Student Testimonial - Nilay Thakar
Nilay undertook his undergraduate studies elsewhere in Brisbane, but chose The University of Queensland for his Honours year in Biochemistry. He was drawn to UQ's top reputation, world-class academic staff and excellent resources.
During his Honours studies, Nilay's discovery of a novel signalling pathway in human embryonic stem cells was used to submit national and international grants.
As a result he won three prestigious scholarships to undertake PhD studies, as well as a prestigous Australian Stem Cell Centre Travel Grant to present his research Poster to the International Society for Stem Cell Research in San Francisco in early 2010.
Such achievements did not come easily at first.
"My 'learning curve' was infact a 90 degree line", said Nilay.
He added that the supervision that he received from Associate Professor Ernst Wolvetang offered him the highest standards of support in adjusting at UQ.
However, his time as an Honours student wasn't just about his academic acheivements- the services at UQ St Lucia played their role too.
"It's a fabulous environment with great services such as health services, banks, travel agents, clubs and food courts," said Nilay.
In such surroundings, a year's hard work paid off immediately, with Nilay's Honours supervisor offering him a job on the day after his graduation.
Nilay has some advice to future students hoping to replicate his success.
"I would recommend to be involved in research labs from as early as possible.
"The earlier you get in, the more experience you get, the more world class research would be carried out by you and the more you get recognized for your efforts."
Nilay is currently a PhD candidate at the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, based on UQ's St Lucia campus.
He hopes to further his career in Stem Cell Engineering, which he hopes will allow him to contribute to developments which are not only commercially very valuable, but also help alleviate degenerative diseases into the future.