Charu Jain

Home: India
Degree: PhD candidate, Biotechnology

Why I chose WPI:

For the ongoing research fields/topics in the department and the possibility of getting a Teaching Assistantship (TA).

Why I’m proud to be a WPI student:

I think it is great that WPI has initiated redevelopment project with Gateway Park. This not only gives graduate students in Life Sciences and Bioengineering a chance to expand their knowledge through exposure to interdisciplinary environment but also gives them an opportunity to interact with professionals, scientists, and entrepreneurs working in the companies like RXi, Blue Sky, etc.

What I feel are WPI’s greatest strengths:

Ability to offer financial assistance in the form of teaching assistantships and the interdisciplinary aspect of the curriculum, as well as facility structure (Gateway Park).

Research projects I’m involved with at WPI:

I am currently working under Professor Reeta Prusty Rao and my research goal is to better understand the process of fungal pathogenesis and identify fungal specific targets for drug development.

Fungal organisms, because of their eukaryotic nature, are similar to host cells they infect. This complicates the treatment of fungal infections, which could be range from superficial infections to systemic (life threatening). There is also a lack of good antimycotic drugs available for treatment. My research focuses on understanding the changes that are taking place in the fungal organism during the process of infection and identify fungal-specific proteins that are required during infection. These fungal-specific proteins can then be used as targets for novel drug development.

How professors at WPI have impacted my life:

My experience with my advisor has been most wonderful. She is not only very knowledgeable in her field but also very good and enthusiastic about imparting that knowledge to her students. She is always there to listen to our problems or give advice or help in any way she can. She is motivating and supportive and takes a great deal of interest in her students’ success/future.

What I hope to do when I graduate/What my ideal job would be:

My ideal job would be someplace where I can do applicative research and at the same time have an opportunity to teach a little.

Extracurricular activities/Associations:

Indian Student Organization (ISO)

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