integration Stability Education, or RISE Tutoring, to help refugee students become academically succesful. “At ASU, especially Fulton, there are so many ways for you to pursue your interests and plenty of resources to aid you in your projects,” Nikjou says.

He plans on attending medical school and pursuing academic medicine. “I hope to one day use my engineering background to come up with new, innovative solutions to address needs that remain in medicine,” Nikjou says. “I especially look forward to potentially serving as a clinical mentor for future ASU biomedical devices for various issues that remain prevalent.”

Read about other exceptional graduates of the Fulton Schools’ spring 2024 class here.

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