One of my first volunteering experience was with a NGO, which used to manage all the mentally ill people. When i worked with those people i never felt any thing was wrong with most of those people. Sincerely, I always felt that they are normal people who need more attention. Some of them were so friendly, that they used to advise me about my future. As i spent more time with them and went through their files and medical history, i realized that though we say science has advanced still lot of research needs to be done. While in some other cases proper available treatment was not being used.
According to World health report“One in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. Around 450 million people currently suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide”
Mental disorders were earlier considered a work of witchcraft or social taboo (still yes in some parts of world), thus people were either locked up in their homes or special institutions. Thanks to advances in molecular genetic technologies and interdisciplinary nature of today’s research environment (with computer technologies, neuroimaging, clinicians, animal behavior) , genetic and environmental factor evidences are being used in mediating many of such mental disorders.
However, still the diagnosis of many mental disorders is very subjective and can vary from one place to another. Thus there is a great potential to identify biomarkers (measurable substance), which could provide a clue to a more reliable and reproducible diagnostic tool. Also, the causative factors for most of the disorders are unknown. The current medications were mostly discovered by serendipity (occurrence by chance). But people suffer from a lot of side effects and some develop treatment resistance over a course of period. Thus I think this is a great time to work in the field of neuroscience to discover new treatments and diagnostic tools.
I wish to join the field of neuroscience at King’s College London and specialize in it since there are large proportion of people suffering from different types of mental disorder, which needs more research and discovery to uncover the hidden truths.
The Department of Neuroscience at kings college of london focuses on the cellular and molecular basis of neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders. The department states that the progress in understanding these diseases is becoming increasingly clear. But there is still a need to have a deep understanding of the fundamental molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in normal nervous system function, maintenance, and development if progress has to be made in understanding human disorders of the brain, be they degenerative or developmental in origin. Only with this understanding the departments claims that novel diagnostic and therapeutic tools can be developed for prevention, detection and appropriate treatment.
Since i already have a bachelor degree, I first wish to pursue my masters programme in neuroscience which is a combination of basic molecular (DNA, RNA, proteins) , systemic (neurons-glia network, brain imaging, animal behavior, human psychology studies) neuroscience and clinical component (observing doctors provide diagnosis and treatment of patients in clinics). This will provide me a good platform to think across different disciplines of science of neuroscience, discuss my lab work with clinicians and thus ultimately apply my knowledge in a real time to humans.
After my master degree i wish to complete my PhD degree since it will establish my credibility as a person who competent in doing research. During PhD studies, most students are learning, adapting or developing new techniques or methods to answer their own research questions.Thus the student is doing lot of critical thinking, planning, hypothesis and experimental design and finally testing the research question. Though PhD degree is not mandatory for doing good research, it will give respect within the scientific community.
As i get a deeper understanding of neuroscience and in general the scientific field, i think I will become more conscious of things around me. As a child I was always curious of things, asked lot of questions to my teacher, which is quite normal just like other children. However, now I can get the ability and resources to test my questions of human brain in the lab by simulating conditions. This is what will differentiates me in future from others, who probably would always think like a laymen and will have to depend on google or websites such as http://knowledgeisgreat.in/to get their question answered.
I have always read online bibliography sometimes to calm my curiosity, but with this knowledge from the distinguished faculties of kings college, i hope to learn and contribute to such bibliography for greater benefits of research community.
London is one of the best cities where there is mix of global cultural, business, political and many more things. In addition to the location advantage, King’s students benefit from the most superior teaching amenities and equipment and can relax and mingle in comfort in the campus.
In addition, Department of Neuroscience of kings colleges had many achievements. Some of the principal achievements as mentioned on Department of Neuroscience website are
- derivation, characterization and application of neural stem cells and
- understanding genetic and molecular mechanisms that underlie neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders. They have uncovered genetic and epigenetic pathways regulating neural stem cell renewal in model organisms such as fly and mouse and used transplantation studies to examine efficacy of neural stem cells in animal models of stroke and Huntington’s Disease (HD).
- pioneered the use of human neural stem cells for treatment of stroke and have produced the first clinical grade human neural stem cell lines, currently entering clinical trials for stroke
- first clinical trial of human neural stem cells in a neurodegenerative disorder (Batten Disease).
With so many breakthroughs and good facilities, I have no doubt that I have chosen the right institute in UK to complete my dream of uncovering the hidden cure to provide effective mental illness treatments for the global citizens of this world. I will be happy that I Did it My Way to achieve something with what i had started.