Bayport-Blue Point High School alumna Vanessa Sanchez has earned a spot on Forbes Magazine’s 2021 “30 Under 30” list.
Sanchez, a Ph.D. candidate at Harvard University conducting research on developing robotic fabrics for ill and disabled patients, is among the 30 young high-achievers featured in the 10th annual list’s science category.
Forbes commended Sanchez for creating robotic fabric leg sleeves that treat deep-vein thrombosis, as well as soft robotic fabrics with built-in feedback control that can help users have better mobility.
Sanchez, with Harvard professors Conor Walsh and Robert Wood, produced a review on textiles for wearable soft robotics that is featured on back cover of the February issue of Advanced Functional Materials. The 30-page review is titled “Textile Technology for Soft Robotic and Autonomous Garments.”
A passion for fashion design led Sanchez to enroll at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan after high school. Wanting a deeper of understanding of garment construction and the materials she was was studying, she transferred to Cornell University enrolled in the fiber science program.
At Cornell, she studied the chemistry and engineering of fibers, textiles, and dyes, earning a bachelor’s of science from the university’s Fiber Science program.
“I wanted to make clothing that could do something more for people,” Sanchez said in a report published by the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
“I didn’t know exactly what that was yet, but I felt that I needed a deeper understanding of the materials to innovate in the way I intended,” she added.