Ashwin Kumar

Ashwin Kumar

Hi, I am Ashwin! I am currently pursuing 5 year Integrated Master of Science program with major in Chemistry at University of Hyderabad, India and after completing my MSc degree, I plan to pursue PhD in the field of Structural Biology.

My long term research goal is to understand the structural basis of the biological function, interaction and specificity of bio-molecules and their assemblies that are involved in gene expression, DNA replication, DNA damage response and repair. As a complement to my above research interests, I am also keen on using structure-based design to develop efficient therapies and drugs to cure cancers.

Here at Vanderbilt, I am working in the laboratory of Professor Brandt Eichman, Department of Biological Sciences. The laboratory is highly active in research for understanding the structural biology of genome maintenance; in particular the laboratory focuses on DNA glycosylases and also on the stalled replication forks. I love the laboratory and I am really lucky to be able to work and learn here!

Vanderbilt University was recommended by one of professors at my home university as a great place to enhance my knowledge and experience. I immediately started to gather information about funding and internship opportunities at Vanderbilt.  After spending a few minutes on the Vanderbilt University website, I got to know about VISRA and I immediately started to prepare my application!

I highly recommend VISRA to any student who is planning on pursuing a career in research. In addition to research, VISRA interns get the opportunity to interact with students who are from all around the world, and it’s a very great opportunity to learn about different cultures. VISRA also has some wonderful sightseeing and cultural activities, which allows the interns to discover Nashville and experience American culture. I am already in love with Nashville, and people here are very sweet and friendly.

VISRA program also provides study materials and classes for GRE. The classes and lecture materials are extremely useful, for students who are planning to pursue PhD in the USA.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Amanda Connolly for all her support and help; I would also like to thank my principal investigator Prof. Eichman and my mentor Rongxin Shi for their guidance and encouragement.

I wish all the future VISRA applicants very good luck!