Sneha Gupta

Name: Sneha Kandalgaonkar

Major: Genetics

Minor: Public Health

Graduation Year: 2025

How did you decide on your major?

I was unsure about my major when I first started college. I started applying to labs at the end of my freshman year through the Aresty RA program and got into Dr. Verzi’s lab in the Genetics department. I enjoyed what I was doing in the lab and declared the Genetics major to learn more about Genetics research. I also thought the electives for Genetics majors like Evolutionary Genetics (447:486), Cancer (447:495), and Developmental Genetics (447:370) were really cool, and I wanted to take all of them! Spending two semesters in a Genetics lab (or a lab doing work with some Genetics component) is also a requirement to graduate with the major, and since I was already in a Genetics lab, I could fulfill this requirement pretty easily which was a huge plus.

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

Genetics is a growing field and there’s so much new and exciting stuff coming out every day that can help elucidate causes of disease and develop medical treatments. Genetics is the basis for much of the diseases, conditions, and overall behavior we observe in every living organism. The department at Rutgers itself is pretty small, which means that it’s much easier to make friends within your major and make connections with your professors.

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

Some of my favorite classes I have taken so far are Implications of New Genetics (447:354) and Quantitative Biology and Bioinformatics (447:302). Implications of New Genetics with Dr. Schindler taught me a lot about new and controversial topics in Genetics, including assisted reproductive technology (ART), direct-to-consumer genetic testing, precision medicine, mitochondrial replacement therapy, germline modification, and cloning. Quant Bio taught by Dr. Matise made the world of programming seem much less daunting for a beginner programmer like me, and figuring out how to write code effectively was both challenging and rewarding. Some of my favorite professors that I’ve taken classes with are Dr. Verzi, Dr. Schindler, Dr. Yadavalli, and Dr. Matise. 
KamrynBush fun

What are your favorite academic experiences outside of your major?

I am currently on the eboard for a club called American Preventive Screening and Education Association (APSEA), which runs free health screenings in New Brunswick and central New Jersey! I am also a chemistry teaching intern. I currently run PSS for Chem 161 and have helped facilitate ALW for Chem 161 and Chem 162 in previous semesters. I have been part of the Verzi lab for almost two years where we focus on intestinal health. I am also part of the Douglass College and have been involved in the Global Leaders program, through which I was lucky enough to have an international learning experience in Kuwait this past winter break! 

What are your plans following graduation?

I plan on applying to medical school following graduation!

Return to Prospective Students Page