Viraj P Parekh
**** ********* ****, *** ***, Durham, NC 27707, U.S.A.
Recent Ph.D from the Department of Biochemistry, Duke University with a thesis focused on the underlying mechanisms of Urinary Tract Infections. Possess a background in Chemical engineering, biotechnology and basic medical sciences with comprehensive knowledge of various biochemical & molecular biological techniques. Excellent investigative & problem solving skills acquired via various projects and collaborations. Highly interested in translating my scientific and analytical acumen into pursuing research in the fields of microbiology, infectious diseases, immunology and drug discovery.
Ph.D. Biochemistry 04/2016 Duke University, School of Medicine, Durham, NC, USA G.PA. - 3.65/4.00
M.S. Biotechnology 05/2008 University of Pennsylvania, PA, USA G.PA. - 3.63/4.00
B.E. Chemical Engineering 05/2006 D.J.S. College of Engineering, Mumbai University, Mumbai, India G.PA. - 3.90/4.00
Biochemical & Molecular biological Techniques: Confocal Microscopy, Western blotting, Mammalian & Bacterial mutagenesis, Magnetic labeling and isolation, PCR, Cloning, PAGE, in-vitro & in-vivo Infection models, Mass Spectrometry, HPLC, Spectrophotometry, Protein purification, Cryo-Sectioning, Immunofluorescence, ELISA, Immunohistochemistry, FACS.
Scientific Software: PyMOL, KING, IMAGEJ, PRISM, Mathematica, Microsoft Office.
RESEARCH & WORK EXPERIENCE:
Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Biochemistry, Duke University, USA 10/2008 – Present
Investigated and fruitfully unearthed one of the major underlying mechanisms of recurrent Urinary tract infections via in-vitro & in-vivo infection models.
Successfully determined the dynamic compartmentalization of persistent Uropathogenic e.coli in superficial bladder epithelial cells via confocal microscopy, magnetic labeling and mammalian & bacterial mutagenesis techniques.
A collaboration project evaluated the effects of bacterial quiescence on its ability to cause a recurrent infection in the bladder leading to a better understanding of therapeutic targets for UTIs.
Discovered a potential therapeutic approach for the clearance of UTI causing bacteria from the bladder using host cell modulators
Teaching Assistant, Department of Biochemistry, Duke University, USA 08/2009 - 01/2010
Introduction to Biochemistry Course with 254 students
Held recitation classes, graded exams, homework assignments and research papers, leading to a better fundamental understanding of the subject by the undergraduate stundents in the class.
Research Assistant, Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics, University of Pennsylvania 01/2007 - 03/2008
Efficiently designed amphiphilic peptides that undergo complex multi-component assembly in detergents, phospholipids vesicles or at air-liquid interfaces employing biophysical techniques.
Successfully expressed amphiphilic protein maquettes for incorporation into membranes employing molecular biology and biochemical techniques.
Project Leader, D.J.Sanghvi College of Engineering, Mumbai University, India 05/2005 – 05/2006
Researched and authored a detailed Manufacturing Study on Sucralose, an artificial sugar which included the applications, the exact manufacturing process, detailed PFDs and the P&IDs, sizing and costing of the plant and the HAZOP and the feasibility studies leading to a better understanding of the logistics involved in the production of Sucralose (Splenda).
Summer Intern, Sir H.N.Hospital, Mumbai, India. 05/2006 – 08/2006
Analyzed the Waste Management Program of the hospital including the effluent treatment techniques leading to a more energy efficient & cost effective waste management program at the hospital.
Summer Intern, Network Polymers Ltd, Mumbai, India 05/2005 – 08/2005
Assisted in the administration and optimization of the manufacturing process for fiber reinforced plastics and aided in the management of the Quality Testing Department.
In the process of submitting:
Alpha-hemolysin mediated dynamic compartmentalization of persistent Uropathogenic E.coli in the superficial bladder epithelium. Viraj Parekh, Soman Abraham, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.
Quiescence as a survival tool for Uropathogenic E.coli in the bladder. Viraj Parekh, Soman Abraham, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.
Dynamic compartmentalization of Persistent UPEC in superficial BECs. Viraj Parekh, Soman Abraham, Duke University Biochemistry & Pathology Departmental Retreats – (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
Building a Function into Simplified Structures: Membrane Spanning Maquettes with Chains of Redox Cofactors. Viraj Parekh, Bohdana Discher, University of Pennsylvania. 2008
Construction and Characterization of Synthetic Proteins for Potential Application in Bioelectronics. Viraj Parekh, Bohdana Discher, University of Pennsylvania. GAPSA-Provost Meet, August 2007.
Self-assembly of amphiphilic proteins with redox cofactors. Viraj Parekh, Bohdana Discher, University of Pennsylvania. 81st ACS Colloid & Surface Science Symposium, June 2007.
General Secretary - Association for India’s Development (AID), Duke University 2009 –Present
Support grass root level education, women’s empowerment & anti-corruption projects in India via fundraisers and awareness programs to the tune of $40000/year.
Chief Event Coordinator – Athletic Fund Raising Events, AID, Duke University 2010 – Present
Organized and led various fund raising events, raising more than $20000/year.
Group Leader - GAPSA-Provost Award for Interdisciplinary Innovation, University of Pennsylvania 2007-2008
Headed a research project involving the construction and characterization of synthetic proteins for potential use in bioelectronics equipped with a financial award of $6000/semester.
Top 5 % of the graduate class in Biotechnology, University of Pennsylvania. (2006- 2008)
Awarded the GAPSA-Provost Award for Interdisciplinary Innovation, 2007-2008.
Nominated as Teaching Assistant for Biochemistry 301, Duke University, Spring and Fall, 2010
Top 5 % of the undergraduate class in Chemical Engineering, University of Mumbai. (2002- 2006)
Awarded the TATA Undergraduate Scholarship for Academic Excellence. (2003-2005)
Currently enrolled in Finance, Marketing & Entrepreneurship courses at Coursera.
Completed 5 full marathons: 3 Marine Corps Marathons, Washington, DC & 2 Mumbai Marathons, India.
Avid Racquetball, badminton, tennis and cricket player with participation in various tournaments over the undergraduate and graduate years. Currently interested in Fencing, Play the violin in the Indian classical style.