Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Student Profile: Akhila Balasubramania

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Akhila Balasubramania

I am a fifth-year graduate student in the Chemical, Physical & Structural Biology Program.

I completed my bachelor’s degree in biotechnology at my hometown university in India and moved to Houston in 2016 to pursue my graduate studies at Baylor College of Medicine.

My research interest is in cancer biology, and I joined Dr. Arun Sreekumar's lab in 2017 to study the metabolic alterations that contribute to cancer progression.

What most excites me about my work is the intellectual challenge of understanding and treating cancer. Due to the uniqueness and ever-evolving nature of cancers, there are constantly new challenges to overcome. Although this makes cancer a difficult condition to treat, it creates space for learning about biology and opportunities for therapeutic innovation. Cancer research also has the potential to directly benefit the general population, which is why I was drawn to it in the first place.

While my current work is primarily discovery-based science, for the next step of my career I am looking forward to transitioning to a more translational research focus where I can hopefully have a direct impact in the clinic. Apart from doing work that you love, there are many perks a graduate student enjoys -- flexible working hours, free stuff, and the fact that the word ‘student’ makes you feel young no matter how old you are!

A fun fact about myself -- I am a 25-year old adult who does not know how to swim. If you drop me into a lake, I will sink like a stone. I hope to learn by the time I am thirty!