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Meghma's Harvard dream comes true

Meghmas Harvard dream comes true

The twinkle in her eyes and infectious giggle belie her dead serious pursuit of cancer research.

A personal tragedy impelled Meghma Mukherjee to seek a cure for cancer. The trigger was her elder sister's futile battle with blood cancer a few years ago ironically while she was engaged in research on cancer. "My sister was fine four and a half years into cancer research in the United States but all of a sudden her health started failing and she was diagnosed with blood cancer," recalled Meghma.

"The internship at Harvard Medical School will be very useful for me as I will get to observe behavior of cancer cells in response to different treatments and how they interact with our immune system," she said.

Meghma and 20 others from SRM Institute of Science and Technology, mostly bio-engineering students, are set to leave for Harvard come January for a six month internship. They have been invited by the Harvard Medical School after they submitted their profiles and project interests. SRM students have benefitted from Harvard internships in the past years, but this is the first time such a large number of them are bound for this Mecca of bio-scientists.

They will be mentored by Shiladitya Sengupta, Head, Laboratory of Cancer NanoMedicine at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the United States. The Hospital is a teaching facility of the Harvard Medical School.

Sandhya Govindarajan is close to realising her childhood dream. "Ever since my childhood, I have always dreamed of becoming a scientist and making a change in society. SRM gave me an opportunity to explore the field of Biotechnology. Through this program at Harvard Medical School, I hope to delve deeper into my area of interest," she said.

Sri Vidhya, researcher in Immunology, said, "My seniors at SRM motivated me to pursue an internship at Harvard. I hope to do justice to the opportunity given and carry forward the name of my college," she said positioning herself as a student Ambassador.

Genetics researcher Dhanush R said, "I seek a high level experience that HMS can give me as I want to be equipped to have a start-up which is completely based on Automated DNA Data Storage System. Srinethra Sridhar is keen on research in Regenerative Medicine and Harvard internship is a lifetime opportunity.

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