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Nandhitha Uma Naresh

This month, Nandhitha, a former graduate student in the Cole Haynes Laboratory, sat down with MCCB. Read Nandhitha’s story below.


Nandhitha Uma Naresh

Nandhitha Uma Naresh is an incoming life science consultant at Clearview Healthcare Partners and was a graduate student in Interdisciplinary Program at UMass Chan Medical School. Originally from Bangalore, India, she moved to US in 2016 to pursue PhD in Biomedical Sciences.

She worked with model organism C. elegans during her graduate school. Her thesis research identified the signaling mechanism that is essential for initiation and establishment of mitochondrial network following long-term starvation.

 Outside of work, Nandhitha enjoys hiking, rock climbing, traveling, and painting.

What years were you in the MCCB department?


What MCCB lab were you in?

Cole Haynes laboratory

What was your role/position?

PhD student

What was your favorite part about MCCB?

MCCB is a very nurturing department and brings out the best in each scientific thinker. I really enjoyed the department seminars that provided me a platform to immerse myself in science and engage in discussions that were beyond the scope of my own study.

What do you do now?

I am currently a post-doctoral associate in the Haynes lab and moving onto a life-science consulting position at Clearview Healthcare partners.

How has MCCB helped reach your goals?

I was freshly out of my bachelor’s program in Biotechnology prior to joining UMass and MCCB department. At the time, Cole was an established scientist moving his lab from Memorial Sloan Kettering institute to UMass. When I was doing my rotation project in the Haynes lab, I was instantly drawn to the fast-paced, cutting-edge research being carried out in the lab. Over the years, I have seen myself tremendously growing as an independent scientist and critical thinker as the lab and MCCB department provided me with resources and environment to do so. I am grateful for the numerous opportunities that were presented to me talk about my work and receive feedback from fellow scientists in the MCCB community.    

What are some of the lessons that you have learned along the way that you would like to share with trainees who recently joined our department?

When coming up with an idea or hypothesis to work on, Cole always insisted time is the most invaluable resource we all have and to make best use of our time, we need to ask the question “Why does anybody care about this idea?”. If you have a good answer to it, then it’s worth pursuing. 

Any advice you wished you had gotten when you first started as a scientist?

Do the experiments for your hypothesis in your head to think of all possible outcomes and then strategize what the best possible approach is. Most experiments in science don’t yield expected results but every negative result is just as important to get one step closer to discovery.


If you would like to be the next spotlight, please reach out to Peter Chhoy.