Congratulations to Gatha Adhikari! Read the complete on-line feature about another notable Rowan graduate!
In the labs of Dr. Mary Staehle, Dr. Yusuf Mehta and Dr. Sebastián Vega, Adhikari explored wide-ranging fields of research: from neurodevelopmental toxicology in flatworms to analyzing stem cells and their complex interactions with materials.
When the pandemic disrupted her summer research opportunity at Penn Medicine, Adhikari shifted gears to a different discipline and immersed herself in Rowan’s Center for Research and Education in Advanced Transportation Engineering Systems (CREATES), studying the correlation between traffic congestion, hospital air quality and patients’ health.
“She’s one of those students who has the ability to pick up something and excel,” said Mehta, director of CREATES. “She didn’t hesitate or say, ‘This is not my area.’ That didn’t bother her at all … nothing stopped her.”
During her final year at Rowan, Adhikari worked alongside graduate student Sarah Furman in Vega’s lab to develop a technique that forces stem cells into different shapes on materials of varying stiffness. Understanding how stem cells communicate with materials outside of the body could one day be used to develop new techniques to control stem cell differentiation—or what stem cells become when they mature.