Statement of Purpose
I would use academic training to find wildest imaginations, a possible rationale and explore their justification to the limits of the current social norms.
I adequately define myself as a person affected with three spirits. I inherited the spirit of a farmer from my village community which infuses in me the quality of brotherhood and a vigil against the disintegrating forces of life. The spirit of a philosopher compels me to see the world in poetic distortion and perceive similarities in seemingly unrelated phenomena, while the spirit of a scientist provides the craving for lessons in mathematics and logical reasoning.
In essence, I believe it is my birth right to become an oracle of science – the religion and refuge of our time, to decipher its law and order to the generations to come.
As a child, I have been part of a village community typically surviving with obstacles. With each passing year, crop failure, scarcity and financial crisis remain a recurring reality for the farmers in my village during the tropical monsoons.
Despite this, with indefatigable spirit and enthusiasm, the community wholeheartedly takes it upon themselves to overcome the crisis, hoping that each time, nature would favour them against all odds. This was precisely the first lesson regarding obstacles I learned. Another hurdle that I came across as a student was the drastic change I had to cope with, when shifting my medium of instruction to English from elementary to secondary school. I promptly accepted the challenge and passed out with an outstanding grade.
Similarly, an inner drive to become a thinker and a passion to construct a distinctive world view vexed me throughout my undergraduate years. In order to find the meaning of existence, I needed intellectual discourses well beyond the course curriculum offered in veterinary medicine, which demanded delving into other socially influential mediums of creative expression; especially religion and arts. The ensuing struggle between an old studious student and an invasive creative thinker made minor damages on my undergraduate academic canvas also. But I consider these blots as scars left by my courageous expeditions and intellectual adventurism.
I met with challenges in professional life also; while working in the Middle East, as farm manager cum veterinarian I was bound to achieve high production, with a labor force conflicting over ethnicity and self-interest. I overcame the problem by building up mutual confidence and trust and working as a reliable team. In personal life, it was indeed a challenge to convince my parents and wife, as well as leaving behind my two children, while I pursue further studies and research. Appropriately recognizing my consuming passion and tenacity, my family allayed my worries and remained a source of inspiration to fulfil my long cherished dream.
My current job as veterinary medical officer in the state government has made me proficient in multi-tasking. As a veterinarian I have to attend clinics and house calls, while as an executive officer for central and local governments I am responsible for implementing projects in animal production as well as in the public health sector. As an extension Officer and a team leader, I maintain duties to convene seminars as well as to educate farmers on good animal husbandry practices. Likewise, additionally I have to execute my duty as a consultant for organized farms too.
My lifelong fascination to the world of biomolecules and its engineering potential started with undergraduate courses in microbiology, biotechnology and pharmacology. Subsequently, my project on The effect of irradiation on the shelf life qualities, and microbial load of beef in tropical climate’ offered firsthand experience regarding the effect of physical forces (2.5 KGy,60Co irradiation in gamma chamber) on microbial life and its practical utility. Later the powerful effect of antibiotics and medicinal molecules on the healing process of diseases bolstered this interest. My passion in clinical medicine was equally fervent. I excelled in handling gynaecological and surgical cases especially in large animals, starting from my college days. Similarly, a diploma in Bioinformatics gave me fundamental understanding in computational biology, genomics, proteomics and molecular modelling. Moreover, I got practical experience with databank, algorithms and tools used in data mining. Although later years as a clinician kept me away from direct laboratory research, I kept abreast with new areas in research through avid reading and keen observation on multiple issues related to clinical, nutritional and management problems in animal science as well as in human medicine.
A heuristic approach I adopted recently in the efficient management of disease conditions in cattle aided me in identifying microbial pathogenesis as the specific area of my interest for further studies, particularly, Theilariosis, a vector borne disease and its co morbidities in cattle. The disease seems to predispose the animals to a number of bacterial and viral diseases like Actinomycosis, Mycoplasmosis, Mastitis, and Papillomatosis. The immunopathology associated with this pathogenic interaction results in neuromuscular and endocrinological dysfunctions like infertility, uterine prolapse and psychological disturbances. The overall picture is comparable to malaria and lyme disease. Considering the above facts, I adopted an intuitive approach in the management of diseases in cattle. I conceived all of the above said pathologies as a single problem, originating out of the dynamic interaction of a consortium of pathogens and began to adopt a uniform treatment strategy for the same. It includes stress reduction techniques, vector control and minimum use of medicines. Since all these diseases in combination accounts for the debilitating dairy sector in our state, controlling them with minimum resources can result in the betterment of rural economy. Furthermore, promising results obtained in general health and performance in animals using this strategy honed my confidence and ability as a consultant for organized farms. While going through the published literature I learned my physical observation regarding pathogen interdependence possesses precisely a molecular image, where infection, inflammation and cancers are all represented in a similar language. One who is proficient in that language can solve many problems life on earth faces today; from infection to ecology.
I keep an active interest in the research of finding a common ground for stress, auto immunity, infection, cancers and stem cell properties; how their micro-environment can be manipulated and make use of for a mutual cure, My decision is even while passionately scribing solutions in already established system, keep imagination to fly upon the knowledge and information, the university atmosphere is infused with, and explore new avenues for landings.
Recently I participated in training on Bovine spongiform encephalopathy and a discussion meet with the Institute of Human Virology in the wake of NIPAH outbreak in our state. The enormous gap in knowledge in taming these diseases rekindled my curiosity in prion diseases and viral infections, especially the pathogenesis of chronic and slow progressing viruses. The potential challenges offered by these elusive molecules of genetic information with regard to experiments, thinking and imagination have sufficiently every ingredient suitable to my taste. Also, I foster a particular interest in the research of how a consortium of pathogens, as a temporo-spatial event, interacting with the host at the molecular level so that subsequent pathologies and pathogen survival become a reality. Moreover along with its debilitating impact how the microbial interaction defines our immunological maturity, influences the linguistic ability and socio-cultural organization. I am confident that the multidisciplinary collaboration and the intellectual rigor offered at University of Buffalo-Biomedical graduate program will properly equip me to become an innovative bimolecular scientist.