Kiran Vaidya: 'I am grateful to be studying the molecular mechanisms that regulate my grandfather's disease.'

Kiran Vaidya

Biological Sciences

Princeton Junction, NJ

What is your most important extracurricular activity at Cornell?

My main extracurricular activity is my research on calcific aortic valve disease in Jonathan Butcher's lab of cardiovascular developmental bioengineering. My grandfather was diagnosed with calcific aortic valve disease and I am grateful to be studying the molecular mechanisms that regulate his disease and the effectiveness of potential biomarkers and inhibitors to diagnose and treat his disease. I am very passionate about research because it gives me the opportunity to specialize in a very specific field and apply all my knowledge to find the solution to a real-world problem. I am also grateful to Dr. Butcher for his mentorship and the support of my peers who help me with my research in the lab.

What Cornell memory do you treasure the most?

I have had many incredible Cornell memories, but I will really miss walking back from campus after a long day and looking out at the natural scenery along Cascadilla Creek.

If you were to offer advice to an incoming first year student, what would you say?

Cornell is full of opportunities in every field and has an extensive network of resources and connections to guide you toward your dream. I had the opportunity to shadow an orthopedic surgeon and cardiologist through Cornell's FRESH/EXTERN program and visit med schools like Weill Cornell Medicine and SUNY Upstate through the WIN program and PATCH. There are also many opportunities to explore your personal interests. I was able to keep in touch with Indian heritage by joining Cornell Anjali, Cornell's Indian Classical Dance Team and Cornell Sitara, Cornell's Bollywood Fusion Team. I would advise students to take advantage of everything Cornell has to offer because it can really change your life and help you solidify your goals.

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