Interview with Kedar Thiagarajan and Paramjyot Singh

Q: How did you get interested in the biomedical field?

Kedar: I was able to see results right in front of me, seeing myself helping patients. Even if people going into biomedics are only involved in research, they can see themselves affecting thousands of people. These people have 5 year agendas, it is really insane.

Paramjyot: For me, I was studying human anatomy during sophomore summer at Stanford which was really intriguing to me: how whole body is in sync with itself and a single base pair can change the way we function and change, the way proteins appear and how there are so many chances for error and none occur. I wanted to understand why this happens for certain people who actually did have diseases. I wanted to help them out and find what lies ahead in medicine.

Q: What kind of internship did you participate in?

Kedar: This summer I did a research project at University of Pennsylvania. I was working on the motor disorder research department, so I wrote a research paper on Parkinson’s disease and how dopamine affects non-motor symptoms caused by Parkinson’s disease. I got involved by emailing professors and one of them told me that they had a program for high school students.

Paramjyot: My internship involved the early detection of tumors. I researched different ways to detect certain cancers, different designs for these methods and different tumors’ best binding affinities.

Q: Which branch of biomedical field are you interested in?

Kedar: I am interested in bio-semantics, data science: getting huge sets of data to find patterns and helping solve problems.

Paramjyot: I am looking more towards biochemistry and molecular biology. After med school, I plan to help create new medicines because medicines really help treat patients.

Q: How did the Leland teachers help you?

Kedar: Mark Cahn, Science Department, gave me a lot of ideas on how to find projects. He wrote my letter of recommendation, so I would really credit him with getting me my internship.

Paramjyot: Both Mark Cahn and Anu Sarkar, Science Department, are phenomenal. They ignited a lot of my passion for biology. However, the act of actually getting involved in the service, and understanding what I had done in the field counts the most.

Q: Why do you think these characteristics are important in the biomedical field?

Kedar: People need perseverance, drive and dedication because the results of a person’s work can take way too long to appear. No one should be miserable over the lack of results. People need to have a lot of dedication to what they’re working for and if they don’t see results, then they just have to push harder.

Paramjyot: During my summer internship, I saw just how important drive was. I would see these interns who would work for hours straight with an amazing drive.