Why did you choose graduate school at IUPUI?
I was most attracted to the diversity in the Biology department with different areas of ongoing research. I had an opportunity to rotate in three different amazing labs working in three different research fields such as Vision Biology, Inner ear Biology and Cancer Research. I was happy to be accepted as a graduate student in the lab of Dr. Jason Meyer who works on using stem cells for the derivation of retinal organoids for studying neurodegenerative disorders leading to blindness.
What has been your favorite academic accomplishment since you’ve been here?
My favorite accomplishment is when I was the recipient of the “Linda and Jack Gill Symposium Image Award”, open to students and faculty which is presented at the annual meeting from among four different campuses of Indiana University. I least expected it and I am fortunate to be a part of the Meyer lab where we get to take super cool images from our stem cells. I received a plaque for the award followed by award money. Also, the coolest part about this award is that my image will be printed on t-shirts for the symposium next year and I cannot wait.
What do you enjoy most about life in Indianapolis?
I enjoy the diversity and mixed culture in Indianapolis. I love the bike and run trails in and around campus. Various activities such as Top Golf, camping, and state parks are a good break from work life. Living close to campus I have many opportunities to participate in various events organized by student organizations such as Desijags, Bridges International, Xiphos Corps, and the Student Activities Programming Board (SAPB), which help me meet new people, know about their cultures and participate in various fun and recreational activities.
Please provide some details about your work/research as a graduate student and/or any activities you are involved in.
My research involves working with stem cells to derive cells of the retina and study their interplay with other cell types present in the neurovascular unit. My major research focus lies in understanding the factors that lead to retinal degeneration in blinding disorders such as glaucoma. With my efforts, I wish to delve deeper in unraveling the underlying mechanisms that lead to vision loss, which can be an important step forward in vision research. Awards:
- IUPUI Graduate Student Travel Fellowship
- Two poster presentation awards at scientific meetings
- Image award of the year at Gill symposium, Gill Center for Biomolecular Science
- Served as a School of Science Graduate Student Council (SOSGSC) representative in the Biology Graduate Organization (BGO)
- Teaching as a Lab instructor- Concepts of Biology, Cell Biology.
- Trained an Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) student and a Capstone project student
- Volunteered at the Celebrate Science Indiana (CSI) event at Indiana State Fairgrounds
- Volunteered at the IUPUI Regatta event
- Served at the Metropolitan Baptist Church for Pre-Christmas Toys distribution to kids
- Served as a judge at the Hoosier Science and Engineering Fair