Meet the Trailblazers

Trailblazers are current graduate students at the University of Pittsburgh who love our school so much, we want to introduce it to others. We come from different programs and years but we are all dedicated to helping new or prospective graduate students get to know and love Pitt.


Dave Gau


Dave was an undergrad at Pitt from 2006-11 and spent a year in Australia afterwards. He is currently a PhD student in the Bioengineering Department working in the area of cell migration.

Tim Jackson


Tim did his undergrad at Pitt from 2005-2009, then spent a few years working for a university in Thailand, and loved Pittsburgh enough to leave tropical paradise and return to get his PhD. He’s currently in the Bioengineering program, researching congenital heart defects and interning at the Artificial Heart Program in UPMC Presbyterian.

Mitali Patil

Mitali Trailblazers

Mitali is a 5th year PhD student working on cardiovascular biosensors in the Department of Bioengineering. She originally comes from Fairbanks, Alaska, and did her BS in Biological Sciences and her MS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology there. She’s an avid animal lover who volunteers at the Animal Rescue League and Wildlife Center by walking dogs on the weekends and helping out with events.