Name: Vivek Sreejithkumar
Date/year of graduation: May, 2022
Degree Program: Bachelor of Science with a double major in Biological Chemistry and Interdisciplinary Mathematical Sciences
Research interests: Mathematical biology, epidemiological modeling, infectious diseases
I have conducted several research projects with Dr. Tuncer since I was a sophomore, researching the epidemiological modeling of infectious diseases including H1N1 influenza, COVID-19, and HIV. I have published my previous research projects with Dr. Tuncer in the FAU Undergraduate Research Journal, SIAM Undergraduate Research Online, and the Mathematical Biosciences and Engineering journal.
What have you been doing since your graduation in May, 2022?:
Currently, I am training as a post-baccalaureate research fellow at the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) under the National Institutes of Health (NIH), in the Washington D.C.-Bethesda area. I am currently conducting computational research at the NIH on immune system biology. Specifically, one of my projects involves using a mathematical model to model tumor growth and the interactions between tumor cells and immune cells in the tumor microenvironment, with the objective of computing a reproduction number (R0) for tumor growth. Another one of my projects involves expanding an algorithm for spatial analysis of tissue imaging to conduct spatial analysis in 3 dimensions. My post-baccalaureate research fellowship at the NIH has continued to mold my plans for medical school, deepening my commitment to integrating research and patient care. This experience has particularly developed my interest in the role of computational research in addressing human health concerns. As a future physician, I hope to utilize skills gained from this experience to bridge the gap between cutting-edge research and clinical practice, ultimately contributing to more effective healthcare solutions and positively impacting the well-being of my patients.
What has been the most beneficial aspect of your time here at FAU?:
I started at FAU as a dual-enrolled student at FAU High School taking university courses when I was 15, which led to me graduating with my bachelor’s degree with a double major in Biological Chemistry and Interdisciplinary Mathematical Sciences at the same time as my high school diploma when I was 18. I started conducting mathematical biology research under the mentorship of Dr. Necibe Tuncer when I was a sophomore, which sparked my interest in exploring how computational methods can be used to model biological phenomena and address public health concerns.
I recently published a paper with Dr. Tuncer titled “Modeling the interplay between albumin-globulin metabolism and HIV infection” in the Mathematical Biosciences and Engineering journal. Vivek Sreejithkumar, Kia Ghods, Tharusha Bandara, Maia Martcheva, Necibe Tuncer. Modeling the interplay between albumin-globulin metabolism and HIV infection[J]. Mathematical Biosciences and Engineering, 2023, 20(11): 19527-19552. https://doi.org/10.3934/mbe.2023865
What other plans might you have for your bright future?:
I am currently applying to medical schools both in Florida and across the U.S. I have recently finished submitting all my secondary applications and am currently waiting for the rolling interviews.