Nikita Gurudas

Tell us about yourself! What is your academic/professional background and what led you to pursue the Biomedical Science Policy and Advocacy Program?

I studied biology in undergrad with a minor is chemistry and art and I have always had a passion for human health and global development. I was raised in India and witnessed the challenges faced by a developing nation. This has been a big part of my growth and my motivation. My experiences in clinical medicine, particularly, shaped my interest in global health issues. So I wanted to get a broader understanding of public health in terms of science policy, in order to be a better advocate and make a lasting impact on the community.

How did you hear about us and why did you decide to study at Georgetown? 

I thought this program was a great fit for me because, not only was it under the microbiology and immunology department but it was also at the center of public policy, Washington DC. I wanted to gain a broader perspective on public health and human rights, and this program had all the elements. In the future, I want to work on infectious diseases and its impact on global health. It is important to know the role of science in policy as well as the influence of policymaking on science. Furthermore, I was also very interested in the core curriculum and the opportunity to meet guest speakers from various agencies and organizations. 

What advice would you give current or prospective students looking to get into your field of study? 

This program has been extremely helpful and an absolute eye-opener to the field of science policy and public health. I think it is molded in such a way that it can benefit prospective Ph.D. students, graduates looking for jobs, medical students and many more. It’s a great way to understand the progress in health care by looking at real world issues. The director of the program, Dr. Calderone, has been a great mentor and professor. He is more than willing to guide you during the program as well as direct you towards your future career. I highly recommend the Biomedical Science Policy and Advocacy program to students.