Assistant Professor of Pharmacology & Chemical Sruti ShivaBiology, Vascular Medicine Institute

What is your favorite coffee drink? Vanilla Latte

Was there a particular person or event that influenced your career choice? I always had an interest in science but did not know what area of science or what profession I wanted to pursue. After college I spent a year working in a research lab and loved conducting experiments. It was exciting to have a hypothesis, think of how to test it and then see if it was correct. I enjoyed it so much that I decided to become a researcher.

What is a typical day like at your job? I usually start my day by checking in with the people in my lab and getting an update on how experiments are going and on any new results. I then spend most of the day in my office analyzing data, reading other scientist’s papers, designing new experiments, writing papers for publication or grants to apply for funding, and meeting with other scientists to talk about/plan collaborative projects. Throughout the day people from my lab usually stop by to get my opinion on experimental details or get help with experimental problems. On some days, I teach classes to the graduate students or to the medical students. Before I go home, I always check in on the people in the lab one more time.

Read more about her career! College ProfessorPharmacologistResearcher

Bio: Sruti is an Assistant Professor of Pharmacology & Chemical Biology at the Vascular Medicine Institute at the University of Pittsburgh. She received a  B.S. from the University of South Alabama and a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Pathology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  Sruti says that one of her favorite things about her job is designing experiments and talking about possible ideas with the postdoctoral fellows (scientists who recently received their PhDs) in her lab.

If you’d like to have a career like Sruti’s you need an understanding of basic biochemistry/physiology, the ability to work well with other people, creativity, enthusiasm, patience, and strong communication skills.  Sruti says that she has been surprised by how much of her career is driven by interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate.  While it is important to know and understand science, being able to communicate what you know to people in the lab as well as other scientists is a very important key to success.  Outside of work, Sruti likes to spend time with her two young children, hanging out with friends, enjoying the outdoors, and travelling.