Gowrishankar Muthukrishnan came to UCF from Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) Pilani in India where he earned an Engineering Master's in Biotechnology. His fascination with the symbiotic and pathogenic interactions that the human body has with microorganisms motivated him to pursue a career in infectious disease research. Muthukrishnan appreciates the opportunities at the Burnett School of Biomedical Science for graduate students to team with prominent scientists in conducting research. He currently studies the human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus, which causes bacterial infections ranging from mild skin infections to highly invasive necrotizing diseases. His thesis focuses on the epidemiology of Staphylococcus aureus nasal carriage, functional characterization of determinants of S. aureus nasal colonization and host-pathogen interactions during S. aureus nasal carriage.
During his time at UCF, Muthukrishnan was an active member of the Student Conduct Review Board, served as a Graduate Student Association advisory board member, the President of Biomedical Sciences Graduate Student Association, and Event Manager for UCF’s Indian Association SANGAM, organizing various Indian cultural events around the campus.
Muthukrishnan already has numerous publications to his credit, including three first-author manuscripts. He has presented his work nationally at the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) and the American Association of Immunologists as well as locally at the ASM Florida Branch conference. After graduating, Muthukrishnan plans to conduct post-doctoral research and continue his scientific career in the field of infectious diseases research.
The doctoral program in Biomedical Sciences began while Michelle Alvarez was a senior at UCF, so she applied and was accepted into the program. Having graduated in August 2007, Alvarez appreciates how the program challenged her to be the best she could be. “I am grateful for the high standards and vast demands set forth by my program. While going through the doctoral program I was constantly pushed to achieve and accomplish more. Now looking back, I realize that this program is sculpting young scientists to publish and present their research because of competing scientists across the globe. UCF wants their students to be better than the best!”
When choosing a university to pursue a doctoral degree, Mengqian Chen, who received his PhD in Biomedical Sciences, was not concerned with the size, location or the name of the institution. What was important and a major concern, "was that the college have a quality program, leading-edge training and research, and financial support." Chen received many offers, but of all the schools he applied to he found the University of Central Florida to be the most friendly, responsive, and welcoming place to pursue his doctorate.