Interviews

‘Faculty members at School of Biosciences are highly qualified’

Simran Kaur wants to pursue research in genetics and cancer after she completes her programme from the Apeejay Stya University

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Simran Kaur is a third-year student pursuing an Integrated Biotechnology Programme from the School of Biosciences at Apeejay Stya University. Besides, she is an Astrobiology Ambassador at Spaceonova, a space education and research-based company. With a keen interest in exploring what is happening in the world of research, in an interview, Simran talks about her future plans. Edited excerpts:  

Why did you choose to study an Integrated Programme in Biotechnology?

Biotechnology is the practical application of theoretical knowledge. I enrolled myself in the Integrated Programme as it would help me save a year and I would be able to complete both B.Tech and M.Tech in five years instead of six. The integrated course is no less than a regular one as the syllabi remains the same. Moreover, if you are completing two degrees from the same college, you are more connected with the teachers and you get several opportunities to explore in the same field.

What do you expect to gain from this programme?

Having highly qualified faculty members who come with extensive experience in academics and industry, I believe this programme will help my personal and professional growth. I also want to enhance my technical knowledge by working on multiple case studies and live projects. I also try to make the complete use of the research opportunities available and facilities provided in the campus.

What made you choose the Apeejay School of Biosciences?

On my visit to the Apeejay campus, I realised that all the members were very kind and understanding. The faculty of the School of Biosciences are all professionals with industrial experience and each of them has a unique way to deal with students. In addition, the labs are well-equipped and when pursuing a course in Biosciences that stands imperative. This made me decide to take admissions in the School of Biosciences.

In addition to pursuing this course, you’ve decided to venture into astrobiology. What interests you about the field?

Astrobiology isn’t a new field but it is gradually gaining popularity. One of the reasons that drove me to explore the field of astrobiology is that it’s an interdisciplinary field. It means students mastering a particular field can contribute to this emerging field. For instance, a biologist can conduct research on tissues and changes that could happen in space health. Also, the career opportunities are quite promising.

How do both the subjects complement each other? How does it add to your portfolio?

I am inclined to conduct research on genetics and cancer. While Biotechnology itself is a vast field, Astrobiology is interdisciplinary in nature. And both the domains are of my interest. How these subjects complement each other is that we can study the genetic composition of an organism that is found in space by using the bioinformatics tools. The method helps us analyse as well as study how they are different or how they have evolved as compared to the organisms living on Earth. Also, being a research-based company, Spaceonova provides an opportunity to work on different projects and that would definitely add on to my portfolio in terms of my working experience in an organisation.

What else are you doing besides pursuing this programme to help you grow holistically?

Apart from pursuing this programme, I keep myself engaged by enrolling in different online courses so as to keep myself at par with the others. I also try to work on my speaking skills so that I can evolve as a better spokesperson.

What are your plans after you complete your degree from Apeejay?

I would love to work on genetics and cancer research. Soon after completing my Integrated Degree from Apeejay, I am focused on doing my PhD in the same subject. The rest is what destiny holds for me.

Harshita is Assistant Editor at Apeejay newsroom. With a Post Graduate Diploma from Asian College of Journalism, Chennai, Harshita has experienced both the Media and Public Relations (PR) world. She has worked as a Journalist with Careers360 and India Today and was a PR Professional at Value360 Communications. Learner by nature, she is a foodie, traveler and believes in having a healthy work-life balance.

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