Sankar Sridaran just graduated from CNR in May, but he is already setting out to make a difference in the world. The molecular environmental biology major and SPUR and honors student was chosen for a competitive fellowship working for the Parasitic Diseases Division at the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta.
Sridaran’s work at CDC Atlanta will focus on the development and assessment of molecular markers for drug resistance in malaria causing Plasmodia. He says, “The project was so appealing to me because it is a perfect combination of the interest I developed in evolution while working on my thesis project with Dr. Specht but also integrates my interest in public health and my other long term career goals.”
His research will give him the opportunity to work both in Atlanta and abroad. “I’m excited because the project entails spending time abroad in Kenya, India, or Peru collaborating with researchers there,” says Sridaran, “I never had the opportunity to study abroad while at Cal and I know that my time spent in any one of these countries will provide me with a novel perspective on life and my career.”
Sridaran graduated knowing that he had an interest in working with underrepresented and disadvantaged communities in the US and abroad, public health research, and a focus on the interaction between the health of populations and their environment, and hopes that the fellowship will set him on the path to achieving these goals.
He adds that CNR helped him identify his goals as well as prepare him academically for his fellowship. “Classes in the ESPM department challenged me to become more confident with my career development and taught me how to identify the communities I want to serve with my career,” he says, “If it were not for my experience at CNR I likely would have rushed into graduate or professional school and would have missed out on this amazing fellowship altogether.”