Christopher Tacca is a 2018-2022 Self Graduate Fellow pursuing a Ph.D. in bioengineering at the University of Kansas. He received his B.S. (2018) in biomedical engineering from Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA. During his time at Bucknell, Tacca became actively involved in the club e-NABLE where he developed a passion for designing and creating personalized prosthetics for local children. Through e-NABLE, Tacca met an eight-year-old child named Tanner who needed a full arm prosthetic. Although a fully functional prosthetic would help him with his daily activities, Tanner was mostly concerned with having a prosthetic arm that instilled a sense of pride. Tacca was inspired by the challenge to create a prosthetic that would not only work for Tanner functionally, but could also bring him joy. Tanner’s happiness with his “Doctor Who” themed prosthetic has motivated Tacca to rethink the focus of medical device design to seek solutions that work for patients in every aspect of their lives. He plans to apply this same inspiration for creating innovative and specialized medical care towards pursuing research in the use of virtual reality for compassionate and individualized mental healthcare.
Mentor: Elizabeth Friis, Professor, Mechanical Engineering