Meet Uma Arora, GBS23

School: Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Degree: Ph.D. in Mammalian Genetics

Home: At this point, I feel like I’m half-American and half-Indian, but home will always be where I grew up, in Bangalore, India.

What’s been the focus of your studies?

Biology has always been an interest of mine. I did my undergraduate work at UCLA, where I double-majored in psychobiology and marine biology, and I found myself more and more fascinated by evolutionary biology because of the diversity of life forms around us. I figured that, because all organisms have DNA, genetics would be the best way to understand evolutionary biology. That’s how I ended up in Tufts’ Jackson Labs program.

Any lessons you learned outside of the classroom that were particularly valuable?

One of the biggest things I learned is that people matter a lot. Working with people who are kind and who are invested in your growth can make a huge difference in your career. I think I got extremely lucky with the lab I worked in—Beth Dumont’s lab—and all the people I was surrounded by during my time at Tufts.

I want to carry that forward and be a mentor for young scientists. So many people enabled my career and supported my goals, and I want to help others achieve their own goals.

What’s the one adjective that best describes you?

Gregarious. I like to be around people and have a good time. In general, I’m a very lighthearted person.

Complete the following sentence: "In ten years, I will be…"

Working on cool science!

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