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Updated: February 16, 2014 13:54 IST
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Scottish sojourn

Aarthi Rathnasabapathi
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Aarthi Rathnasabapathi
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Aarthi Rathnasabapathi

It was a dream come true for Aarthi Rathnasabapathi at the Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland.

I was born and brought up in a beautiful and pleasant township of Udumalpet, near Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India. I completed my schooling in a reputed school where my chemistry teacher was my source of inspiration. My area of interest was science, science and only science. While searching for science- related courses, I enrolled myself in Industrial Biotechnology at an institute in in Sathyamangalam. I completed my undergraduate degree with distinction and then decided to pursue my higher studies in my chosen area of Biological sciences in United Kingdom. I began researching on most institutions that would meet my requirements and ended up at Edinburgh Napier University. Their on-campus facilities, academic atmosphere and the enriching international student community atmosphere in the university was excellent. I got admission at the institution’s Drug Design and Biomedical Science programme.

Edinburgh Napier University, which is located in Scotland’s capital city, imparts good quality technical education in allied fields of research and technology. The most fascinating part of the programme for me were the modules on drug design, toxicology, Immunology and Biotechnology and Drug discovery. The course was geared more towards research than analytical study and I enjoyed how both theory and laboratory classes were equally distributed in the modules.

I still remember the models that my drug design module professor used to bring to class. Those drug models not only improved my imagination but also explained clearly about the drug-drug interactions. I never missed my toxicology classes, because of my professor and the way he made each class interactive and interesting. I loved the questions and answer sessions and group discussions after every class, which allowed me to grow in confidence and share my views and ideas to the group.

At each and every stage, we had course-works, poster and power-point presentations. With the help and guidance of my professors, I received distinction for my poster presentation on SiRNA technology and by the end of my academic programme, I realised my dream of designing a prodrug for cancer with the help of my professor Dr David Mincher.

Completing my masters, I started my career as a Research Assistant in Edinburgh Napier University where I continued my intense research in designing macromolecular prodrugs for cancer. At the end of nine months of my research at the university, I received an offer from Lab901 and worked on quantification of DNA and RNA using TapeStation. After my short-term experience with Lab901, I returned to India and joined as a Scientist in the Discovery biology division of Anthem Biosciences, Bangalore.

At present, I am working on the screening of chemical entities for various diseases especially on cancer cell lines. With two years of experience at Anthem, I found myself specialised in assay biology sector in performing and optimizing various in-vitro assays and other confidential in-house projects.

I would proudly say that my master’s education had given me a strong foundation for my future PhD in the field of drug discovery on cancer.


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