Independent University, Summer 2016
My project for my summer internship at IUB was to perform tests checking for contamination and analyzing the quality of various pasteurized and raw milk samples that are sold in Dhaka. I had the great privilege to work under the supervision of Dr. Mahboob Morshed, Assistant Professor in the School of Life Sciences, and Dr. Rita Yusuf, the Dean of the School of Life Sciences. I was able to find data showing that there was an increased amount of bacteria present in all of the samples and some brands contained formalin, the preservative that also has carcinogenic properties. These results did show the severe level of contamination present in the milk sources and the need to have stronger quality controls during milk processing. During my time at IUB, I was able to work in their newly built and state-of- the-art lab and I learned numerous new laboratory skills. I also had the chance to form friendships and bonds with both the faculty members and the undergraduates enrolled in the School of Life Sciences. As a part of my work this summer, I also worked on the registrations for a grant that IUB was applying for in conjunction with research institutions in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and England. This grant funded by the NIH would create a “Regional Center of Research Excellence” and provide funding for collaborative multi-country research efforts to address non- communicable diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases and mental health disorders. I had the opportunity to be included as one of the early-career scientists on the grant application and will hopefully have the opportunity to work with IUB on this grant, should they receive it.
Devi (far right) pictured with two IUB students exploring Dhaka's markets.