Shikha Kathrani

Shikha works towards being a biochemist.

“Going through the [research] process [is] very fulfilling. I want to become a biochemist and research drugs that would be cures to orphan diseases.”

Shikha Kathrani: “​​I got interested in research in freshman year [when] my mom put me into [a] research [program] over the summer without me knowing. 

My current research is about predicting genetic predisposition to isoniazid-induced hepatic steatosis. Isoniazid is a first-line drug for the treatment of tuberculosis. The drug has high efficacy in treatment, and is super effective, [but] it can also lead to side effects such as liver toxicity and steatosis. Many researchers try to identify reactive metabolite formation as an indicator of liver toxicity, but these [metabolites] occur only after the drug has been taken. I’m trying to find out what genetic biomarkers there are so that people know before they take the drug whether they have a high risk of developing liver failure or not.

What I enjoy most about [research] is the persistence that you learn with it and the feeling of accomplishment after you get results. Going through the [research] process [is] very fulfilling. At the beginning of your literature review, when you first start doing research, you won’t understand anything because a lot of it is super complex. But then, [as] you start reading [more] papers and you actually understand what they’re talking about, you get a huge feeling of accomplishment. [I] also like talking to other people that are passionate about the same research topic as [me]. I was talking to a professor about my research, and they were doing similar research. It was very fun to talk to them, and [I] learn[ed] a lot along the way.

I want to become a biochemist and research drugs that would be cures to orphan diseases. I also want to figure out how to apply [the] research that I’m doing right now to communities.”

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