The Last Intern Standing


As their summers come to an end, you can see the other interns growing more and more anxious as their next school term approaches. They work extra in their last week to make sure to wrap up their projects properly in the day, but during the night we stay up and talk about how much we will miss Bangalore and the whole research paradigm here at NCBS. Working here has truly been a blessing. We were exposed to a research culture not common in India, or maybe anywhere else in the world for that matter. It was great learning about each lab members’ previous experiences, how they ended up at this wonderful place, and how they have utilized this environment to progress their work.

One by one, each of the other interns boarded their flights to get back home, leaving me as the last intern in the lab. The majority of colleges in India give around two months of break during the summer, so most of them went straight back to school right after this internship. I never thought that, in so little time, I would be able to develop such tightly-bound friendships. It was really sad to think this may be the last time I see any of them again.

My research experience was also coming to a close. Unfortunately, we were not able to start any experiments with the flies because of some technical difficulties in obtaining the proper mutants. However, I was able to continue my work with the other side-project and set up crosses for my wild type (mutation free) flies as controls for future work on the caffeine project.

I also had the privilege of shadowing a Surgical Gastroenterologist during my time in Bangalore. He is actually a University of Michigan alumni that I had met earlier in the summer at the UMich Alumni Meet. He graciously allowed me to follow him and observe a couple procedures. I even got the opportunity to learn about their bioengineering department and get the inside scoop of how crucial their department is to the proper functioning of the entire establishment. As a biomedical engineering and pre-medicine student myself, shadowing this doctor at one of the most renowned hospitals in Bangalore really gave me insight into another fascinating field. Can’t wait to see what the future has in store for me yet!

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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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