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Kavita Shah

Associate professor of chemistry - College of Science

Kavita Shah

What do you do at Purdue?

I am an associate professor of chemistry. Our research focuses on Alzheimer's disease and cancer. The goal is to uncover the underlying mechanisms and the molecular targets that lead to neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease and promotes malignancy in breast and ovarian tissues. I teach undergraduate and graduate-level biochemistry courses.

Which woman has inspired you most? Why?

My mother. Throughout my life, she has inspired me to set aggressive goals and work hard to achieve them. She is the person I rely on when I need advice on any subject, work related or otherwise.

What are your goals and experiences with mentoring or encouraging others?

Develop scientific aptitude, inculcate critical thinking, and train students for today's hyper-competitive job market (academia or industry). The aspect I focus on most is helping my students to develop critical thinking. I encourage them to always question their results -- not to accept them at face value -- and to try come up with alternative explanations for the observations. The other important skill that I aim to develop in students is good time management. It is tough skill to master given the numerous conflicting demands on one's time, but is absolutely essential for success in their future professional careers.