Introduce Yourself Essay

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As a child, I was taught that life’s basic structural and functional unit is CELL. That is when it struck me that the existence of an organism was purely based on this small unit called cell. It increased my curiosity and I decided to choose Biology as my major subject in high school to learn the subject in depth. I was briefly introduced to major concepts like Classification of organisms, Anatomy, Physiology of plants and animals, Reproductive Biology, Genetics, Molecular Biology, Immunology, etc., and terms like cell organelles, chromosomes, DNA, RNA, and proteins. I was very much intrigued by the concepts and was amazed by the fact that these cells and biomolecules, being so small, carry out such complex processes in an organized pattern within seconds and keep a person alive. The best example would be the production of insulin to maintain a person’s blood sugar level. Having learned these new concepts, it made me realize that there is massive scope for biology. With this thought in mind, I chose Biotechnology as my program of choice for my Undergraduate at Rajalakshmi Engineering College (Anna University), Chennai.

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During my undergraduate program, I was exposed to the core areas of Biotechnology and key laboratory techniques. When the central dogma of Molecular Biology was explained, I was quite eager to learn more about DNA, RNA and proteins and their structure and functions. I found the techniques involved in Molecular Biology and rDNA technology fascinating. With a desire to learn new techniques I underwent several training programs outside of University. Throughout the training programs, I was taught methods such as Protein Purification Techniques, Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis of Biomolecules, Chromatography techniques, Blue-White Screening, Staining Techniques in Microbiology, Agarose Gel Electrophoresis, etc.,. As I got involved with these training programs, my fondness for this subject only increased further.

I went to several Industrial visits organized by our institute which augmented my experience in the course and also provided me an overview of how work is carried out on an industrial scale.

At a certain point, I noticed myself leaning towards some specific topics like Genetic Engineering, Molecular Biology, Immunology and Microbiology and was determined to work in any one of these fields. Fortunately, I got to work in Madras Veterinary College, Chennai, which is a part of Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Science University, for my Final Year Project in the field of Immunology and Molecular Biology.

Our project aimed to study the expression level of regulatory cytokines (IL-17A & IL-22) in Canines upon induction with Rabies vaccine under in-vitro conditions. While working on this project I got to perform some of the molecular techniques that I learned in my training programs and also learned how to culture PBMCs, harvest the cells and use the cells for additional processes such as qPCR. The outcome of our project was taken for further experimental analysis with the help of an adjuvant. Though the vaccine, as a separate entity, showed a slight elevation in the cytokine production, it was not that effective. The need is to develop a vaccine that can produce the required amount of immune response when a pathogen invades a host that has very low immunity.

I am currently interning at the Department of Medical Microbiology at Madras Medical Mission Hospital, Chennai where I expect to imbibe the way a laboratory works at the hospital. I am also focusing on determining the prevalence of microorganisms in the postoperative wound infections and generate an antibiogram of those isolates. Being a part of this lab has made me realize the importance of teamwork and communication within a team.

Throughout my undergraduate study, I have been working in the field of Microbiology, Molecular Biology. Immunology and Genetic Engineering and have finally found that my interests lie in studying the intricate nature of life, DNA and other molecular aspects of life.

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