Nandini Vijayakumar is a rising senior at Bowdoin College majoring in Anthropology and minoring in Chemistry. She spent her summer in Dr. Sylvia Daunert's lab helping to develop biosensing systems in two projects: (1) detecting hydroxylated polychlorinated biphenyls (OH-PCBs); and (2) detecting bacterial quorum sensing signaling molecules.
Nandini has always been very passionate about the sciences and health care and hopes to attend medical school after graduating from college. Her strong interest in anthropology has lead her to study health care in different cultures and how various factors of a community can directly influence the types of diagnoses, treatments, and medicine people utilize.
Nandini also was introduced to the world of biotechnology research as an intern for Creagen Biosciences, Inc. in 2007. Nandini is an academic mentor for the Bowdoin Program for Academic Development. She tutors students in biology and chemistry and teaches skills to fight procrastination and better manage time. She is a teaching assistant for an introductory chemistry lab, which involves reviewing general chemistry applications to the lab with students and preparing compounds for experiments. Nandini is also the co-leader of the on-campus South Asian student group, Anokha. She choreographs group dances for the annual dance concert, co-sponsors events such as the Festival for Cultural Exchange, and helps to spread an appreciation of South Asian culture to the campus community. In March of 2010, Nandini will be leading an Alternative Spring Break trip to Gallup, New Mexico, to visit a local elementary school. She and a group of students from Bowdoin will facilitate fun science lessons to teach kids about diabetes and nutrition.