Since my childhood I have been a keen observer and am well known for probing new avenues, always enthusiastic and ready with a chain of questions. Having been brought up in a strong and secure family, I have been blessed to have parents who instilled me with good values and principles. Education was always given first priority and there was no compromise for it. My parents’ support motivated me to reach my goals. When my schoolteachers noticed my inclination towards science, I was always encouraged by my parents to participate in all science exhibitions, quizzes and other examinations.
Right from my school days, I always enjoy studying biology. It is the science of life. Unlike physics, biology does not usually describe systems in terms of objects, which obey immutable physical laws described by mathematics. Nevertheless, the biological sciences are characterized and unified by several major underlying principles and concepts. At the school level though exposed to only major concepts of biology, the terms like cell, genes, DNA, protein intrigued me a lot. I used to question myself as to how could these molecules/components, though very small in size, could perform heavy load of work in a well -planned manner and that too within a fraction of second. Then I decided that after my school I should pursue my education in biological sciences.
Throughout my school I had excelled in academics by being in top 2% of my entire school. I am proud to say that I was one of the two students in the entire school who secured centum in mathematics both in 10th and 12th grade examinations. Also in the state level engineering entrance examination I secured 92.86%, which put me in top1% in the state. At that time the field of Biotechnology field was new to my country and made many remarkable achievements. The passion towards biological sciences made me to take BTECH in Biotechnology in PSG College of technology, one of the prestigious and oldest colleges in the nation.
In college I have been exposed to many fields of study like biochemistry, cell biology, micro biology, molecular biology, genetics, genetic engineering, protein engineering, enzyme engineering, immunology, bioprocess engineering, bio informatics, animal biotechnology. I had given many seminars in all these subjects and have also been an active student participating in all the department activities and functions. This had developed teaching skills within me and I also take care that the class is lively so that all my fellow students are attentive and come out with questions, which in turn I clarify for sure. I have also got practical knowledge of techniques in the fields of biochemistry, cell and microbiology, molecular biology, immunology in our laboratory classes. The ardor for the subjects like Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular biology made me to undertake few mini projects in the college. As a team of four members we worked in a project called CHARACTERISATION OF STARCH IN TAMARIND SEED POWDER. Tamarind seed powder is rich in starch and is highly used in glues. But it is poorly soluble in water, so in order to improve its solubility we planned to modify the starch my adding some functional groups like carboxyl methyl, etc. For that first we had to estimate the amounts of protein, carbohydrate, lipid, fats, ash and moisture and then modify it accordingly. I was in the estimation team of 2 members and I used appropriate methods to estimate the amounts of starch, protein, fat, lipid, ash and moisture.
I also worked in a short-term project on ISOLATION and CHARACTERIZATION of HIGH LEVEL GENTAMICIN RESISTANCE gene in Enterococcus faecalis. The genomic DNA was isolated and we attempted to isolate the gene by PCR. I have also done a project on PHYLOGENETIC ANALYSIS OF SELENOPROTREINS using online bio-informatics tools. I used the PHYLIP program and analyzed the SelW protein by studying its conservation and divergence and also compared it with another functionally similar non- selenoprotein Alkaline dehydrogenase.
I have received the prestigious Summer Research Fellowship offered by Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore twice for the years 2004 and 2005. All undergraduate and post graduate students and also lecturers throughout the country are eligible to apply for this fellowship but finally the committee selects only around 100 students based on the academic qualifications and the report submitted about their area of interest. Usually the fellowship is not granted for second time unless the candidate is really outstanding in his/her work. I am proud to receive that fellowship for second time. In my 2nd year of under graduation I had been exposed to many fields theoretically and I wanted to get exposed the basic techniques in Molecular biology. Through the Summer Research Fellowship 2004, I worked under PROF. RM. x, Head, Department of Immunology, Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai where I learned molecular biology techniques like DNA isolation from human blood samples, PCR, Agarose gel electrophoresis. It is basically an Immunogenetics lab working with Mycobacterium tuberculosis and I worked on HLA-DR B gene. I looked for the presence of this gene in many control samples by PCR using specific primers. I became well versed in these techniques and I was granted with the responsibility of managing the control sample collection. Working in that lab had widened my knowledge in gene aspects. As I am always known for probing new areas, I wanted to get more exposure in cloning, protein expression and purification. So I worked under PROF. DIPANKAR CHATTERJI, Molecular Biophysics Department, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore through Summer Research Fellowship 2005. I worked on Mycobacterium smegmatis DNA binding protein – MsDps1 and MsDps2. I sub cloned, expressed and purified MsDps2 by affinity chromatography and also purified MsDps1 by affinity chromatography for crystallization. I also standardized the protocol for the isolation of DNA from Mycobacterium smegmatis.
After working with expression and purification of protein, I wanted to gain further insight in the structure of protein – 3D modeling of protein. Bio-informatics is another area that fascinates me. I approached PROF.N.SRINIVASAN, Molecular Biophysics unit, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and I am currently working under him for my BTECH final semester project. I am working on Evolution of phospho proteins where I am looking for the conservation pattern of phosphorylation in the homologs of protein kinase substrates and also will be doing 3D structure modeling of protein-substrate complex to gain further insight into the phosphorylation pattern.
Apart from my curriculum, I have a very good leadership and organization skills. I am also a good team player. I had been the House captain of my school, an active member of Drama club in school and also the organizing committee of my Department in the college and organized National level Symposiums. I also play piano and have qualified two grades conducted by Trinity College of London.
I believe that I have all the qualities of a good researcher. I learnt many things from both my victories and failures. Being the House captain and a member of the organizing committee had made me view things from all perspectives. I can accept both criticism and praise with a positive attitude.
I feel that graduate study at your University will be the most logical extension of my academic pursuits and a major step towards achieving my objectives. I would be grateful to you if I am given the opportunity to pursue my graduate studies with financial assistance at your institution and am able to justify your faith in me.