Sie sind auf Seite 1von 9

Dear Prof. Piamsook Pongsawasdi.

It is a great pleasure to write a recommendation to support the application by Kartigayan Gunalan for a Fellowship at the FAOBMB International Congress Young Scientist. Kartigayan has been a Phd student in my lab for four years and he has submitted his thesis at the end of last year. After external examination and revisions he is now scheduled for this oral thesis defence in early August. Since submitting his thesis he has continued to work in my research group. Kartigayans thesis work as well as his current studies focused on the molecular mechanisms that enable the malaria parasite to successfully recognize and invade a host red blood cell. During these studies he developed a range of molecular and cell biological techniques that have enabled him to successfully move the project forward. Part of his thesis has already been published and one paper is under revision. Another aspect of his work is just being written up for submission. In addition, Kartigayan has also just submitted a review as first author on specific aspects of invasion. Taken all these together shows that he has not only done excellent and extensive work during his PhD studies but also has acquired a much broader understanding of the field. Despite his research project providing numerous challenges Kartigayan was always positive and showed great abilities in finding new solutions. A particular aspect of his work required him to develop new video microscopy techniques not available at the University and he therefore had to learn and organize everything from scratch. More recently his project took him into a new direction of signalling during malaria parasite invasion. Again he had to develop new techniques that enabled him to address these research questions. In the laboratory Kartigayan is an excellent team player, he has been shown to be a great mentor to a number of undergraduate students as well as more junior PhD students. He is always willing to help and make the extra effort to ensure that the research moves forward. He has also developed as a very good communicator showing skills in conveying his ideas clearly during lab meetings and seminars. I am confident that Kartigayan would be a great addition to the meeting. He is young, highly motivated and an excellent scientist that would gain a lot from attending this meeting while at the same time also adding a lot to the meeting itself. Regards, Peter Preiser

17-07-2012 To Whom It May Concern: It is a pleasure for me to recommend Karthigayan Gunalan (Karthik) for the Young Scientist Program (YSP) fellowship. I worked with Karthik for approximately two and a half years as he was a Senior Research Fellow (SRF) in my laboratory, working on a research project on the human malarial parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. As such, I interacted closely with him on numerous aspects of biology and research and hence am competent to evaluate his scientific abilities. Karthik has several qualities that make him an excellent candidate for this scholarship. He was able to make difficult experiments work due his careful laboratory habits, observations of any problems in the technique and excellent troubleshooting. For example, when Karthik joined my laboratory, he single-handedly ensured that our parasite cultures were consistently growing well. This is not an easy task, since culturing malaria parasites is not a trivial exercise. He worked with a PhD student on novel drug delivery strategies for cultured parasites and has authorship on the publication that come out of this work. Karthik's solid background in planning experiments and executing them successfully was highly useful for the lab. Karthik quickly picked up new techniques by reading extensively and putting his basic knowledge to good use. Karthik worked on a difficult project where he had to clone and express a malaria parasite protein in a bacterial expression system. This exercise is technically challenging due to the highly AT-rich nature of malaria genes. Nevertheless, Karthik has succeeded in the goal of the project through a combination of hard work and the application of ideas gained from reading and interacting with the senior students in the lab. Clearly, Karthik is highly independent and self-reliant yet knows how to work well with his peers. Karthik was also assigned the project of transfection of P. falciparum. This technique has been standardized in many laboratories around the world, however my PhD students were unable to consistently make it work. Karthik again showed his excellent laboratory skills by standardizing this protocol and using it to study translation initiation sites in the parasite. When Karthik joined the lab, he came from a university where he had not been exposed to molecular biology techniques or research methods. He picked up not only these techniques but also a scientific temperament: asking questions, reading literature for new concepts and troubleshooting. He made significant progress during those two years in my lab, strengthening his skills and learning new ones. In my laboratory, Karthik contributed not only to the progress of the projects, but also enormously to the setting up of the laboratory itself. He helped in ordering of equipment and reagents, organized the laboratory to ensure it is running smoothly and also helped in initial training of Ph.D. students in basic molecular biology techniques. This is a testament to Karthiks organizational skills and his strong background in biology experimentation. Karthik ranks within the top 5% of students that I have interacted with, including the graduate students whom I trained at Tufts University where I received my Ph.D. and the Harvard School of Public Health where I was a postdoctoral fellow for four years. I enthusiastically recommend Karthik for the Young Scientist Program (YSP) fellowship. Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions.

Swati Patankar