After 5 years of break, pursuing Master’s in Anna University (BIT Campus), Tiruchirapalli, is quite strange. It was difficult at first to keep me updated in this field of Biotechnology. Later on, I realised that this is my field of interest. With the help of my friends, I started learning enthusiastically. With their support and encouragement, I wrote my first ever project proposal for Khorana Program for Scholars,2018. Since it was the first time, there isn’t any expectation of getting selected until I received a mail from IUSSTF on 19th Feb 2018. It took 2 days for me to realize that I got selected for this prestigious program. I was completely encompassed with wishes and positive vibes.
Preparations started with finding a mentor in US. After thorough search, I landed in finding Mali Lab, University of California San Diego. First time international flight travel kept me fingers crossed. With the prompt help of IUSSTF, I reached San Diego with 3 layovers and had a chance of visiting one of the wonderful places,Amsterdam and Los Angeles. San Diego has one of the best climates and encompasses a number of natural preserves. I fell in love with this place in the very next moment I landed.
Mali’s Lab, located in the Powell-Focht Bioengineering Hall on the main campus of UC San Diego in La Jolla, is passionate about understanding and progressively engineering biology towards enabling gene and cell based human therapeutics. I got a wonderful opportunity of learning molecular and computational techniques, and viral transfection in animal cell line. And I am eagerly waiting to learn still more techniques in the next one and half months. Thanks to my mentor, Dhruva Katrekar for helping me in understanding the concepts and my Professor, Prashant Mali for accepting me in his lab. I would also like to thank my colleagues here in lab, who are always kind and helpful. I am proud that I am part of this lab. The work ethics is the one that admire here which I wish to be incorporated in India.
Though I spend most of the days in lab, I too find some time to explore San Diego. La Jolla, is one of the most popular beach destinations in California. Surrounded on three sides by the sea has been rightly nick named as “the jewel” of San Diego. I really loved visiting Old Town, the place with rich historic beauty and Coronado with its charm crystal waters and beautiful sunset. I was literally waiting for the sunset to have the beautiful skyline view of Downtown.
Along with other Khorana/Bose Scholars and alumni, I also had a chance of meeting Dr.Aseem Ansari, founder and director of Khorana/S.N.Bose Programs and Naveeda Qadir, Executive Director. It was really amazing meeting people of this kind. Thank you, Sir and Mam, for the lovely lunch.
All that I learnt here is, how to make use of challenges and convert it into an opportunity. Many experiences and memories to take home. No doubt that this kind of experience has been a life changing one for all the scholars. Of course, all the support and positive vibes from family, friends and faculty members keeps me energetic and encouraged. Thanks to all beautiful hearts who kept supporting me in all circumstances. I would also like to thank WINStepForward, DBT and IUSSTF for giving me this wonderful opportunity.