Bharat dedicated his time during the TRIAD Summer Fellowship Workshop working alongside Dr. Steven Moss developing a preventive DNA vaccine against H. pylori. While most cases of H. pylori are asymptomatic, persistent infections can lead to stomach ailments such as gastritis and more serious complications of persistent infections including neoplasia and gastric malignancy. However, a protective vaccine that stimulates a strong antibacterial immune response may be able to prevent malignancy and clear infection. Dr. Moss and his associates are in the process of establishing the immune cells present in human mucosal immunity in response to H. pylori infection.
Bharat says the fellowship served as an insightful and pragmatic experience. The laboratory training he received helped make him a better assistant, while the in-class theory behind the experiments allowed him to develop his understanding of immunology and basic scientific experimentation.
He notes the PCR, ELISpot, ELISA, FACS, and PBMC isolation were among the most helpful, as well as the most interesting experiences. Bharat went on to say, “immunoinformatics and bioinformatics were also especially interesting and helped develop a theoretical foundation on which vaccines and experiments are explored. The latter also increased my computer skills which is now a very important part of immunology and clinical medicine. Overall, these aspects of the fellowship were most practical and most insightful.”
Bharat feels the fellowship increased the repertoire of laboratory techniques that he feels comfortable with. He feels he is now a more confident and better scientist because of the TRIAD fellowship.