Meet the blogger – Madhuri Bhagavathula

Meet the blogger – Madhuri Bhagavathula

Hello Readers, Welcome to my Blog!!!

I am Madhuri Bhagavathula, a fourth year PhD. candidate at Rutgers -School of Graduate Studies (SGS), Newark campus.

The stellar role of microbes on this planet has always been undeniable. Microbes and their interaction with their host, especially humans, have always been my subject of interest. I pursued a master’s degree in Biotechnology from the University of Pennsylvania following my bachelor’s degree in India. UPENN has served as an excellent place to gain knowledge and experience. Due to my interest in immunology and microbiology, I ended up taking a research position in Dr. Carolina Lopez’s lab. Dr. Lopez’s mentorship propelled my interest in infectious diseases. After my masters, I took up a full-time position at the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia, in the Protein Expression core facility. My responsibility as an employee was to plan and document experiments, executed independently. In this position, I became confident that I had the drive to persist in a doctoral program.

Currently, I am graduate student in Dr. Padmini Salgame’s lab in the field of tuberculosis (TB) at Rutgers SGS Newark. I am currently working on a project that involves modulating activated CD4+ T cell metabolism in the host during immunization to enhance memory T cell differentiation during TB infection. Dr. Salgame has guided me towards the right courses in order to improve my critical thinking, scientific writing and presentation skills. She continues to be a wonderful mentor despite her busy schedule.

Besides my thesis work, there are several programs and associations, including Alliance for Career Advancement, that helped to understand various careers that are available to biomedical scientists. In addition, the Rutgers IJOBs program run by Dr. Doreen Badheka on Newark campus has been a great platform to explore various career options available after a doctoral degree. While participating in various workshops such as Sci PhD, we are given the opportunity to assess our professional skills. These programs are quite helpful in building a professional network and understanding the inner workings of industry or corporate world. Last year, I came to a decision that a career in consulting or investment banking would be a good fit for me after completing my thesis. I am one of the founders of a consulting club through which I had an opportunity to attend various case competitions, including Hopkins Annual Healthcare case competition.

I have been successful in using the opportunities presented by iJOBS to understand my career options and decide on a specific career path, I hope other doctoral students can do the same in preparation for a better future.


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