Statement of Purpose

[This is a writeup from 2016. Caution! If you are willing to apply in US for higher study and planning to write SOP soon, I’ll suggest not to read this write-up, because it may bias you. And do not use this format as your SOP. Your SOP is supposed to be unique. Better, write your own SOP, then show it some experienced for valued feedback.]

 

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When I was a student of class 9 in secondary school, for the first time I participated national science fair with an electronics project “Determination of gravitational acceleration constant g using digital method” as a member of science club Anushandhitshu Chokro. It was awarded the 1st prize in district level and 8th in national level. From that moment my inspiration in science started to flourish, which is one of the motivating factors for why right now I want to enroll a Ph.D. program to get a rigorous training of scientific method.

My BS and MS degree are in Microbiology from University of Dhaka and I’m a faculty of Microbiology Department of Noakhali Science & Technology University (NSTU).  Broadly, I’m interested in doing research in microbiology, host-microbe interactions, virology, microbial ecology/environmental microbiology employing methods of molecular biology, genetics, genomics, and bioinformatics. Especially, I have a long time interest in computational biology.  I would like to work on research problems which involves computational analysis of biological data and which offer dynamic opportunities of learning and honing new, valuable skills.

In my MS thesis work, I’ve established silkworm larvae as insect model to detect pathogenic bacterial isolates which required molecular biology and standard microbiology lab techniques, insect rearing, and statistical analysis in Microbial Genetics & Bioinformatics Lab under the supervision of Prof. Dr. M. Anwar Hossain. When we have a large collection of bacterial isolates from different sources, it’s hard and time-consuming to screen pathogenic bacteria using animal model (eg. Mouse or rabbit). Insect model such as silkworm can give rapid results without much experimental complexity. There was no previous research of silkworm in the lab, that’s why the thesis was very challenging to me. During the work, I’ve used R language for polynomial regression analysis and the work has been published in a PubMed indexed journal where I’m the first author.  Along with the  thesis, I’ve worked on parallel projects like Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus genome sequencing and its evolutionary analysis which gave me both wet- and dry-lab experiences. Currently, I’m actively associated with Dr. Hossain’s lab and now working on the cross-border movement of FMD virus in Bangladesh using Bayesian MCMC approach.

During my BS 4th year project in Dr. Hossain’s lab, I’ve developed a computer program named “Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus Genotyping Tool” using Python programming language. Currently, it can detect serotype of FMD virus VP1 or whole genome sequence. There is a plan to develop it further for exploration and detection of genotypes between different serotypes of FMD virus. This tool will be useful for surveillance of circulating FMDV genotypes and the detection of newly emerging genotype, which will ultimately help FMDV control program in Bangladesh.

Along with R, I use Python for scripting and problem solving. I’ve solved 101 bioinformatics problem in Rosalind.info, which is a popular bioinformatics programming learning platform. I’m comfortable with Linux command-line. Previously I’ve successfully completed several on-line courses on computational biology relevant subjects. Currently, I’m trying to get adept with good data analysis practice such as using Git-Hub, maintaining readme.txts, organizing research  and keeping notes.

I’m a core team member of Bio-Bio-1 Bioinformatics R&D Foundation where I work as a trainer in workshops on Python and bioinformatics methods. I also take part in group study session here and currently we are learning NGS analysis using Galaxy and command line based programs.

I’m an activist of science movement in Bangladesh and president of Anushandhitshu Chokro Science Organization. I’m regularly writing science articles in printed magazine and on-line sites in the Bengali language. I’ve published a book explaining inner-workings of the brain, sleep, and dream (Mostishko, Ghum O Swopno, 2015). Recently, I’ve finished a draft manuscript of another book in which is going to be published in 2017.

After finishing Ph.D., I want to come back to Bangladesh and join my institution NSTU. I want  to contribute science and actively participate collaborative research on Bangladesh’s problems by establishing my own laboratory here. I also want to keep spreading science for the enlightenment of society.

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