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Graduate Student Highlight: Dharani Abeysinghe

24 August 2021

Each week, the Department of Chemistry highlights a graduate student who is doing interesting and exciting work within the department. In this installment of our highlight series, we are featuring Dharani Abeysinghe, who is a second-year student in the Keating group.

Dharani’s research focuses on pre-organizing reaction micro-environments using multiphase aqueous emulsions. She is currently working on constructing a lipid-free “ProteoCell,” with a self-assembling protein physical boundary, by using polymer based all-aqueous emulsions.
This week, we met virtually with  Dharani to discuss her life in and outside of the lab! Please enjoy our interview with Dharani Abeysinghe.
Question: How did you get interested in chemistry?

Answer: I realized my love and passion for chemistry during senior secondary school. I really enjoyed solving problems and gaining understanding of how the world works. That’s when I decided to study chemistry in college.
Q: What inspires you as a scientist?

A: Science is fascinating! Even when you make just a small discovery, it’s incredibly satisfying. It means you are the first person to know something new about that specific area, and that’s infectious. It just makes you want to keep going. Also, I’m inspired by the vivid spectrum of individuals that I get to interact with in the scientific community.
Q: Where did you grow up?

A: I’m originally from Colombo, Sri Lanka. It is a busy and vibrant city located on the west coast of the island.
Q: Do you have any hobbies?

A: I love traveling! So, when time permits, I try to explore new places. I also really enjoy crafting.
Q: What’s your favorite way to spend a day off?

A: It depends! A restful day off would probably be relaxing with a good movie and a nice meal. If I’m not tired, I would enjoy going for a walk with my friends.
Q: What’s your dream vacation? 

A: My dream vacation would be to travel through Europe and explore all the beautiful cities. Paris is at the top of my list. I would love to experience their distinctive food, culture, history, architecture and so much more.
Q: If you could have dinner with anybody (living or dead), who would it be and why?

A: I would honestly choose to have dinner with my family because it’s been a while since that’s happened.
Thanks to Dharani for these interesting and thoughtful answers! We hope you enjoyed this interview. Stay tuned for more graduate student highlights in the weeks to come!