Why did you choose a graduate degree in an offbeat and unconventional career such as Chemistry?

Chemistry has been an integral part of my life since childhood. Growing up in a community that needs special health care motivated me to get my bachelor’s degree in pharmacy. During my bachelor’s degree, my interest in chemistry grew tremendously because it was the core of all the basics. Later during my master’s degree in analytical chemistry, my fascination towards chemistry further increased under the guidance of my mentor and advisor, Dr. Shyam S. Shukla. That’s when I decided to further extend my existing knowledge—including theories, techniques, and creative capabilities—by pursuing research in analytical chemistry through a Ph.D. program.

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Why did you choose UConn?

My choice of UConn for graduate program is based on it being well renowned in the field of liberal arts and sciences; its modern, state-of-the-art research facilities; and collaborations nationally and internationally. UConn Chemistry also had experienced faculty members and research interests of my choice. Based on suggestions from alumni and my mentor during my master’s program, I learned that UConn had the best environment for study and research with diverse interests.

How did you choose your advisor/research group?

Dr. James F. Rusling is a pioneer in toxicity screening and cancer diagnostics. Having backgrounds in both pharmacy and chemistry, my interests led me towards the health care and diagnostics fields.

What has been your favorite class at UConn so far?

Dr. James F. Rusling’s Electroanalytical Chemistry course and Dr. Steven L. Suib’s Inorganic Chemistry course.

How has your research experience impacted you?

My research focuses on developing biomedical devices for cancer diagnostics. We use several bioanalytical and electrochemical techniques to direct our research from laboratory setup to point-of-care diagnostics. My major research goal is to develop analytical tools that are easy to use and inexpensive, yet are able to sensitively and accurately detect multiple biomarkers in blood serum, leading to better patient outcomes. So far with my research, we were able to achieve inexpensive and highly automated sensors of high diagnostic significance. My research in cancer diagnostics motivated me to pursue public health care, where I hope to play an important role in bringing diagnostic techniques to those in need.

Has a certain advisor had a significant impact on you?

My advisor, Dr. James F. Rusling, has been a great mentor with significant impact on both my professional and personal life. His excellence and passion in the field of analytical chemistry has motivated me to challenge myself to push the limits and be creative. Dr. Rusling has a great balance of professional excellence and personal life. This has made me more organized so that I could perform extensive research without affecting my personal life.

What are your plans after you secure your degree?

Work towards developing biosensors and diagnostic devices in an industrial setting as a research scientist for better home health care in developing economies.