I Thiruvananthapuram during the last two winters. In

I did two
summer internships (2 months duration each) and two winter internships (20-25
days each) during my three years of undergraduate study at IISER
Thiruvananthapuram. The research experiences and knowledge I acquired during
these periods are immense.

I did my
first Summer Internship at Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB),
Thiruvananthapuram under Dr. G S Vinod Kumar on the topic “Liver targeting
peptide synthesis and drug delivery and Curcumin entrapped Nano particle
synthesis”.  I performed solid phase peptide synthesis and acquainted with
instruments like Lyophilizer, Desiccator, etc. and techniques like Sonication
and MALDI Analysis.

My summer
internship 2017 was under the guidance of Dr. Sathees C Raghavan, Department of
Biochemistry of Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore in Chromosome
recombination, DNA Repair and Cancer Genetics lab. I was introduced to various
laboratory techniques in molecular biology and had a hands on experience to
perform various techniques like Cloning, Western Blotting, Restriction
Digestion, PCR, Gel electrophoresis, Plasmid Isolation, Transformation by
electroporation, etc. I successfully cloned two genes of interest into the
pKDB17 vector in two- three attempts which my guide has been trying for a long
time. That was a moment of extreme satisfaction and a motivation to pursue my
career goals. I observed and learned about Sanger Sequencing, Transfection,
cDNA preparation, RNA isolation, and mice dissection during my period of
project in the lab. I had also familiarised with primer selection and designing
in that period.  As a second year undergraduate student, I was hugely
enthusiastic about learning and performing these technologies.

I had
worked in Cytoskeleton and Cell cycle lab of Dr. Tapas Manna of IISER
Thiruvananthapuram during the last two winters. In my first winter internship
(2016), I worked on the “Purification of centrosome proteins”. I did techniques
like Bacterial Transformation, Ni-NTA Chromatography, SDS PAGE, Bradford Assay,
Protein Dialysis, etc.

During my
third year winter project in the same lab (2017), I studied the “Proteins
involved in microtubule- kinetochore interaction”. I performed Mammalian Cell
Culturing, Immunoprecipitation, Immunostaining, Transfection, Fluorescent microscopy
and learned the basics of confocal microscopy.

Apart
from the above, the theoretical knowledge I have gained from the scientific
discussions during the group meetings and from the research papers I read are
extensive.

A
well-structured and comprehensive course curriculum at IISER-TVM has laid a
firm foundation to my research enthusiasm. During my second year undergraduate
study, I have done a project titled “The effect of crowding in fishes” as part
of my Ecology course using Guppy and Zebra fish as the model organisms. I have
learned basic research principles, logic of research and various techniques
during my first 5 semesters at IISER. I completed laboratory courses such as
Advanced Biology lab 1 (Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology), Genetics and
Molecular Biology lab, Introductory Physiology Lab and Introductory Biology
Lab. I have also familiarised with vi editor and c programming from my dry lab
experiences in structural biology practicals. I have acquired basic skills to
be a biologist from these laboratory sessions at IISER-TVM.

During my
5 semesters at IISER, I completed Biology courses such as Advanced genetics and
genomics, Biochemistry, Physiology, Microbiology, Introductory Biology,
Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour, Introductory physiology, Genetics and
molecular biology, Biochemistry-1 and in my current semester (semester 6) I
have Structural Biology, Molecular Biology, Immunology, Cell Biology and Genome
stability as major courses. I have opted Chemistry as my minor subject. The courses
I completed in chemistry are Chemical Kinetics and Photochemistry, Principles
and applications of spectroscopy, Principles of physical chemistry, Atomic
structure and chemical bonding, Chemistry of elements and Basic concepts in
organic chemistry. Apart from this, in the first two years at IISER, I had
Mathematics, Physics and Humanities courses as part of the curriculum.

I have
represented my district in the State Science Fair for Science Project, Science
Still Model and Quiz in my school days. I believe that my passion for science
is deep rooted and will nourish in the coming years.

I am
confident that the experience and skills I gained from my previous internships
and coursework can be put to best use during the Khorana program.