Trainee at GlycoNet: Amaani Patel

Posted: March 29, 2022

Get to know GlycoNet trainee Amaani Patel in 10 questions.

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

I am a first-year Master’s student in Professor Lara Mahal’s lab at the University of Alberta.

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

I study the microRNA regulation of some genes.

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

I think that’s my favourite part of science – you never know the potential that something has to change the world or how we see it until you try it. There is so much that is learned and developed through trial and error. I think nanoscience is pretty cool. I never would’ve ever thought about its implications or importance in medicine/healthcare until I started reading literature about it. I’m so excited to see what advances are made in the tech industry and how that may serve people.

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

I don’t think I’ve been in the lab long enough to answer this, but I think the little “wins” are important to acknowledge. It’s essential to be curious and willing to make mistakes. The conversations with peers about the perceived wins and losses always provide valuable insight. I look forward to there being many “eureka” moments as I progress through this degree.

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

I’m very passionate about music and other forms of art! I love writing poetry, playing guitar, and travelling.

6. How do you fight procrastination and stress?

I don’t find myself procrastinating often. I’m very goal-oriented but adaptable. I have a schedule set for each day and accommodate as things come up. If I ever find myself stressed, I take some time to recoup by going for a walk or having a little dance party.

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

I don’t believe anything is set in stone. This is the career that fits my life right now, so that’s why I’m here. I have many interests ranging from medicine to law to public health/policy. I would not be surprised if I ended up doing any of those things somewhere down the line.

8. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

The pandemic has taught me that nothing is for certain and that I must remain present and grounded. I try to live every day to the fullest, as cheesy and cliché as that may be. I take things one day at a time.

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

I love learning languages! I think it provides a new perspective and connection with the world and the people in it.

10. Do you have any advice for aspiring researchers?

It’s not easy. You’re learning about things that people don’t understand yet. You’re going to make mistakes, and you’re not going to have the answers to everything. You will, however, acquire the tools to ask the questions you need to get the answers you’re looking for. Making mistakes is an essential part of the process. The sooner you embrace it the better. Try not to have your work be your entire life. Make sure you have other outlets to air your grievances and recoup when necessary. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

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