Amita is a PhD candidate in Stanford's Department of Chemical Engineering. Her work at Stanford is particularly timely as her research is focused on novel anti-virals and inhibitors to viral infection. Her work -- and appreciation -- is best conveyed in her own words. Below is an excerpt from her October 2019 letter thanking ARCS and Dana & Robert Emery, the donors of her named scholar award.
"Over the past four years, my research has focused on using chemical and genetic approaches to design the next generation of antiviral drugs. The ARCS fellowship will provide invaluable support for 1 year for the continuation of my thesis project which uniquely involves collaborations between labs in the departments of chemical engineering, genetics and virology. My current projects include (a) mapping novel antiviral and anti-inflammatory mechanisms of action of a commonly used class of drugs, (b) characterizing new inhibitors of a cellular enzyme involved in nucleotide metabolism and (c) testing these inhibitors in models of viral infection. I am especially passionate about these projects given their potential implications on human health and their interdisciplinary nature. I’d like to contribute to [the] emergent chapters in therapeutics and technologies and am grateful for foundations like ARCS and donors like you to make these dreams possible for me! Thanks so much!"