PhD candidate Divya Ramchandani joined the James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy in 2010 to pursue a doctoral degree in pharmaceutical sciences, with concentration in pharmacology, and when she graduates this year, she carries with her a long list of achievementsÖ
How did you come to UC?
With a dream of working towards discovering new strategies for curbing cancer, I decided to pursue PhD as the next step in my career after earning my bachelors in Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2010 from University of Delhi in India. I started my search for universities where I could start my career as a cancer researcher and it so happened that my interests and my advisorís interests matched. Thatís when I knew UC is the next big phase in my career. After spending almost 5 years here, I feel that it has been one of the biggest yet the most wonderful decision for me.
What awards have you won during your time at UC?
I was the recipient of University of Cincinnati Graduate Student Governance Associationís Research Fellowship Award for the 2014-2015 cycle. The monetary value associated with it has helped me fund my ongoing experiments. Being amongst top twenty percent of students at our college, I have been bestowed with the opportunity to be a part of the pharmacy honor society, Rho Chi. Rho Chi not only recognizes its members as lifelong intellectual leaders in pharmacy but also promotes collaboration amongst its members and believes in giving back to the community.
Out of all the honors I have achieved during my approximate half a decade at UC, I particularly cherish two of my recent awards. These include Excellence Award for Exemplary Scholarship in Life Sciences and Graduate Student Governance Association (GSGA)ís Service Award.
The Exemplary Scholarship award recognized my contribution to the field of Life Science Research, my academic achievements as a graduate student and also my knowledge as a Cancer Researcher. A huge part of my learning is attributed to George Weber, PhD, my advisor, under whose guidance I have acquired extensive knowledge and training in cancer and molecular biology.
The second award, GSGA Service Award, has recognized all my time and efforts as the leader of the graduate studentsí organization at our college (Graduate Association of Pharmaceutical Science Students, GAPSS). Iíve been associated with the organization and management of GAPSS for four consecutive years of my grad school in various roles, as a treasurer, vice-president and president. During my time as president, GAPSS became a part of university-wide activities involving graduate students. Not only did GAPSS raise an amazing amount for our charity fundraiser but also volunteered to host a GSGA social event in April 2014 to promote the thesis art work of DAAP students.
What area of research is your focus?
I am working towards understanding and discovering new avenues for curbing the ill-fated cancer progression (or metastasis). My dissertation work involves analyzing genetic alterations that lead to cancer metastasis. Metastasis genes are known to be responsible for cancer progression and are deregulated in transformed cells either by aberrant expression or via alternative splicing. In my research projects, Iím looking at both these aspects of deregulation of metastasis genes and how it leads to an aggressive phenotype in solid tumors.
What do you like to do in your free time?
When I'm not wearing my work hat, you'll probably find me in the gym or reading fiction. My new found interest is to learn to play the guitar and Iíve been taking lessons for a while now. It helps me relax and rejuvenate. Also, I enjoy watching live performances and Iím a big fan of Broadway plays and musicals. I never miss a show whenever Iím in NYC.