FSU is one of the top state universities in the United States. The research work in the Department of Biological Science was highly impressive, and I liked the academic curriculum and the quality of the faculty and the ongoing projects in the labs. Nice warm Tallahassee weather was an additional factor.
Motivation to pursue a graduate degree
Learning new science and reading about discoveries always fascinates me. I really enjoyed studying chemistry and biology in high school and undergrad. I am the first woman in my family to opt for sciences and for pursuing a doctoral degree. I knew that grad school would bring me more opportunities to contribute to science in all possible ways.
Importance of research and work
I am studying microbial sulfur reduction, and we are trying to understand how sulfite reductase enzyme reduces sulfite to sulfide. Reduced sulfur plays an important role in biogeological cycling and is critical for assimilation of sulfur into amino acids, cofactors, and vitamins. Moreover, sulfur reducing bacteria present in our gut use sulfite reductase enzyme to produce hydrogen sulfide, but the excess amount of sulfide can cause severe inflammatory bowel disease. Understanding the structure and functioning of sulfite reductase enzyme will not only help in generating therapeutic approaches to cure these diseases but will also help in generating novel enzymes which will reduce sulfur related environmental pollutants.
Advice for anyone considering graduate school
Learn, read, and experiment! It's ok if things fail, but don't give up. There are many resources on campus, so make use of those and talk to your advisor; it actually solves half of your problems. Grad school requires patience, but what matters the most is that you are enjoying what you are doing.
Accomplishments during graduate career
My recent contribution for our upcoming paper as second author. I also finished second in the Three Minute Thesis competition.
I want to become efficient in my lab techniques which I am using currently. I would like to work for postdoctoral position related to my field.