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Ayush BharatiAyush Bharati '22 

Why did you decide to study bioinformatics?

I have always been the kind of person who wants to know about everything. As someone who was so motivated to go to medical school and work with computers, I was lucky to find this major by which I can be an expert in both the fields of medicine and computer science. There is so much growth happening in the world with biotechnology; this major is the key for someone like me who wants to make a difference by helping to cure diseases.

What are some of your favorite classes so far?

Within bioinformatics particularly, my favorite class has been the Intro to Bioinformatics class. This is because we did not just learn about the subject but also did a client-based project for our final project, and it felt awesome to be involved in that project. Biochemistry, the most challenging class that I have ever had, is fun too because the skills that I learned in that class match with the job descriptions for the position that I want to work in in the future.

Tell us about a unique experience you've had or project you've worked on for your major. 

For the Intro to Bioinformatics class, we worked on C. elegans (a microscopic worm like an earthworm) and researched if the presence of a gene affected the growth of cells in particular parts of its body. That was the first official academic research I did.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about majoring in bioinformatics? 

If you are unsure about either going into life sciences or computer science, you should study bioinformatics. This major will not only give you experience in those fields but also prepare you for jobs that are relevant in both fields (you can be a software engineer or an associate cell engineering scientist). And if you study this major, prepare to be open to lots of opportunities.

What's your dream job?

My dream job is to be a project manager or an entrepreneur of a biotechnology company where I want to take on projects that will eventually help make a difference. With this experience, I want to be able to increase the availability of medicines/diagnoses to people in rural parts of the world like Nepal, where there is much more development needed to be done in the field of biotechnology.

Who has been an important connection for you at Whitworth, and why? 

Dr. Kent Jones is my primary advisor/mentor for any bioinformatics-related questions. But now I also have so many professors who I go to for help with preparing for internships, major-related questions or even just to ask advice on how to be better at whatever I am working on. For instance, I go Dr. Aaron Putzke, a biology professor, and Dr. Philip Measor, a physics professor. They not only help me proofread my résumés or cover letters but also help me make decisions about companies that I want to work for or projects that I want to take on, etc.  

Learn more about Whitworth's bioinformatics, B.S. program