Dr. Pandya Bhaumik, the newest graduate of the Biochemistry and Cancer Biology Program at Augusta University, is off to his next venture in a senior research role with well-known biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. The Biochemistry and Cancer Biology Program aims to train students to be successful and independent research scientists. The program requires four to five years of full-time study from students, who also must defend their thesis project at the end of the program.
Bhaumik came from a pharmaceutical background and had no prior biochemical or molecular biology experience before joining the program. During his time in the program, he gained experience not only in the lab, but also benchmark work.
“We teach them, for example, how to be better communicators, how to organize their thoughts better, how to write grants better,” said Dr. Darren Browning, one of the co-directors of the program. Students are given multiple opportunities to step outside the lab and attend conferences and presentations to present their work to diverse groups of people. The labs at the Georgia Cancer Center are open labs, which exposes students to multiple peers who were working on different projects, which aids in broadening their research horizons, and providing chances to improve their collaboration skills.
“This really gives them skills they will be using for the rest of their careers.”
While the open labs were Bhaumik’s biggest factor in why a student should choose this program, another benefit is the attention and care the faculty shows to each of their graduate students.
“They always made sure I went in the right direction,” Bhaumik said about his two mentors, Drs. Nahid Mivechi and Dimitrios Moskofidis. He greatly appreciates the time Mivechi and Moskofidis spent guiding him during his years in the program and was thankful for all of his peers and mentors who aided him in his graduate journey.
“We provide a lot of encouragement to our students,” said Dr. Balakrishna Lokeshwar, the other co-director of the program. This program has enough faculty to cover all of the disciplines, so students can get hands-on exposure and encouragement in whichever specialty they choose, which is important for their transition into the industry.
Since graduating, Bhaumik accepted a job with AstraZeneca as a senior scientist. He is excited to see where this role takes him and is thankful to the Biochemistry and Cancer Biology Program for giving him the experience and encouragement needed for this career.
“If your passion is to change the lives of patients through research, this is the place you want to be.”
Learn more about the Biochemistry and Cancer Biology Graduate Program, including the program outline by year.