THI Student Exchange participant accepted to Medical Genetics & Genomics program at University of Glasgow

Each year, the Texas Heart Institute Molecular Cardiology Department hosts exchange students as part of a Semester Abroad Program (SAP) at SRM University— one of India’s top-ranked universities. Students spend six months at THI gaining first-hand experience as part of their research training activity under the mentorship of THI staff members. Deenadayalan Bakthavatsalam, PhD, MBA, leads this outreach initiative for THI and the research training volunteership inspires students to further pursue innovative research opportunities around the world.

Mithra, B. Tech, SRM University, Chennai was accepted into the University of Glasgow for the MSc in Medical Genetics and Genomics after completing her training at THI in 2017.

“I am grateful to Dr. Bakthavatsalam for creating a wonderful opportunity for international students like us to experience such a wide range of research laboratory activities. My guide and mentor Maria Cabreira, MSc, PhD was an excellent person when it comes to teaching and I learned about research ethics and many techniques from all of the lab members. They were all so cooperative and I enjoyed my daily lab work duties. The Thursday Basic Science talks also provided some great classroom experience. To work in a research laboratory like THI was surely a unique experience, and I wish I could work there even longer.” –Mithra, B.Tech, SRM University, Chennai

Dr. Bakthavatsalam’s training journey inspired him to create the project. He spent six years as a scientist developing biotech products at SPIC Science Foundation in India and was selected for the PhD program in the University of Cologne in Germany. During this period he developed several collaborations with key experts in the area of inter- and intra-cellular signaling that regulates fundamental biological processes. There he was inspired to seek a post-doctoral training at Rice University and is currently a research scientist at THI.

“I learned a lot from my own mentors and I now embrace sharing the knowledge that I have gained through my research abroad as well as through mentorships like ours at THI.” –Deenadayalan Bakthavatsalam, PhD, MBA

The main purpose of the student research training activity is to expose young minds to research and demonstrate how various field of studies, from math, science, engineering and technology (STEM), are applied in experimental research to address questions in biology.

This THI outreach project is open to high school seniors and college students. Contact Dr. Bakthavatsalam for details.

For SRM students, this research activity runs from January to July annually. Interested SRM students should contact SRM faculty member, Dr. Parani to initiate an application.