On Friday 9th December, Shruti Srivastava, passed the defence of her MSc thesis. Shruti started the morning with a great public seminar, which was broadcast over Adobe Connect and tuned into by colleagues in Edmonton and the Netherlands! In the exam itself, Shruti was composed and confident not giving into her nerves. The examiners seemed to have no hesitation to award the pass.
Shruti’s thesis is entitled “a bioinformatics analysis to identify parasite proteins that mimic host immune proteins.” The first results chapter described a detailed assessment of a popular bioinformatics approach to find mimicking proteins by Ludin et al. By testing the method’s assumptions and considering some others, Shruti modified the pipeline to reduce the number of false positives. The second chapter describes Shruti’s application of the modified pipeline on genomes from six species of cestode parasites.
As recently as four months ago, I would have told you that Shruti’s research was culminating with a negative result. It is difficult to prove a negative and Shruti had worked hard to cover all angles. Through her persistence (and occasionally ignoring my suggestions) Shruti completed further work that has offered us candidate molecules for in vitro assays (the negative result still stands). The manuscript is on its way.
Shruti joined the lab in September 2014 and has been an absolute pleasure to be around. Her enthusiasm is infectious. A regular volunteer at HPI events, Shruti is a natural with the general public.
Well done Shruti. I wish you all the best with your future adventures!