Prerna Bhargava, Ph.D. Candidate
In applying to graduate programs, Prerna knew that she wanted to focus on clinically based research, looking at disease pathways and how they might be modified to restore homeostasis. She chose the BPH program because it is one of the few that centers on the disease itself and enables students to gain different perspectives from field to lab. Prerna was drawn to the lab of Professor Chih-Hao Lee, where the research concentrates on metabolic diseases. She enjoys the atmosphere of the lab and the freedom to pursue her own interests, particularly outcomes of infections in relation to metabolic diseases and aging. Understanding how immune cells incorporate metabolic cues to kill bacteria allows her to examine host pathways that can be manipulated to strengthen the immune response to pathogens. Ultimately, Prerna hopes to comprehend how traditional herbal remedies from various cultures can help alter the host’s metabolic system to bring about positive outcomes during infection.