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What was your favourite memory in UCC?
I made a lot of good friends inside and outside work while in UCC making the whole PhD experience soulful for me. APC Microbiome Ireland where I did my PhD had a very connected and collaborative environment, I felt comfortable doing experiments in multiple labs and networking across research labs in UCC and Teagasc and I still feel connected to many people I met during these times in my PhD. I also developed a very open relation and deep connection with my PhD mentor which is very memorable. I cherish memories made with these people very much.
How did your time at UCC help you to get to where you are now?
My research in UCC helped me publish 2 lead author and 1 co author publication in reputed scientific journals, which helps me progress in my current and future career goals in this area. I have reviewed 17 research papers and wrote a book chapter post my PhD, all of which was possible due to my expertise in the field of gut microbiome. Overall, without my PhD experience and success it wouldn’t have been possible for me to be a pioneer in this area.
What is your advice to current UCC students? What person/people at UCC had the most positive influence on you?
My advice to UCC students is to enjoy what you do without thinking a lot about the challenges or what could go wrong, with any new subject that we study, projects we undertake or decisions we make in life, learn mistakes along the way of the experience, and evolve, but most importantly “enjoy the experience” because ultimately if we cannot enjoy what we do, we are not truly living. I have multiple people I met during my PhD who influenced me positively, two of them were my colleagues who were going through some of the toughest situations during their PhD final stages and they inspired me to understand how to be positive even during tough times.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. My work focuses on studying gut-microbiome benefits in gut immunological contexts. I landed this position due to my experience with working with gut microbiota during my PhD.