2007 Fellows

Arpita Mandan


Photo of Arpita MandanI was an intern at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the summer of 2007. I worked in Dr. Marvin Wickens' lab in the Department of Biochemistry. I had always liked Chemistry and Biology, and I went forth for this internship with an excitement to learn, and to experience what research was in these fields. Everyone in the lab was really friendly and always ready to help me with learning the bench techniques I needed. I was mainly involved in doing a three-hybrid screen of the CePUF11 protein against a random RNA library. We were eager to see what the consensus binding sequence with this protein would look like. After the screen, we did the beta gal filter lifts. It was fun seeing the yeast colonies turn blue. I really enjoyed the whole process, with so many steps, and how we analyzed things and found out new ways to check, when an experiment failed. Finally, we came out with a few sequences and I really enjoyed it when we tried to see what the consensus would possibly look like and plan further experiments. It was a great learning experience. I also learned cloning and made clones for creating restriction enzyme cut sites in FBF2 (122-632).This would enable us to replace the RNA binding helix of repeat3 (that we were interested in studying) with the randomized oligo.

At the end of those 11 weeks, I had a good sense of what it meant to do research in science. I realized that this was much more exciting than just studying from textbooks, but it always required much more patience and hard work. Also, the curiosity of what the results might look like was a driving force to keep me working on the experiments. I had the opportunity to listen to the talks of world-renowned scientists and also got to talk to some of them and also with some graduate students during the Biochemistry Reunion. This exposed me to a variety of exciting ideas. All in all, it was a great experience. I loved the environment of the place. I really liked Madison.

It's an out of the world feeling to be one of the fellow pioneers of the unique Khorana Fellowship Program. I think it is a great initiative of the Khorana Fellowship Program, which would facilitate the exchange of scientific ideas and skills between the UW and the Indian students.

Ishan Chaturvedi


Photo of Ishan ChaturvediKhorana Fellowship Program is a unique program of its kind in the world. It gives a lot of freedom in terms of choosing the research direction and helps develop a spirit of entrepreneurship and innovativeness in the young minds. We believe that one of the major factors in the evolution of human societies has been the cross-cultural transaction of ideas. The same holds true for Science. The Khorana fellowship is aimed to promote this cross-cultural exchange to give the best minds in USA and India an opportunity to learn the ways Science is pursued in each other's countries.

Personally, it was a roller-coaster experience for me. Right from the interview stage I knew I was going in for something special. But the program actually turned out be better than I had ever imagined. I was involved in perhaps the world's most radical and cutting-edge research in the field of DNA nanotechnology. The faculty members, Dr. Franco Cerrina, Robert Blick and Aseem Ansari, were more than willing to help me through my work. The lab members were very friendly and made me feel like an important part of their close-knit group. They would always ask me how I wanted to proceed and what was my opinion about their work. The professors and the group members poured in years of their experience to help me in the research.

I also had the opportunity to meet with a lot of other faculty members, graduate as well as undergraduate students and learn about the American way of research and education. If you love Science and want to explore your research interests, then you have reached the right place. I would highly encourage you to apply for the Khorana Program.

Mukul Garg


Photo of Makul Garg