Lashmi Piriya is a third year PhD student from Chennai, India. After falling in love with biology in high school, she focused her undergraduate studies on cancer biology. She was sure that she wanted to research cancer for her PhD, and held summer internships in molecular and cellular biology. The last internship she held was at OIST, where she applied for a PhD because she loved the community. “I like the people here,” Lashmi said. “They’re very encouraging and we’re all kind of a family.”
Still, Lashmi kept her options open during her first year at OIST, bouncing from cellular biology to fluid mechanics and finally to neuroscience. “I didn’t think I would change my mind,” Lashmi says, explaining that she was surprised by how much she enjoyed her research in a neuroscience lab. “Biotechnology to neuroscience is a big move,” Lashmi admits. Now in her third year, she is focusing on the molecular mechanisms of neurotransmitter release.
In addition to helping her find her passion, Lashmi also credits the rotation for her boldness to explore the sciences. “It’s challenging because you have to learn the alphabet of another science,” she says. “But that challenge also gives you the confidence to try new things.”