News at Medicine - November 2020 - #InternationalStudentsDay


#InternationalStudentsDay
November 17, 2020
"Living in a different province with different cultures, you tend to learn how to improve your interactions along the way to suit the situation around you as well. It's all about improving and adapting while still maintaining your core values that you grew up with."
 
Thaneswary Rajanderan
PhD Candidate
Immunology and Infectious Diseases
Kensuke Hirasawa Lab 

From: Malaysia

How she came to Memorial: After high school, I was looking for universities with a good biology program and an academic advisor pointed me towards MUN. It fit a lot of my needs; relatively quiet city, a lot of nature parks and opportunities to do field work.

How her experience been so far: I really like how quiet the city can get and the summers are amazing. It was challenging getting used to the weather and the local culture, even though I have a very multicultural background. But a lot of friends I made during my undergrad and grad studies made this transition more comfortable.

How her research will make a difference in the world: My research primarily focuses on investigating the natural host defense system against viruses, such as non-pathogenic coronavirus. By understanding the natural host defense system, we would be able to develop more effective immunotherapies against viral infections with minimal side effects to the host. I hope that my research will aid in the fight against current and emerging viruses as well as aid in the development of treatments that are accessible to people of all demographic backgrounds. I also hope to close the communication gap between the scientific community and the public because I believe scientific knowledge should be accessible to all, so that currently scientific developments are not alien to them and so that individuals can make more informed decisions in regards to their health care. 
     
Her superpower – Improvising: Since we live on an island with limited access to many parts, coming across "foreign" ingredients that I was used to can be very hard, so I tend to throw things together that I think may be similar or go well to create home cooked meals. It was a lot of trial and error but I think I have definitely honed that skill after so long. Living in a different province with different cultures, you tend to learn how to improve your interactions along the way to suit the situation around you as well. It's all about improving and adapting while still maintaining your core values that you grew up with.  

Besides doing research at the lab. Thaneswary is…
  • Director of communication of WISE GSS, the immunology rep for MGSS as well as a writing associate for the Health Science Inquiry, a student-run online publication.
  • Past-president/advisor for the MUN World Health Organization, aiding in the effort to bring in students with different academic backgrounds to discuss global health policies
  • Former chair for the MUN United Nations Society.