Voices Of Youth Inspire: "Scientific curiosity, Analytical Skills and Creativity!"
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Name: Bhamini Vaidialingam
Location: New York
According to your business card – what’s your job title? Research Assistant at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
And how does that compare with what you wanted to do when you were 10 years old? I wanted to be a doctor when I was little. Now, I do Bio medical Research (Structural Biology) and study the atomic structures of proteins that play a crucial role in cell growth and metabolism. These proteins are typically drug targets and their atomic structures (at the electron level) reveals how to better design a drug that can regulate its function.
Give us 10 words that describe your typical work day?
Hypothesizing, Designing experiments to test Hypothesis, Execution of Experiments, Organizing, Note-taking, Analyzing Results, Discussing Ideas, Reading scientific papers and Playing with expensive Robots!
What did you study? Biochemistry
How important was your choices of degree/field of study at university for what you’re doing now?
[ x ] Really important – couldn't do the job without it!
[ ] Not directly relevant but taught me a lot of skills which I use now
[ ] In this career, other factors are more important than a degree
What are the top three things someone needs to excel in your field? Scientific curiosity, Analytical Skills and Creativity!
What do you think is the MOST important thing governments and/or companies can do to help young people get started in their careers?
[x] Subsidize the cost of tertiary education more
[ ] Governments should create incentives for companies to hire young people
[ ] Companies should create more formal internship programmes for university students at all levels – with stipends.
[ ] There should be a stronger focus on developing entrepreneurship at school level
On a lighter note, tell us about the strangest day you’ve ever had at work or the strangest thing you had to do? We were carrying a large, black, heavily armored case (looks suspicious) containing protein crystals soaked in Liquid Nitrogen through the London tube (subway). As we were going through the crowds, my colleague was pushed and that resulted in jostling of the Liquid Nitrogen and wisps of smoke emanating out of our case. That caused a whole lot of panic and scrambling and being questioned by the Scotland Yard! But, in the end, we did make it to the syncotron, shoot our crystals with high energy X-rays, collect data and solve the atomic structure of the protein!