Reminiscing Till the End

It took me many tries to write this final blog post. Every time I had started writing, it just dawned on me how it would mark the end to this wonderful experience here. I kept pushing it back, trying to squeeze in as much time as I could. I guess there is a limit to how far back I can push this, as here I am, sitting at the airport, writing my last blog post in India.

I have also thought long and hard about what I would talk about or include in this final post. In the end, I felt the best way to mark this ending here would be to go through the many highlights I have experienced this summer (and hopefully even include pictures this time).

Before I officially started my internship at NCBS in Bangalore, I took time to visit family on the other side of the country, in the state of Andhra Pradesh. This not only gave me the opportunity to spend time with people I haven’t seen in years, but also the much-needed time to adapt to India’s environment, getting used to the humidity and the heat and the time difference.

One of my favorite memories was going to the beach with the family and experiencing the tides of the full moon.

Full Moon Tides & Vibes

While I was with my grandparents, I stayed in an area that was on the outskirts of the city. A lot of construction was happening but it definitely changed quite a lot since I last came. One thing, however, that is still the same is my grandparent’s house.

Grandparent's House
Grandparent’s House
View from Above
View of the Colony from a nearby Rooftop

Once I arrived at NCBS, I was in awe of the beauty. It shares its campus with an agricultural school, meaning its house to a plethora of unique flora. Here are a couple of shots of my lab’s building and views from the rooftop of the campus.

Stairs to heading to my Lab
Stairs up to my Lab
Vew from the Top
View from the Rooftop of the Campus
My Lab
The Lab

A couple of weeks into my time in Bangalore, I attended a University of Michigan Alumni Meet, where I dined and mingled with a few Wolverines who settled down in the Bangalore area and others who are interning here for the summer.

Left to Right: Me, Neel, Chris (the other 2 SiSA Fellows in Bangalore at the time)
Wolverines in Bangalore! Go Blue!

I also explored other main attractions in the city with other interns in my lab. These incursions into the city included Indiranagar, the ISCON Temple, MG Road, and Commercial Street.

ISCON Temple
ISCON Temple
A Mosque on MG Road decorated for Eid.
Commercial Street.

On the whole, though, the time spend at Nandi Hills was beyond extraordinary and will always be one of my most memorable experiences in India. Unlike others, I haven’t had the chance to see many monkeys during my time here in India, so I was very happy to find so many up their in the hills. We also spent a good bit of time just sitting on the cliffy areas to take in the breathtaking views.

Seek Adventure: Enjoying some snacks on the cliffs Chillin on the Cliffs Flower & Mountain Mother with her Child Perspective

While these outings happened on the weekends, during the weekdays I was in the lab. One of the newest and most unique aspect of this project was working with bees. This was my first time working with animals in research, and I had to catch and then dissect them as part of my project. Unfortunately, I am unable to post a video of me in action, but I do have a picture where I had caught two bees in one vial (a truly tedious feat)! All we had to do was drop some sugar water and pollen at the entrance, and a few bees would pop out. We then single (or double, in this case) them out using Falcon Tubes.

20170607_120238Bees x2

I hope you enjoyed this little sneak peak into my time here. This marks an end to a truly unforgettable time in my life. Can’t wait for my next adventure!

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Vijay Vobbilisetty

Vijay is a sophomore majoring in Biomedical Engineering. He will be spending the summer interning at inStem, an autonomous research institute in Bangalore, India. The institute is funded by the Department of Biotechnology and emphasizes collaborative research on stem cell biology. In his project, Vijay will use state-of the-art disease modeling techniques to bridge the gap in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying inherited cardiomyopathies by analyzing the effects of certain genetic mutations on the physiology and function of cardiomyocytes, muscle cells that compose heart tissue. After his undergraduate experience, Vijay would like to continue to pursue his interest in cardiovascular research and go on to medical school.

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