The spring semester hasn’t even wrapped yet, and Diptadip Dattaroy has already won four national awards during the early part of 2017. A doctoral candidate in the Arnold School of Public Health’s Department of Environmental Health Sciences (ENHS) at the University of South Carolina, Mr. Dattaroy is on track to graduate with a PhD in just 3.5 years. But the Arnold Fellow isn’t simply checking all of the boxes to get to graduation; he’s making the most of his time at the University of South Carolina.
Originally from Kolkata, India, Mr. Dattaroy earned bachelor’s (microbiology) and master’s (biophysics and molecular biology) degrees and gained experience as a research biologist at a pharmaceutical company before shifting his career goals to earning a PhD in environmental health sciences.
“I have always been very much interested in doing my research on environmental pollutants and their disease-specific mechanisms on public health,” says Mr. Dattaroy. “I found that the Department of Environmental Health Sciences is dedicated to this niche of research. Plus, South Carolina has a high research standard and a very friendly environment for international students.”
A graduate research assistant in Associate Professor Saurabh Chatterjee’s Environmental Health and Disease Laboratory (Chatterjee Lab), which specializes in how environmental toxins contribute to liver disease, metabolic syndrome, and obesity, Mr. Dattaroy has contributed to an array of collaborative projects. “I am glad to have Dr. Chatterjee as my mentor,” says Mr. Dattaroy. “He has always been very supportive and motivated me to do better research. He always encourages us to think outside the box.”
Mr. Dattaroy’s own line of research focuses on deciphering the molecular mechanisms through which environmental toxins and built environment drive liver injury in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. Using this information, he is trying to develop targeted therapeutic strategies using novel plant-derived compounds. The Breakthrough Scholar’s dedication to these areas of research has already resulted in nine peer-reviewed publications (three of them as first author with two more in preparation) and numerous scientific presentations.
As a reflection of his impact on the field, Mr. Dattaroy received the Ronald G. Thurman Student Travel Award from the Mechanisms Specialty Section of the Society of Toxicology (SOT), the Dr. Harihara Mehendale Graduate Student Best Abstract Award from SOT, the Graduate Student Travel Support Award from SOT, and the Trainee Poster Award from the American Association of Immunologists.