Student Profiles: Tiffany Lam and Siddhartha Srivastava
Tiffany Lam and Siddhartha SrivastavaTiffany Lam and Siddhartha “Sidd” Srivastava came to UT Dallas from different places and with different goals, but the two now work in the same neuroscience lab and help each other achieve success.

Lam began her undergraduate studies at Texas A&M University. She majored in biomedical engineering knowing she would make her way to neuroscience at UT Dallas, where she is currently a junior interested in the biology behind things as well as the mechanisms that can make things go wrong.

Srivastava also is a junior, but he began his post-secondary education at the Texas Academy of Math and Science at the University of North Texas. He came to UT Dallas for the National Merit Scholars Program.

“I really like that UTD offers a study-abroad stipend and great research opportunities,” Srivastava said.

Lam and Srivastava both work in the lab of associate professor Dr. Ted Price, who studies pain. Through his work there, Srivastava has researched a protein that showed up in people who had a certain type of chronic pain and also participated in a study that showed transcripts with certain DNA sequences were affected by the protein. He searched every gene in the entire human genome for that sequence to see which genes were affected by the protein, and he is now working to verify evolutionary significance by simulating human genomes through statistical methods and seeing whether or not the sequences show up by chance.

“Pain research has the potential to benefit so many people,” Srivastava said. “It would be really neat if I could contribute to developing a therapeutic down the road or, at least, uncovering a new pain pathway.”

Lam is working on a web portal where she can organize and display data that computer scientists have aggregated and analyzed.

“I really want to contribute and make an impact on the frontier of neuroscience research, so making the technology available to the average person really allows us to move forward,” Lam said.

Srivastava said that Lam’s research is very useful.

“When I have to access large databases for my research, they can look like a different language to me and Tiffany helps me read and understand them without difficulty,” he said.

Even while taking other courses, the two lab assistants each spend up to 40 hours a week in the lab, mentored largely by postdoctoral student Dr. Pradipta Ray.

“We learn so much and are lucky to be a part of Dr. Price’s lab,” Lam said.

Both Lam and Srivastava are on track to earn their bachelor’s degrees from UT Dallas in 2017. Lam would then like to earn her PhD, and Srivastava is hoping to attend medical school.
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