Shuhan He, M.D., is a friendly doctor with a bit of a secret: He builds mazes for research. While researching strokes and their effects, He developed a new understanding of the importance the design of mazes plays in research. Without any viable options available to purchase the kind of mazes necessary to produce reliable, consistent results, He decided to take charge and begin building modern mazes for research himself.
"I started the business when I was doing research into strokes. I realized that all the drugs and therapies were being tested in mice in really primitive mazes, which meant we were never sure if anything ever worked or not. I set out to provide a better standard and looked into hundreds of years of research to find all the best types of mazes for researchers." - Shuhan He, M.D.
While others might have scoffed at the idea, He was filled with excitement at the prospect of developing modern mazes that produced better, more consistent results in research. Mouse mazes might seem to play an insignificant role in research to the uninitiated, but medical and research professionals know that’s not the case. Mazes matter, according to He, and their research implications are anything but insignificant.
"Mazes just matter. Whenever I see a patient in the emergency department and they come in with strokes or head trauma, I know that we just don't have much to offer them. Mazes are at the root of this problem, especially early during the development of drugs for these diseases." - Shuhan He, M.D.
The primitive mazes of the past weren’t cutting it in the modern world of research, so He founded MazeEngineers in 2012 with the goal of increasing the scope of mouse maze use by making it more convenient and more economical to locate and purchase a reliable maze for neurobehavioral research.
“Our behavioral mazes are integrated with living cages, metabolic environments, and various other 24/7 monitoring systems for high output data generation of mice in a natural setting, without stress and specifically for exacted testing. MazeEngineers develops applications for neurobehavior for all types of animals, and we specialize in customized jobs. Our customers include private and public universities, military, biotech and pharmaceutical companies, and other researchers.” - MazeEngineers
Today, Shuhan He spends his days doing lots of research and creating the very mazes that make it possible to learn about the early development of diseases that affect humans and other neurobehavioral aspects. He is living proof that doing what you love enables you to make a bigger impact on the world. Next time you take or administer medicine, think about the fact that a mouse maze like Dr. He’s (or possibly one of his!) could very well have been part of the cure.