Meet Sohil Khanna - Molecular Biology & Biochemistry and Science in Society
Sohil Khanna is a junior double majoring in molecular biology & biochemistry along with Science in Society. What projects/research have you worked on (or are currently working on) for your major? I have been involved with a research lab in the MB&B department for two semesters and am continuing my independent research in the fall semester. The laboratory’s research concerns the genetics of gene silencing in yeast chromosomes to determine the influence of eukaryotic structure on gene expression. Genetic information in yeast is organized into nucleosomes, which consist of a segment of DNA wound around a core octamer of eight histone proteins. The main goal of my research project is to understand the possible interaction and relationship between an actin related protein, Arp4, and the linker histone, H1. I have also been volunteering in the Emergency Department at Middlesex Hospital. Through this role, I communicate with patients and visitors to better assist doctors, nurses, and technicians with patient care activities. Additionally, I serve as a liaison between medical professionals and incoming patients seeking medical attention. What made you choose this major? I am interested in a career in medicine and I was attracted to the MB&B major because many of the required courses for the major are also pre-med requirements. This overlap offered more space in my scheduled to explore other disciplines. SISP was an attractive major because it offered a completely different approach to health care and medicine. My science courses provided the nitty-gritty tactical knowledge of compounds, chemicals, and anatomy, but did not necessarily examine health care holistically. I feel it is important to approach medicine with a humanistic view and saw SISP as a great complement to a hard science major. SISP coursework brings together science, economics, sociology, and literature to further inform my knowledge of medicine and today’s health care system. What groups or activities are you involved with at Wesleyan? I am very active in Shakti, a student organization celebrating South Asian culture on campus. I serve as treasurer, and have worked to fundraise for the many events and activities the club holds each year. Our two main events are Samsara, a cultural festival involving skits and dances, and Holi, an outdoor celebration of the Festival of Colors. I have performed in and hosted Samsara for the past two years and enjoy seeing the campus come together for both celebrations. I am also the treasurer for Wesleyan’s chapter of the American Medical Students Association (AMSA). Along with the other board members, I have organized meetings and facilitated events including surgery screenings, medical student panels, and collaborative sessions with the career center. I am also responsible for requesting, managing, and allocating funds from various budgeting groups on campus. Finally, I have served as a WesAmbassador where I work closely with Wesleyan's Admissions Office to connect with interested students through information sessions and multiple social medial platforms. I have also had the opportunity to interact with prospective students during admitted students days to share a personal college experience. I look forward to taking on a new role in the Admissions Office next semester as a social media coordinator. I also enjoy playing intramural soccer and exercising at the gym or squash courts. What are you passionate about? I am most passionate about a career in medicine and approaching medicine through a humanistic lens. Through my interactions with patients and medical professionals in hospitals, I have come to learn a compassionate bedside manner is just as important as possessing competency in scientific knowledge. I believe it is imperative that medical professionals be able to approach issues from multiple perspectives and treat the individual, not simply the disease. What do you love about Wesleyan? I like to think of myself as a people person, and have tried to become exposed to individuals with diverse backgrounds and ideologies. I really love how Wesleyan promotes this type of exploration and exposure. At Wesleyan, I am continually encouraged to contribute to a community where individuals are constantly discovering more about themselves through interaction with their peers. The welcoming nature of students and faculty has made it easy to become involved with various academic, athletic, and extracurricular pursuits. At Wes, no one is one-dimensional and everyone has a perspective they are willing to share. Wesleyan’s a place where I am encouraged to pursue all interests and connect my experiential learning in ways that are meaningful to me.