Meagan Bechel

MD/PhD Student


Growing up in a military family, I spent a lot of my early years learning how to pack and unpack boxes efficiently. However, we eventually settled in the Midwest, where I pursued a degree in Biomedical Engineering at The Ohio State University. During my four years there, I completed several internships all focused on biological imaging modalities, including computed tomography and millimeter wave applications. In my last two years, I decided to transition to a more biology intense path and chose tissue engineering as my major concentration. I completed and defended an undergraduate honors research thesis on the role of myoferlin in the epithelial-mesenchymal transition and metastasis of breast cancer.

After graduation, I took some time away from school before entering medical school. During this time, I continued to expand my skill set through many different research positions, including R&D product specialist at Nestle and phlebotomy lab lead for the OSU Stress & Pregnancy Lab. This adaptability served me well when I matriculated to the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern.

During my first year, I became interested in ICU medicine and began working with Dr. Curtis Weiss in on a project focused on ventilator management in patients with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) and Acute Respiratory Failure (ARF). Dr. Weiss was collaborating with Dr. Amaral and I was fascinated by the complex system analysis phase of the ventilator management project. I decided to take a year between my third and fourth years of medical school to join the Amaral lab. At the end of that year, one year just wasn’t enough and so I joined the Northwestern Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/PhD). For my PhD, I will be studying the care team networks within ICUs at both academic and community-based hospitals, specifically how the adoption of new treatment guidelines propagates through an institution. Once I have defended, I will return to medical school to complete my last year and then go on to residency training.


  • B. Sc. Biomedical Engineering, The Ohio State University (2011)
  • M. D. , Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University (2018)
  • Ph. D. Biomedical Engineering, McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University (2020)

Awards and Honors

  • Undergraduate Research Scholarship (2 years), The Ohio State University (2009)
  • Oliphant Scholar (3 years), Northwestern University (2012)