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Sujata Kumari
Our international PhD student corner is gaining momentum… 
And this is exactly the time to get to know Sujata.
Science has always flowed in her arteries, the desire to take part in research has been important in the academic track - and here in the Faculty of Medicine, she feels that the challenge, tools and scientific interaction with supervisors is more important and advancing than ever.
Straight from India to the lab of Professor Reuben Wiener, and Dr. Alexander Rubinsky
Meet Sugata Kumari!
Tell us about yourself…
I am Sujata Kumari, an International PhD student in the Faculty of Medicine at HUJI. I came from Bihar, India. I have completed my master's in Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology from Indian University. Since childhood, I am deeply interested in science, especially biological science.
Why have you chosen to study a PhD at this university?
Hebrew University is ranked at the top of universities in the world. HUJI scientists are publishing their research work in all reported scientific journals each year. The reason to choose this university to pursue my PhD is to get the best scientific atmosphere, advanced equipment, and intellectual insight from my supervisor. Apart from this, Israel is closer to India in comparison to Europe and America. Therefore, it is convenient for me to visit my family at least once a year.
Tell us about your lab and research project...
I am a joint PhD student under Prof. Reuven Wiener, Dept of Biochemistry & Molecular biology, and Dr. Alexander Rouvinski, Dept. of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. Reuven's lab is working on UFM1(Ubiquitin-like Fold Modifier) protein, the main structure of its conjugates, and the biochemical enzymatic assay. While Alex's lab is working on the virus-host interaction. Considering both the lab expertise, my research project is designed to find the role of Ufmylation in viral host interaction. In the first part of my work, I generated the altered UFM1 enzymes in human cell lines and observed the phenotypic variations. This research is communicated for publication. Parallel to this, I worked on a non-pathogenic Insect restricted virus (Negev Virus) to find the mechanism of infection in the host cells. This work is still going on to get maturity for publication. During the corona outbreak, I worked with pseudovirus that content of corona spike and did neutralization assay of vaccinated and non-vaccinated blood and saliva samples of several cohorts. This work is submitted under the reported journal.
What are your career goals? How does studying here help you achieve those goals?
I would like to become a scientist in the reported Indian institute and my scientific works will translate from lab to land.
I learned here various techniques along with proper appliances. In our lab, we have to give a journal club every week that boosts our knowledge about new research and findings on the related subject. I have scientific interaction with my supervisors regularly which will give the proper shape and direction to my projects. This discussion is really driving me to think about how to solve the experimental hurdle? Also, they help me to analyze and interpret the data. I have to take several courses that enable me to write scientific projects. Each week we have to attend the departmental seminar by great scientists that gave us a higher level of scientific exposure. Taken together all the above things, I am continuously building confidence to start my career as a Principal Investigator in the Future.
Best place at the faculty to chill down?
I like to spend my time in the central library of Hadassah's Ein Karem campus. This place is awesome, quiet, and spacious. I am fascinated by the ancient tools of surgery and other items that are kept in the library. It is really interesting to know about the history of our forefathers.