Therapeutic Targets and Diagnostic Tools
“My internship in Madrid showed me how another country conducts scientific investigation, allowing me to partake in a leading-edge project,” explains MIT junior Priyanka Gaur. Under the guidance of the Salvador Lab at the Autonomous University of Madrid, Priyanka studied the molecular mechanisms regulating lymphocyte activation and differentiation to understand why and how deregulation of these processes leads to human inflammatory disorders, autoimmune diseases, and cancers. With a multidisciplinary approach of mouse genetic, biochemical and immunological techniques, she focused on a novel regulatory site (Tyr323) on p38 MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) to develop therapeutic targets and diagnostic tools for associated diseases and disorders.
Speaking the Language
Priyanka used Spanish in social settings and English for scientific discussion. “Intimidated to speak Spanish at first and finding it difficult to keep up with the pace and accent of the locals, I pushed myself to increase fluency in the language,” she shares. Taking pride in her new country’s culture, Priyanka embraced Spanish food, sports, dance, music, and pace of life. “People in Madrid truly enjoy each moment, taking each day as it comes,” she says. “They make time for one another and value their family and friends.” Priyanka seeks to translate this philosophy into her last year at MIT in order to minimize extraneous stress and to treasure the events and people that have contributed to her undergraduate experience.
Comparing Home and Abroad
Priyanka acknowledged the similarities and differences at home and abroad and has come to value both cultures for their offerings. “I wish to use my unique experiences abroad to connect with diverse people, and in my medical career, I will approach others with the intention to recognize their needs, and within my capacity, to better their lives,” she says. Madrid helped shape how Priyanka views her work, her relationship, and herself.
I WISH TO USE MY UNIQUE EXPERIENCES ABROAD TO CONNECT WITH DIVERSE PEOPLE, AND IN MY MEDICAL CAREER, I WILL APPROACH OTHERS WITH THE INTENTION TO RECOGNIZE THEIR NEEDS, AND WITHIN MY CAPACITY, TO BETTER THEIR LIVES.
She is excited to bring back the acquired teachings, share her adventures and looks forward to her next travel with MISTI.