Meet Our Alumna: Tanya Narahari

Q1. Where did you grow up and where do you live now?

A. I grew up mostly in Bangalore, a relatively small city in Southern India. My parents worked in the sciences and imparted their love for travel, research, and exploration, to me. After completing an undergraduate degree in Biotechnology from R.V. College of Engineering in Bangalore, I moved to Boston, where I obtained a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Northeastern University. I now work as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto.

Q2. Why did you choose Northeastern University Toronto?

A. I chose Northeastern University, Boston, for multiple reasons – firstly, that it is located in the heart of Boston. Boston fosters a unique environment well suited to interdisciplinary research in medicine and engineering. There are plenty of opportunities for collaboration with the city’s hospitals, or with the numerous biotech start-ups in the region. Secondly, Northeastern University’s College of Engineering prepares you for a breadth of career types in both academia and industry, as the department has a unique co-op program with a plethora of industry tie-ups.

Q3. How did Northeastern University help you to advance your career?

A. A few things of note that help me in my work: The Chemical Engineering graduate programs placed an emphasis on gaining research and teaching skills, while also incorporating a rigorous seminar course into the program. Students from diverse academic backgrounds gathered to present their work – it is here that I learned how truly important it is for scientists to possess the skills to effectively communicate their work! I was also very fortunate in that I had many inspiring faculty mentors, including my thesis advisor, Prof. Shashi Murthy, who helped me work closely with a company in India to develop a thesis addressing the challenges faced in medical diagnostics in India.