Priyamvada Gupta-Department of Biological Sciences - Carnegie Mellon University

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Priyamvada Gupta

Senior, B.S. in Biological Sciences with a minor in Creative Writing

“The level of intellectualism at Carnegie Mellon is unparalleled and truly stimulating; I am proud to be a part of it.”

I have had a passion for research since childhood. I always wanted to know how scientists think, discover and create new things, which is why I decided to study biological sciences. Carnegie Mellon’s size and reputation for undergraduate research were my determining factors to travel from Delhi, India to Pittsburgh to further my education.

I find the biological sciences program to be unique because it provides students with the opportunity to apply classroom knowledge to real life laboratory environments. For the past year and a half, I have applied my gained knowledge in Dr. Chien Ho’s laboratory to explore the biochemical and biophysical characterization of hemoglobin. Specifically, I compare human hemoglobin to elephant and mammoth hemoglobin at different temperatures. This research could lead to a potential blood substitute, which could transform cardiac surgeries.

Working in the Ho lab has also given me the opportunity to present a poster at an American Heart Association conference in Pittsburgh and the National Biophysical Society conference in San Francisco. These conferences expanded my perspective on the breadth and depth of work in the scientific community and opened my eyes to the role I could play in the future.

The excitement I felt at these conferences parallels the enthusiasm university faculty members exude daily in the classroom, especially Dr. Carrie Doonan. Her passion for biology encourages me to go forward and stick with something that makes me happy: science.

However, I also have interests in numerous other areas, including biomedical engineering, French and writing. The interdisciplinary nature of Carnegie Mellon has allowed me to combine two of these interests: science and writing. I am actively pursuing a minor in Creative Writing. Additionally, I have served as a science and technology staff writer on the student newspaper, the Tartan. I am currently Editor-in-Chief of Carnegie Mellon’s chapter of the Triple Helix, the world’s largest undergraduate-run journal for science, society and law.

As a way to combine my passion for writing and science, I have decided to focus on a future in patent law. Therefore, I have secured an internship with a law firm in India for the summer.