SAP @ Florida International University

Excited and Nervous!!

That’s how I would have described my expectations of this wonderful opportunity. I was eagerly awaiting the experiences that I would face over the next few months. Before leaving for Miami, people warned me that it wouldn’t be cold. However, the very moment that I stepped out of the aircraft I was greeted by a draught of cold air! I was received by my project advisor Dr. Rene Herrera, who heads The Human Genetic Diversity Research Group at Florida International University, and was introduced to the other members in my research team the next day. All of them were very supportive, encouraged me at every step and answered any question that I post to them.


 The initial days of my project were spent in perusing a variety of papers concerned with the field of my research. Dr. Herrera was extremely helpful in this regard and made my initial transition a lot easier. The present research project to which I am affiliated concerns with Mitochondrial DNA analysis of Haitian population’. The project offered a plethora of new techniques like Human DNA extraction from Buccal swabs, Sequencing and Genotyping, which helped me in honing my skills. Dr. Tenzin Gayden, a resident researcher of the same lab,was extremely helpful and guided my project on a daily basis and at the same time ensured that the time I spend here was utilized to the hilt. The lab also had researchers from different ethinicities thereby ensuring that I learnt much more than science.

At work

The neighbourhood in which I reside provides a homely environment. The majority of the people are Hispanic and they welcomed me with open arms into their fold.  This presented me with a chance to learn a new language and at the same time experience the rich and diverse culture of a whole bevy of South American nations.

I would like to thank Dr. Herrera and all the members of his lab for graciously accepting me into their working environment. So seamless was the transition that it never felt like I was an outsider.
Last but not the least, I would like to take this opportunity to thank SRM University and Dr. M. Parani for making this dream come true. Without their timely help, this would not have been possible. 

- Shweta 
  Final Year B.Tech Genetic Engineering
  SRM University