Adedeji Aderounmu, Bass Lab (Biochemistry)
Tell me a little about yourself. Where are you from, what degree(s) do you have? What are your interests?
I’m from Oyo State in Nigeria. I have an undergraduate degree in Pharmacy from the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. I am interested in the basic science of infectious diseases.
Why did you choose the U for graduate school?
It is more accurate to say the U chose me. That said, the chance to attend the Sundance Film Festival was a major factor in choosing Utah.
Tell me about your lab. What do you study?
I am a student in the Bass Lab in Biochemistry. We study the mechanism and role of RNA interference in innate immunity primarily in invertebrates. We also try to understand how RNA interference as a mechanism of antiviral defense has evolved in vertebrates.
Why did you choose to join your lab?
Growing up in a tropical country where infectious diseases are rampant, I have always had an affinity for studying infections. Discussing the lab’s research with Brenda Bass, my PI, made it an easy decision to study the role of RNA interference in antiviral defense in mammals.
What do you like most about living in Salt Lake City?
Salt Lake is a city that feels like a town. I love that it has everything I could want out of a city without the congestion that is common in so many big cities.
What do you like the least?
The low humidity and lack of demographic diversity.
What do you like most about being a graduate student?
I love the flexibility of my work hours and the independence I have to pursue questions that are of interest to me. This makes it easy to stay excited and motivated about my project. I also like the opportunity for continuous learning as we are exposed to new techniques to answer our scientific questions.
What types of things do you do outside of class and lab?
Reading, seeing movies, going to concerts, watching sports and working out at the gym.
What does a typical weekday look like for you?
In pre-pandemic times, a typical weekday consists of spending most of the day in lab and reading at home afterwards or going out to see a movie or a concert. During the school year, I would also attend classes and seminars.
What does a typical weekend look like for you?
My weekends are my weekdays without classes or seminars to attend. Will typically go to lab for a few hours and run errands afterwards.
What advice would you give to someone applying and interviewing for graduate school?
Going to graduate school should excite you and not be a chore or just the natural next step to get into the job market. Loving what you do is a truism for a reason. It makes it easier to get through inevitable rough patches while applying and attending graduate school. Do all you possibly can to chase your dream.