Jaidev Bapat, one of the recipients of the Mirandon Foundation Scholarships is focused on a form of cancer–ovarian. Jaidev’s work in the lab will focus on ovarian tumor metastasis and on understanding how it acquires drug resistance, as well as alternate approaches for treatment. Jaidev’s project, “Exploring the Effects of Heterozygous Deletion of BECN1 and MAPILC3B Genes in Ovarian Cancer Cells,” centers around understanding how either initiation of autophagy or inhibition of autophagy alters growth dynamics of ovarian cancer cells.
Jaidev is a second year student at John Muir College majoring in molecular biology. Jaidev is specifically interested in cancer because many of his family members have suffered from various forms of cancer. The Howell Scholarship has enabled him to center his research in the area of ovarian cancer. He finds oncology a fascinating field of research; he believes the experience that he will gain from this research project will help him “think” like an effective researcher and ultimately contribute to finding better cancer treatments and cures.
Jaidev’s professor, Dwayne Stupack, in his letter of recommendation praises Jaidev for his “snap-quick” understanding of why the experiments are being conducted as well as his desire to research any and all questions he may have. As he assesses his model, it changes. He understands that all of science is in constant flux and hypotheses change accordingly. He is described by Dr. Stupack as diligent, intelligent and humble.
In his personal statement, Jaidev states that he is very comfortable in a lab environment, explaining that he has planned entire service projects in the past. For example, he continues, as part of his Eagle Scout project he planned and executed a project to build safety barriers for classes in his high school. And, he adds, the research project he is undertaking will be slightly different because it will be his first “significant foray into setting and achieving research-based goals,” as he will design an entire research project himself. He hopes to develop his research and critical thinking skills–think like a good researcher–and become a contributing member to the field of biology.
Congratulations Jaidev! We look forward to learning about your research in the near future. Thank you Sandra Harris, Donor Liaison for The Howell Foundation, for describing his research passion.