Sai Preethi Nakkina

Sai Preethi Nakkina

VISRA Intern, Fingleton Lab

Hey everyone! I'm from Bangalore, India and have been pursuing my Bachelors in Engineering, Biotechnology. My interest in Genetics and Biology drove me to take up Biotechnology in my Undergrad. At my home institution, PES Institute of Technology, I study a broad range of subjects including Molecular biology, Structural biology, Enzyme Technology etc. During my undergraduate journey I have had been exposed to many fascinating subjects and developed a keen interest in cancer research and the implications of genetics in cancer biology. This led me to explore opportunities where I can experience cancer research first hand. 


My work in the Fingleton Lab this summer focuses on the effects of the Th2 cytokines IL4 and IL13 on the migratory and invasive abilities of colon cancer cells. This project is particularly interesting as we are testing if either or both of these cytokines contribute to metastasis of cancer cells and trying to elucidate how this occurs at a cellular level. Understanding these pathways may lead to new cancer cell therapies and increase patient survival rates.


As a rising senior, what I hoped to gain at Vanderbilt is an understanding of how scientific research works and how I fit into this world. I aim to do a PhD and this experience gives me an insider's perspective which will help me tremendously in making better and well informed career decisions. VISRA has gone above and beyond my expectations. The program is designed to help us make the most of our time in Nashville. From weekly Social activities to mentoring sessions we are given an opportunity to meet faculty and graduate students whose inputs have shaped my view of how research works and the kind of role I see myself in.


I enjoy reading and listening to music, which is another reason I like Nashville. The one thing I wanted to do in Nashville was to see the fireworks on the 4th of July. I am also looking forward to white water rafting and visiting the country music hall of fame! 


I would like to thank Dr. Kathy Gould and Leslie Reynolds for organizing such a wonderful program. Working under the direct supervision of Dr. Barbara Fingleton, allows me to learn from her knowledge and experience, for which I am very grateful. 


VISRA is a really great program for anyone interested in research and I feel lucky to be a part of it.