Shikha Nayar, B.S. 2014

Scientist - Systems Immunologist, Immunai – New York, NY

2014 Major: Biology; certificate in Genome Sciences and Policy

How has being a Biology graduate from Duke helped shape you personally and/or professionally?

"I really was able to exercise so much of my scientific curiosity at Duke -- both academically through the amazing caliber of teaching, and also practically through working in a lab, developing independent research skills and learning how to think critically. All these experiences have shaped me both personally and professionally in a way where I feel confident to both challenge ideas, concepts, and dogmas, and grow from being immersed in different research/scientific environments, where collaboration and teamwork is key!"

What advice would you give students in Duke's Biology programs? 

"I'd say really when "they" say "there are no dumb questions", it's true! Some of my earliest scientific successes and confidence-builds were because of speaking up, asking questions, challenging how we think about certain concepts, and how we apply science to our research endeavours to further our understanding, and inform medical practices in an ever-evolving way. So speak up, have those after hour conversations about things you're curious about, and be willing to learn and adapt alongside the constantly evolving technological developments and changes to our scientific understanding. Mostly, have fun and keep the love of learning and "fire in the belly" at your forefront always :) "

Shikha Nayar