Manpreet Kaur (She/Her)
I was born/grew up in: India
I now live in: Hamilton, Ontario
I completed my training/education at: I did my Ph.D. in Biological Sciences at the Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research, India.
What I do at work
As a postdoctoral fellow at McMaster, I conduct scientific experiments for various research projects. This includes compiling and analyzing the research results and data. Then, I write and prepare articles for publication in scientific journals.
In the lab, I isolate the antimicrobial compounds produced by different bacteria. These have the potential to inactivate disease-causing pathogens. First, I isolate bacteria from soil. Then I extract the active molecules from them using specialized instruments. These instruments are used for natural product purification and identification.
I also use experiments and data analysis to test the potential of these molecules to kill clinical pathogens. My background in STEM plays a major role in my day-to-day activities. It helps me understand and observe the results in my research experiments. The basics of scientific calculations and math help me to perform data analysis easily. My work involves both independent research projects and work in collaboration with my colleagues. We discuss our results and findings on a regular basis. This helps us share knowledge and expertise to find solutions for some of the complex research problems.
My career path is
In high school, I was interested in the science and medical fields. But I had no exposure to how experts in these fields work and solve complex problems.
I was interested in biological sciences for my bachelor and masters programs. During my studies, I got the opportunity to visit one of India’s biggest national microbiology research labs. There, I met actual scientists working on different microbes and research projects. That day I realized that I wanted to be a microbial scientist and I wanted to work in a similar lab one day.
It wasn’t easy at first, but I worked hard. Later, I joined the same lab to pursue my Ph.D. research. Today, I’m working as a Postdoctoral Fellow at McMaster University. In this position, I’m expanding my research skills and abilities
I am motivated by
I love exploring new things. This is why I work in the field of drug research. I find it fascinating. I get excited when I am extracting a molecule that has not been discovered before. This reminds me to look for more important molecules that exist in nature, and that we don’t know about.
How I affect peoples’ lives
The reason I do research is to help people by finding treatments for infectious diseases. The pathogens that cause these diseases are becoming resistant to the antibiotics we use. It is essential to carry out this sort of research, because it can lead to new antimicrobial agents. This helps us address the global antimicrobial resistance crisis.
Outside of work I
Outside my lab, I love to explore nature and listen to Bollywood music. I attend dance classes and play softball whenever I get free time.
My advice to others
Not only in research, but also in whatever you choose as your career, you will have to face failures. Many of these will be the stepping-stones to success. Find ways to make improvements, no matter how little they are. Just don’t give up. Keep moving. Believe me, if you really want something, then you will surely get it. You have the power; you just need to believe you can.