Student spotlight: Namita Bhyravbhatla

Namita Bhyravbhatla

We continue highlighting some of our outstanding graduate students. Meet Namita Bhyravbhatla!

Name: Namita Bhyravbhatla

Hometown: Westborough, Massachusetts

Graduate studies program: PhD candidate, IGPBS, biochemistry and molecular biology

Anticipated graduation date: December 2025

Advisor: Surinder Batra, PhD

What do you love about your field of study? I’ve always been intrigued by the complexity of cancer and the ingenuity of its development. Cancer has a way of thriving in the most adverse circumstances, and it does it using the simplest of mechanisms; it is equally infuriating and fascinating to me. My personal curiosities aside, the story of cancer is a story of perseverance, dedication, resilience, brilliance, and above all, comradery. I’ve seen it within my own family and people I love dearly. Despite our differences, we all find it within ourselves to stand united in our fight against cancer, and I think there is so much beauty in that.

What do you want to do after you graduate? I am passionate about fundamental research, and it’s something that I want to center my career around. The opportunities in the research space are endless, and while I plan on exploring every option, I know my interest in pancreatic cancer research will remain constant.

What have you learned at UNMC that will stick with you for the rest of your life? “Don’t miss the forest for the trees.” Like many others, when I came to graduate school, I came with a larger goal to progress science for the betterment of humanity. However, along the way, sometimes that “larger goal” got lost in the noise of my niche research and day-to-day problems. I have learned that, by reminding myself of the “big picture” goal every day, I am able solve problems and handle stress a lot more effectively and efficiently than before. It’s a very simple practice, but it makes all the difference. Another interesting lesson I have learned: Embracing the ups and the downs of grad school, and allowing yourself to reflect on them, automatically allows you to imbibe the lessons that these experiences hold. And there is nothing more valuable because those experiences which are so uniquely your own.

What is on your bucket list? Taking my family on a wicked nice vacation (all expenses-paid of course) and owning/driving a motorcycle (without hurting anyone, or myself).