Learn how Roswell Park Cancer Institute and UB provide an educational experience like no other
“Cancer is such a multifaceted disease,” says Priyanka Agharkar. “Why is there still no cure for it, even though we are in the 21 century with fantastic technology and so many people working toward this common goal?”
From the time she completed her bachelor’s degree at the University of Mumbai in India, Priyanka Agharkar was intrigued by pharmacology and its potential to save lives. As she says, “it is just fascinating learning about the molecular level of the drugs, and how that interacts with a specific target in your body to actually cure you of whatever your disease is.”
Priyanka traveled to Philadelphia to further her studies, and found herself at a scientific conference where she learned about the Roswell Park Cancer Institute and its partnership with UB. Roswell’s reputation and accessibility were immediate benefits for Priyanka. “The hospital is right across the street, so you can put learning into action,” she explains. “That is one extra feature which I think is priceless – you can reach out to physicians and understand cancer from the clinical standpoint.” As a driven student, Priyanka was eager to interact with physicians and study in a real research laboratory.
“Roswell is a great place to be,” she adds. “I feel like it is growing at an exponential rate. The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus will soon be akin to Biotech Bay in San Francisco or Cambridge in Boston.”
Priyanka believes that a PhD would be “the ultimate and best investment for a successful researcher,” which is why she decided to get her degree at a comprehensive research center. For her, UB has the best mix of resources and research opportunities, access to mentors and faculty, and real-world industry experience. She appreciates the fact that many researchers have their own companies, which allows her to learn how the medical industry works – not just study in an academic lab environment.
But for Priyanka, it all comes back to finding a cure for cancer. “It is so intriguing, so complex a disease, that it is very exciting to be in this field. It is a challenge.” Once she graduates, Priyanka plans to complete her post-doctorate in the industry and embark on a career in translational research so that she can give back to society. As she says, “it is such a rewarding feeling when you discover a drug that can help save a patient’s life.”