Graduate student profile: Rahul Kumar

April 2, 2019

Name: Rahul Kumar
Hometown: Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, India
Degree pursuing: PhD in Veterinary Pathology and Pathobiology (in the Veterinary Medicine Graduate Program)
Advisor: Sagar M. Goyal, PhD
Thesis: Molecular characterization, diagnosis, pathogenesis and control of chicken and turkey arthritis reoviruses

Why are you passionate about the research you are doing?
Being a veterinary pathologist by training, I am eager to gain an insight into disease processes, as well as developing effective methods of disease diagnosis and their control. My current research project addresses poultry industry challenges based on the problems presented by chicken and turkey arthritis reoviruses in the United States. I am passionate about poultry diseases because we need to understand, diagnose, and control diseases of public health importance and then to communicate these findings to the producers in terms that they will understand and can use in their production systems. The results of my research will help address the interests of poultry industry in not only disease diagnosis and control but also in reducing animal welfare concerns due to reovirus-related lameness in poultry. Ultimately, the results of my research will benefit the poultry food production systems in the United States and beyond.

What are your aspirations after you defend your thesis? 
I wish to continue my career at the interface of clinics, food industry, and research. I strongly believe in translational research, which supports the idea of appropriate decisions and policy making to facilitate animal and human health by supporting the food production system. During my graduate studies, I will hone my leadership qualities, understand the policy making process better, and help provide safe, sustainable, and secure food supply to society. I will also implement my skills into the academia-research-industry framework and instill these skills in future veterinarians.

Why did you choose the UMN CVM?
I was drawn to the Veterinary Medicine Graduate Program of the University of Minnesota because I have always believed in the One Health concept for human and animal health. The UMN is a leading public university in the United States, involved in the finest research in animal health and the UMN CVM is a front runner in making the foundation of One Health strong. The research and funding opportunities from the government agencies and private organisations provide a lot of support to aspiring researchers like me. 

This feature is a part of a series for Graduate and Professional Student Appreciation Week (April 1-7), a national event that seeks to emphasize the contributions, impact, and value of graduate and professional students on campuses throughout the United States.