Meet Chandra Maharjan

Chandra Maharjan

Graduate program: Pharmacology        

Undergraduate institution: Wright State University, Ohio (MS), NET Pharmacy College, India (BPharm)

Hometown: Lalitpur, Nepal

Why did you choose the University of Iowa to pursue your graduate degree?

Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Iowa is one among less than 50 cancer centers in U.S. earning the National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation and conducts cutting-edge scientific research through collaborative efforts from clinicians and scientists. So, it perfectly fit with my desire to go to an institution with a good cancer research program.  

What type of research are you performing?

I am working with Dr. Dawn E. Quelle on a project that investigates molecular mechanisms of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PNETs). The project is supported by the nation’s first and the only Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant funded through the NCI and aims to identify more reliable biomarkers and therapeutic targets to advance PNET diagnosis and treatment.

What do you hope to do after you earn your degree?

Down the road, I see myself working as a cancer research scientist in a pharmaceutical company.

What is something that surprised you about the University of Iowa or your graduate program?

The extent of support you receive as a graduate student at this university is overwhelming. They want to ensure that you get access to all the help and resources needed for your research goals and success in the program.

What is your favorite part about being a graduate student?

Being in science gives you a unique opportunity to learn new things every single day and be able to apply that knowledge to generate and test new ideas. The feeling that you are contributing to advance our understanding of a disease is rewarding in the end.

Who is your biggest role model and why?

I worked with Dr. Peter K. Lauf, a pioneer in membrane transport, during my master’s program at Wright State University. His passion, approach, and dedication to science had an immense impact on my pursuing a career in research.

What are some of your personal interests?

I am a huge Manchester United fan and play soccer on a regular basis. I also enjoy cooking traditional Nepalese cuisines for family and friends.

A piece of advice for incoming graduate students:

Unexpected experimental results are common in research and must not discourage you. These provide valuable information to improve your approach in subsequent experiments or might often reveal a new line of research.

Date: 
Wednesday, January 9, 2019