IAhmed1Major: Genetics

Minor: Math

Computational Genetics Certificate

Graduation Year: 2022

How did you decide on your major?

As an incoming freshman, I was intent on the premedical route but had an affinity for computer science and mathematics from high school. In the first semester of my undergraduate experience, I took a course called Honors Computational Genetics that allowed me to explore inquiries about health, medicine, and genetics through methods like programming and statistical analysis. My positive experience learning about Genetics from a unique perspective convinced me to pursue the Genetics major and that was the best decision of my undergraduate career.

What is it about your chosen field (and the department) that appeals to you?

Genetics is a field that understands how peoples’ bodies work from the perspective of our genetic code. Developing this field will allow us to tackle disease and other medical problems at its source. Previously, I was unable to utilize my experience in computer science and math for purposes that I felt were meaningful. The Genetics major appeals to me because it introduced me to the possibility of utilizing these skills towards studies and research that aims to develop knowledge that can be used to tackle contemporary medical crises, problems that I am passionate about fighting against.

Do you have a favorite class/professor within your major?

My favorite professor is Dr. Christopher Ellison. He is not only the person who
introduced this major to me through Honors Computational Genetics, but he also took me under his wing in the Ellison Lab. Having Dr. Ellison as my research advisor is thoroughly enjoyable and he has helped me so much to develop my skills and knowledge.

What are your favorite academic experiences outside of your major?Rohan Photo 1

My favorite academic experiences include being able to take math and computer science classes that complement my major. I also like taking humanities courses that give me added context about how our world is affected by the scientific research and medical advancements that I wish to take part in developing.

What are your other Rutgers activities?

I am a Peer Instructor for the Rutgers Aresty Research Assistant Program and am a Consultant in Training for the Rutgers ARC Computer Labs. In addition, I am the Scholarship Chair for the Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity, and a member of Alpha Epsilon Delta, a National Health Preprofessional Honor Society. I volunteer at the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Labor and Delivery Unit as part of the HPO VIP Program. I conduct research as an intern of the Ellison Lab, focusing on the relationship between R-loop formation and torsional stress at gene transcription start sites.

What are your plans following graduation?

My plan is to hopefully attend medical school after graduation in the hopes of working in a field like immunology or radiology.

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