My name is Nidhi Menon and I am a Ph.D. candidate at Virginia Tech’s Translational Biology, Medicine, and Health program (focus areas – immunology and cancer). 

I was born and raised in Mumbai, India, and grew up in a middle-class family.

I moved to the United States to attend college when I was 18. I graduated with my B.S. in biological engineering and minor in biotechnology from Purdue University. My doctoral research in bioengineering focuses on engineering tools to investigate interactions in the tumor microenvironment. This includes working with synthetic biomaterials, designing, and fabricating microfluidic devices and exploiting resonance energy transfer mechanisms to develop novel nanobiosensors.

In addition to my doctoral thesis research, I also collaborate on projects that drive my curiosity, such as drug development and various host-pathogen interaction studies.

I came to the United States when I was young and moved several thousand miles away from my family. 

An only child and a naïve teenager, being an international student was not easy, but I have learned so much from being independent here. As a result of being in the United States, I have been exposed to the cultural milieu here and I respect and appreciate that about the country.

After spending several years here, I have been able to help other international students in making their transition to the United States a tad bit smoother. I am open to connecting and helping others looking to make the move.

My personal philosophy in academia revolves around uplifting those around me, especially minorities and underrepresented groups in STEM. 

Compassion and kindness first

Graduate school is difficult, and no one is fully immune to the stresses of it. I am always available to guide and support my fellow colleagues, students, mentees, and anyone that is looking to pursue higher education. 

I look forward to graduating soon and learning about new opportunities. I am excited to continue contributing to science effectively, in an organization that recognizes and appreciates its employees.

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