Naresha Saligrama had always wanted to pursue the American dream of higher education. After encouragement from a friend, he decided to fulfill this through a doctoral programme in Cellular, Molecular, and Biomedical Sciences (CMB) at UVM.
It turned out to be one of the best decisions of his life. The intimate student body meant that he was able to thrive in his studies, receiving “more hands-on training than you can get at a bigger place.” “There were lots of opportunities to speak about research – in classes, at national meetings, and at lab meetings,” he recalls. “I particularly enjoyed interactions with a phenomenal group of scientists at the Vermont Centre for Immunobiology and Infectious Diseases.”
He also found UVM an easy place to settle in, allowing him to smoothly integrate into the community. “Everyone was welcoming, unique and liberal,” he says fondly. “I did fun things like apple picking.”
Perhaps the most valuable experience he could have gotten, however, was the countless opportunities to advance his career. “Graduate students could invite seminar speakers and I invited people I might want to work with so they could get to know me. We had science discussions and a social evening with these speakers. Later, I obtained a postdoctoral position with one of those I invited and another was instrumental in me getting my faculty position.”
Since graduating, Saligrama has worked as a postdoctoral fellow and research associate at the Stanford University School of Medicine. “Everything I’ve accomplished is due to education at UVM,” he says. Saligrama is currently Assistant Professor of Neurology, Section of Multiple sclerosis/Neuroimmunology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, Missouri.
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