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Undergraduate Student Spotlight: Roshan Rana

Roshan Rana, who has been interested in science since childhood, discovered that chemistry was his true passion.

Chemistry student wearing his lab gear working in the lab
Roshan Rana is a research assistant with the Smirnova lab, where they are doing research using an electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) instrument.

Why did you choose chemistry? 

As a child, my fascination with science was ignited during a museum visit where I eagerly volunteered for a scientific experiment, donning a lab coat and encountering unfamiliar equipment. By the end of high school, I realized that chemistry was my passion, as I was inspired by my teacher, Ms. Matthews. I was pleasantly surprised at how well chemistry resonated with me, sparking a desire to dive deeper. I was curious to learn about the behavior of water, drug synthesis, and the practical uses of chemistry in everyday life. 

What are you involved in outside of chemistry?

Outside of class, I am a research assistant with the Smirnova lab, where we are doing research using an electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) instrument. We are currently studying radical-based probes as a method of characterizing local environments. Through this role, I have been able to present my work at various events, such as NC State’s Research and Creativity Symposium, Chemistry Department Poster Sessions, and the SERMACS conference. I also had the opportunity to work as a manufacturing intern at Biomérieux. Through mentorship with my boss, I learned about the medical devices industry, the relevance of LEAN Six Sigma, and the importance of cGMP regulations. Of course, I love more than just chemistry – I also love going to the local car shows and art museums.

How do these activities complement your future plans in chemistry?

My experiences throughout my college career have provided me with a comprehensive set of skills for my future R&D endeavors in the pharmaceutical industry. Through research, I gained the ability to design experiments and share my knowledge with the community, while my manufacturing experience has taught me the significance of continuous improvement and regulations.

What advice would you give today’s young scientists?

Keep asking questions! Continuously seeking knowledge and nurturing curiosity is essential. Building the foundation for learning, you will be able to use that skill to tackle any problem that comes your way.

I would also advise you to keep an open mind and explore all that the world has to offer. In my case, I thought that chemistry was the end goal of my education; however, I quickly realized the interdisciplinary interaction between biology and statistics. This led me to make the decision to obtain minors in both fields in order to fill in the gaps in my knowledge.

Fill in the blank:

When I am not in Dabney, I am in Talley Student Union

There are always so many events happening in and around Talley and Stafford Commons. The most notable ones are FDOC celebrations, Career Fairs, and Wolfstock. I also love coming here to work and to get some howling ice cream from the Talley Market. 

My favorite place to eat is Bulkogi

This food truck is a must to try. It often comes to Centennial campus and offers some of the best Korean BBQ and fusion cuisine. I would definitely recommend their Korean BBQ Burrito Bowl with a side of spicy mayo.

In my lifetime, scientists will discover …

In my lifetime, I anticipate that scientists will make groundbreaking discoveries in the application of artificial intelligence (AI) within the field of chemistry. AI has already revolutionized various industries, from autonomous driving to medical diagnostics, and it’s likely to impact chemistry as well significantly. With AI, there’s tremendous potential to automate chemical experiments, optimize drug synthesis processes, and even discover novel compounds. Integrating AI into chemistry research holds the promise of accelerating innovation, streamlining processes, and ultimately advancing our understanding of chemical reactions and materials.

In one word, my experience at NC State has been tenacious

As a chemistry major, my journey at NC State has been filled with ups and downs. The challenges of transitioning from virtual to in-person classes amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic affected my freshman year and posed difficulties to all professors and students. However, through sheer tenacity, I persevered. Maintaining a positive attitude and embracing the lessons learned from setbacks, I forged ahead.

The key lesson: Keep pushing forward, and success will inevitably follow.