Meet the GSC Executive Board: Yash Patankar

On August 14, 2012 by Grad Forum

The Graduate Forum will be running a series of articles profiling the new Graduate Student Council. The GSC elections were held back on May 1st. As the new board members get underway in their positions, we’d like to take an opportunity to congratulate them on their elections and to highlight their hopes for the year ahead. Below, we’re introducing Yash Patankar, the new Secretary of the Graduate Student Council.

Yash is a rising third year PhD student in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Dartmouth. He studied molecular biology and immunology as an undergraduate at Hampshire College, Massachusetts.

As a PhD student, Yash is studying the innate immune response to Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a common nosocomial pathogen, under the tutelage of Dr. Brent Berwin. Pseudomonas aeruginosa poses a challenge to immunocompromised patients in hospitals as well as those with cystic fibrosis. Recently, the lab published an article [YP1] that explains a new breakthrough in their research, a breakthrough that may have positive implications for the medical community (to learn more, check out this story on their work in Dartmouth Medicine Magazine).  It appears that the immune system detects the “swimming” motion of bacteria, whereas when the bacteria are not swimming, the bacteria may evade the immune response.

Yash is drawn to biomedicine and the impact it can have on healthcare. The work he’s doing now may help to devise therapies for populations susceptible to Pseudomonas and other pathogens.

Back in May, Yash was elected as Secretary. He’s making it a priority to work hard to keep the Council running smoothly – he sees his position as the central to keeping everyone together[YP2]  and informed. Yash has a specific interest in student life concerns such as dental insurance, Advance Transit schedules and strengthening the alumni network. He plans to work alongside of Ron Bucca, the Student Life Chair, to strive for these goals to be met.

“The presidential transition is an opportunity for us. Graduate studies can edge its way into a big role at Dartmouth during the turnover.” Yash’s role as secretary and his focus on keeping the council running efficiently will help the GSC to take advantage of the opportunity in front of it.

The Graduate Forum congratulates Yash, and all the council members, on their elections and wishes them the best of luck going forward with their initiatives.


Article by Zach Williams

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