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Science is life for UHD alumna Vedangi Sample. A 2003 industrial chemistry graduate, Sample grew up in India and moved to the United States after completing high school. For Sample, the culture shock was intimidating, but having family support made all the difference.
It was while she lived with her aunt, UHD lecturer Sangeeta Gad, that Sample decided to attend UHD to pursue her interest in science. Although she always knew she enjoyed science, she credits professor Byron Christmas and her involvement in UHD's Scholars Academy for her love of chemistry and research.
"Scholars Academy was a great, fostering environment where students can meet and study together and never feel alone," she said. "I have such fond memories of my time in Scholars Academy." After graduating from UHD, Sample attended graduate school at Johns Hopkins University and is now working as a research fellow in genetics at Harvard Medical School. Her current projects involve researching the mechanisms of retinal degeneration. She also has been published three times in the scientific journals, Nature Chemical Biology, Chemical Society Review and Biochemistry.
In 2010, Sample was invited to be the keynote speaker for the 9th annual Scholars Academy Student Research Conference (SRC).
"Being asked to speak at the SRC was a surreal experience for me," she said. "I never thought that would happen, but it was so nice to reconnect with UHD and to see how much the Scholars Academy has grown since I was a student."
Following her fellowship at Harvard, Sample hopes to be involved in industry research, specifically for a biotechnology company geared toward translational medicine.
"For now, I'm just happy being able to do the research I'm doing," she said.
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Last updated or reviewed on 10/16/12