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Jessica Miller

Jessica helps design life-saving medical devices for patients with heart disease.

Jessica Miller is a born inventor. “Every day,” she says, “I see things that can be made better with a good idea and some good engineering.” Most of Jessica’s ideas revolve around health aids and medical devices. “There are so many diseases and medical conditions that could be helped with devices that just don’t exist yet.”

Helping People Stay Healthy and Live Longer
Jessica works for the biomedical company Abbott, designing medical devices called stents. These mesh tubes are inserted into clogged arteries to prop them open and improve the flow of blood to the heart. Stents help people with heart disease, the leading cause of death in this country. But even when stents have been inserted, arteries sometimes close up again. Jessica works on the newest type of stents, which are coated with drugs that prevent arteries from reclosing.

She loves her job, and the fact that what she does helps people in profoundly important ways is one of the most appealing aspects of it. “I am able to help people stay healthy, live longer, and have a better quality of life through the products I design.”

Finding Her Field
In high school, Jessica knew she wanted to be an engineer, but she didn’t know which field of engineering would most interest her. She and her mother collected dozens of brochures from colleges and engineering groups, but it was her mother who found Jessica’s future. “One weekend, my mother was sitting in the living room,” remembers Jessica, “and all the brochures were spread out on the floor. My mother had studied them all and had even done some further reading. She handed me the information on biomedical engineering and said, 'This is the one for you.' And, you know, she was absolutely right.”

“I always wanted to do something that helps people,” says Jessica. “I was blessed with many gifts and many people who helped me along the way. I really want to give back in any way I can.”
 
The Artistic Side of Jessica
Jessica is also a talented artist. “There are really two sides to me,” reflects Jessica. “The side my colleagues know is quiet and composed. But there’s this crazy artist side of me too. I love self-expression and admire people who put themselves out there with purple hair and body piercings. Of course, I don’t do most of that stuff because it wouldn’t go with the engineering side of me, but I think it’s great.”

Right now, Jessica has two goals in life. “First, I want to invent a new medical device.” And the second? “I want to have a show of my artwork some day.”