Dhananjay Kumar

Dhananjay Kumar

VISRA Intern, Smith Lab

Curious, ambitious, passionate, explorer and sometimes even crazy (about out-of-the-box ideas) are words that describe me quite well. Time for a more formal intro.

My name is Kumar Dhananjay and I am a pre-final year student of BS-MS dual degree program majoring in Biological Sciences at Indian Institute of Science Education and Research-Bhopal (IISER Bhopal).My roots originate from a beautiful and vibrant North-Indian city of Lucknow, famous for its rich heritage culture and Mughlai food.

I have been placed in the lab of Dr. Jeffrey R. Smith, Associate Professor of Medicine and Cancer Biology. Dr. Smith’s lab investigates the genetic predisposition to familial and/or heredity cancers with parallel goals for elucidating causality and contributing to personalized medicine. My project for this summer is centered on understanding and revealing the genetic alterations underlying familial prostate cancer.

I choose VISRA over the other programs that I have been accepted into this year, because of the reputation that Vanderbilt has built over the years in the field of biomedical research. It is regarded as one of the best places in USA and around the world for study and research in the field of biological and biomedical sciences. The enriching research environment and guidance by world class faculty from diverse scientific backgrounds plays an integral role in deciding the career path of an individual and that’s what VISRA exactly does. Apart from providing an unparalleled research experience, the program also offers mentoring sessions, seminars on how to prepare for GRE and other similar competitive exams and guidance about graduate school. The multicultural community, country music and pacific beauty of Nashville and especially Vanderbilt (one of the most beautiful campus that I have ever seen) and other social and fun activities as a part of program are other important factors that influenced my choice and till now Vanderbilt have not disappointed me.

As this is the last batch of VISRA, so I feel honored to be part of such a wonderful community but at the same time I really feel sorry for those International scholars who have planned or are planning to apply next year, but I just want to give a little piece of advice for all those who are interested in pursuing a career in science, that Vanderbilt is a great place, full of opportunities and amazing people passionate about Science and there are still lot of programs for International students at Vanderbilt.