Trainee at GlycoNet: F. Ifthiha Mohideen

Posted: February 22, 2022

Get to know GlycoNet trainee F. Ifthiha Mohideen in 10 questions.

1. Where do you work, what is your position, and who is your advisor?

I am a postdoctoral fellow in Professor Lara Mahal’s laboratory at the University of Alberta.

2. Tell me about the project you’re working on.

I work on two research projects. Glycosylation has an important role when it comes to host-pathogen interaction. In my first project, I am analyzing the glycomics changes of the host to influenza virus using lectin microarray, an interesting technique developed by our lab. My second project involves the use of CRISPR-Cas9 tool to identify the underlying glycogenes involved in glycan biosynthesis.

3. Other than glycomics, what areas of research do you think are important in advancing healthcare?

Synthetic biology is an emerging interdisciplinary area. I think that it is an important field in the production of novel therapeutics and to elevate the properties of existing therapeutics to improve human health.

4. Tell us a “Eureka!” moment in the lab.

During my PhD, I had been working a few years to produce and purify a particular glycoside precursor. Optimizing the conditions and getting this compound pure was indeed a “Eureka” moment.

5. What do you do when you are not in the lab?

I am a fan of nature. Outside of the lab, especially during summer, I travel a lot. I also love baking; it makes me feel good and relieves my stress!

6. How do you fight procrastination and stress?

I have struggled with procrastination for many years. This is mainly because of being overwhelmed by tasks and not knowing the priorities. From my personal experience, the best tool to combat procrastination is to be organized and to identify what is important the most. Recently, I started preparing and following a weekly and a daily to-do list and so far, it works perfectly.

Despite being organized I tend to get stressed very often. I have taught myself that it is okay to take a break when I am stressed and spend some quality time with friends and family.

7. If you had to choose a completely different career path, what would it be?

I would probably be a television presenter or a news presenter.  

8. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I would love to have my own research lab to unravel certain unanswered aspects in the world of glycobiology towards improving human healthcare. 

9. Can you tell me a random fact about yourself?

I love the Canadian Rockies!

10. Do you have any advice for aspiring researchers?

The only piece of advice I have is to know your field of interest and be passionate about what you are doing.

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