MTM Student Feature: Varun Govil, Class of 2021

No Shortcuts to Good Science

Tip. First stop. Aspirate. Release. Repeat. I sighed as I walked into my senior-year lab class, resigned to a few hours of pipetting. The head instructor began to walk around, stopping at my bench in the front of the classroom. He shook his head disapprovingly as he watched me try to prepare six reactions simultaneously, then forget to pipette the reagents up and down. He paused for a moment, only to say: “You know, there are no shortcuts to good science…” In that moment, a simple knockout screen on a common cell line hardly seemed like “good science”.

Varun’s conceptualization of “good science” has been shaped by his broad experiences in research as well as the emergence and response to the COVID-19 pandemic. More recently, as an MTM student, he’s learning the power of broad stakeholder engagement and cross-functional collaboration, and is using that knowledge to bring an innovative liquid biopsy platform to market.

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