Nandita Noronha's story
Q1. What is your academic background?
Ans. My journey in the field of research began in India during my bachelor’s in Biotechnology at National College, University of Mumbai. I further went on to do my Masters in Biotechnology at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. My academic courses along with their practical training gave me a strong foundation in Cell Biology, in Molecular Biology and in Immunology.
Q2 How was your experience during the 2015 IRIC recruitment event?
Ans. I feel very fortunate to have been selected to be a part of event. It gave me an opportunity to get a glimpse of the cutting edge research at the institute, interact personally with the Principal Investigators and their students, discuss about their research and perceive the kind of research that interests me.
The students from the institute gave us a tour of the campus and showed us around the lovely city of Montreal. The Indian students at UdeM got in touch with us during the event and were very helpful with every little query that we had. Also, interacting with the other students from various parts of the world that shared the same research interests as you was a different experience altogether!
Q3. What is your project about and how do you like it?
Ans. My project mainly deals with identifying molecular networks involved in Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) sensitivity in response to certain drugs. AML is recognized as a clinically heterogeneous disorder, yet patients are still treated with an identical approach. Elucidating the key pathways and molecular targets involved in drug response will help decrease general cytotoxicity without compromising on the anti-AML activity and could also enable better risk discrimination.
It’s only been four months since I began my PhD and I already feel like I have received a wider and more challenging platform to push my limits and learn so much more.
Q4. What interests you in what you are doing?
Ans. The ability of our own cells to outsmart the immune system into becoming oncogenic is something that has always captivated me. What makes this field so interesting is the challenge to discover a way to deceive cancer cells into falling in their own snare.
Q5. What do you like about UdeM?
Ans. UdeM is filled with opportunities, be it educational or social. But what I love the most is the multi-cultural nature of the University. Students from various parts of the world study here and it is interesting to learn about different cultures across the globe.
Q6. What advice you would like to give to prospective PhD students?
Ans. Firstly, choose your lab wisely. It is important that your choice should reflect a topic that interests you, and once you are in, never give up! PhD is a very demanding and challenging process, it may even get frustrating at times but the key is to be optimistic and of course patient! Don’t be afraid of negative results, they often teach you much more than you can imagine.
Q7. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Ans. It is too soon to say, but I would like to assume that in ten years I would be involved in research activities in the field of oncology and perhaps establishing my own laboratory.
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