Sohinee Sarkar was doing a BSc Biotechnology course in Manipal University in India when she became aware of the Master of Biotechnology program at UQ.  The Program Director, Prof. Ross Barnard, was visiting Manipal.

"I applied to enrol in the MBiotech and won a Faculty of Science scholarship covering 50% of the tuition fees for the whole program," said Sohinee. After completing her masters degree, Sohinee otained UQ international student scholarships to undertake a PhD.

Her thesis was titled, 'Investigating the Virulence Potential of the Multidrug Resistant UropathogenicEscherichia coli ST131 clone'. She then worked as a post-doctoral researcher in the lab of her PhD supervisor, Prof Mark Schembri, with intentions of pursuing an academic research career overseas.

"My fondest memories of UQ are the great campus, state-of-the-art infrastructure and the friendly and approachable teaching staff," said Sohinee.

"The Masters program coordinated by Prof. Barnard was very flexible and allowed me to choose courses that were best suited to my background and the direction I wanted to head in at the time.

"My PhD was made a lot easier due to the support and mentorship of my excellent supervisor, Prof. Mark Schembri. The RHD support unit at SCMB was also instrumental in ensuring that I had a smooth-sailing candidature with regards to all the administrative work and timely fulfilment if the various milestones.

"All these factors combined have provided the impetus I needed to pursue my dream career," she said.

Sohinee intends to pursue an academic research career in studying pathogenesis of infectious diseases.

"Over the years, UQ became a way of life. But as I move on, I will always know that my future successes and achievements will be built on the very strong foundations formed at UQ."

 Image:  Dr Sohinee Sarkar with family on her PhD graduation day.

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