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Promising Young Scientists: Mohamed Adil

By June 3, 2022No Comments

It is 8,518 miles between Chennai, India and Baltimore, an exhaustive commute unless you are the U.S. Secretary of State. Or Mohamed Adil.

Adil, a 25-year-old Ph.D. candidate in the UW Medicine Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathology, traveled between those cities over seven months in 2015 and 2016, volunteering in a lab at Johns Hopkins University Medical School. It was an extraordinary opportunity for an undergraduate inspired by a lecture from a visiting professor.

That professor, Dr. Samarjid Das, an assistant professor of pathology and anesthesiology and critical care medicine at Johns Hopkins, encountered Adil in Chennai and the two, Adil said, had an engaging conversation. “Finally, Dr. Das, just said to me, ‘You should come visit my laboratory,’” Adil said.

The next summer he was on a plane headed to Baltimore.

His work in a lab headed up by Dr. Marc Halushka, a professor of pathology at Johns Hopkins Medical School, was an immersive experience in observing and later conducting experiments involving microRNA, which plays important roles in regulating gene expression.

“Adil is legendary in my lab and life,” Halushka said. “Once he got the research bug, he ‘caught fire.’ He was staying with a colleague and started asking if they could leave for the lab earlier and earlier in the mornings, around 4 am, so he could get to the lab and get right to work. He would also take the bus in on weekends. Not only have none of my other trainees shown this level of dedication, I do not know of other trainees in our graduate school programs who have reached this level of perseverance”

After completing an undergraduate degree in biotechnology from Crescent Institute of Science and Technology in Chennai, Adil worked for four months as a research assistant in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. His role included collecting, processing, and storing blood samples from diabetic patients, as well as creating a database on REDCap, the web application for building and managing online surveys and databases.