HI! I AM A COMPUTATIONAL BIOLOGIST AND DATA SCIENTIST.
I am a doctoral candidate in bioinformatics and computational biology with a minor in statistics at Iowa State University. I am expecting to graduate in June 2017. My coursework in computational biology and statistics, complemented by my research (advised by Dr. Roger Wise) has given me experience in project conception and execution, data management and analysis, and manuscript and grant writing. The interdisciplinary nature of my work has taught me to understand different viewpoints and approach the same problem from different directions. I love the collaborative environment, learning from my team members while teaching them and carving my own niche. My diverse background allows me to contribute creative ideas and bring unique perspectives to the team.
I grew up in Kolkata, India where I was introduced to genetics in high school. I was fascinated by it and decided to pursue my undergraduate studies in genetics at Purdue University (USA) where I was introduced to a statistics professor, Dr. Rebecca Doerge. She told me about bioinformatics and its potential in the future. Although Purdue did not offer a bioinformatics major at that point, I decided to create my own by adding statistics as a second major, selecting biology classes with a computational component, taking supplementary computer science courses (Java) and conducting research in computational structural biology (advised by Dr. Daisuke Kihara).
Teacher & Learner
A fulfilling aspect of my career has been mentoring and helping other students succeed. As an undergraduate, I co-taught a freshman biology course, and tutored students one-on-one and in small groups for college science courses.
Graduate school has also given me opportunity for personal growth and impact. As a lifelong learner, I have an insatiable desire to add to my knowledge reservoir, challenge myself academically, and develop the mind. For me, a graduate education offers the opportunity to do all of that in a structured way that can deliver great personal satisfaction.
I thrive on new challenges and find a fast-paced environment exciting and invigorating. In my first year of graduate school, I joined an on-campus student led consulting group (BCBLab, Now BCBGSO). My first consulting project was providing a faculty member analytical assistance for a new research project. It was very rewarding. This motivated me to take on leadership positions in the organization. I served as an executive member my first year, and was elected to serve as the president my second year. I stayed on to advise the succeeding committee my third year.
As the president, I increased the consulting requests so that we had multiple projects per student volunteer that year. I took initiative to raise $10,000 for a seminar series to increase awareness and educate the on-campus community about the diverse branches of bioinformatics and computational biology. My team and I invited 4 external speakers as well as incorporated professional development during the semester. I also supervised 3 student projects that were all successes; one of them involved developing a pipeline still used by the client laboratory.