Research and Teaching Interests
Hometown: Dhaka, Bangladesh; B.Sc. in Biochemistry and Biotechnology (North South University)
Research project: Oligoadenylate synthetases (OAS) are a class of viral (eg Flaviviridae) RNA binding enzymes that inhibit viral replication through the endonuclease RNase L. The current method of detecting OAS activity does not confirm if RNaseL is being activated downstream and little is known about OAS’s modus operandi. Therefore, I am currently developing an RNase L assay in parallel with the previous method to accurately validate OAS activation. This project may pave the way towards cutting edge research into synthesizing small molecules capable of inducing the human innate immune system as an early warning system against deadly viral invasions.
Reason for coming to U. Manitoba: I have always been very interested in cell biology and biochemistry with a specific focus on antiviral or cancer therapeutics. Dr. McKenna’s lab not only aligned with my interests but he is also one of the most generous human beings I have met. Having research exposure from his lab will be extremely valuable for me to pursue a career in the biotech industry. Plus his sense of humor is an added bonus!
Other interests: I love learning new languages and currently speak four. I also love volunteering and am currently involved with ‘Let’s talk science’ that is doing a wonderful job at getting children interested in science. I sometimes try to play acoustic guitar although it’s collecting dust in the corner at the moment. I love cooking, learning about fluid acrylic art and doing DIY projects.