Jumana Badar, MS ’18

Genetics, Genomics and Bioinformatics

Research Specialty Blooms in Dr. Surtees’ Lab

When Jumana Badar arrived at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, she wasn’t sure what type of research she wanted to specialize in.

The master’s program in genetics, genomics and bioinformatics (GGB) turned out to be a good fit.

“The GGB program offers many different research areas,” says Badar, a 2018 graduate of the program. “It’s great for someone who is looking to explore and figure out what they want to study during their time at UB and later on.”

While at the Jacobs School, she studied under Jennifer A. Surtees, PhD, associate professor of biochemistry and co-director of the Community of Excellence in Genome, Environment and Microbiome (GEM).

“My love for genomic stability and DNA damage was born in Dr. Surtees’ lab,” Badar says. “Working alongside her and other talented graduate students enabled me to find my niche and dig deeper into the research topic.”

It wasn’t just her research that blossomed.

“Dr. Surtees’ excellent work with GEM got me interested in science communication,” Badar says. “I continue to participate in various outreach events and communicate my science to the common man.”

School, City Make a Positive Impact

Her research efforts transitioned seamlessly from the Jacobs School to Cornell University, where she is pursuing a doctoral degree in biochemistry and molecular biology.

“My master’s research revolved around studying cancer-related mutations and their consequences on the cell,” Badar says. “My current research focuses on how cancer cells respond to DNA damage on a molecular level.”

Badar came to UB from her hometown of Mumbai, India, and quickly took a liking to the school and the city.

“UB was my first home in the U.S. and now I compare everything to my life in UB and Buffalo. I learned a lot about the American way of life and was able to appreciate the differences between Indian and American cultures,” Badar says. “UB gave me the opportunity to meet interesting people and make friends from different backgrounds.”

“Even though I was at UB for only a couple of years, the school contributed significantly to my growth as a person and a scientist,” Badar adds. “I would absolutely recommend UB to others. It can serve as an amazing starting point for their careers and social networks.”