Kashish Kumar (She/Her)

Student , Columbia University
  • People
  • United States of America

I am a/an:

Undergraduate Leadership & Research Scholar


Columbia University

Laidlaw Cohort Year


Research Topic

Biomedical Sciences

Area of Expertise

Biomedical Sciences Mathematics

I am from:

United States of America

I speak:

English Hindi

My hobbies/interests are:

Film & TV Hiking/walking Music Volleyball

I am open to participating in mentoring/buddy programmes


Influencer Of


Rooms participated in:

Columbia University

Recent Comments

Jul 01, 2023

I loved hearing about the details of your project! You covered how essential the iterative process of feedback and improvement shapes research and scientific communication as a whole. Your motivation in understanding and reprogramming immune functions in the body to our advantage in the case of brain tumors is inspiring! I also agree that the potential environmental underpinnings of biological processes are essential to factor into responsive interventions and treatments. I am looking forward to your final presentation!

Jun 23, 2023

1. I have found that reading through papers that detail the mathematical modeling methods that supplement my current work gives me essential insight into the specificity of my unique applications. Understanding cell state and composition (part of a sample or cluster) as having a significant role in my analyses has shifted my original extracted data to be more predictive of the outcomes I am measuring. For the regression modeling portion of my project, I had some issues with a tool for obtaining cluster-specific infection severity markers, but I have now amended that by further discriminating the input data. I now plan on constructing separate classifiers for the cell subtypes to get gene signatures that best distinguish among them marked by severity/composition. Then I am implementing a binary elastic-net model using the gene signatures for each cell type by considering a certain cell type as one class and all other cell types as another class given the severity feature. 

2. Github issues, Biostars, and the protocol information from related publications/tools have been invaluable for technical troubleshooting and scoping out where and how my results feed into current literature. Additionally, since my use case is often very different from the presented examples, I am prompted to experiment with novel methods detailed in community guides. 

Jun 16, 2023
Replying to Nina Kornfeld

My most immediate goal for my research is to write a methods paper on the best way to create and collect data for 3 dimensional models of flowers on the population level. I also hope to continue my research throughout the rest of the summer and the upcoming school year if I can, utilizing the methods I have explored during this program in order to analyze the evolution of these flowers. My end goal is to be able to construct models of what the common ancestors of the flower species that I scanned looked like, which I think  brings me to the second question that is asked. I find this project especially interesting because the idea that I can create models of species that no longer exist is something that I never would have thought as possible- it almost feels like time travel. But perhaps more broadly, my project is important because it can serve as an example as to how flowers, and more generally plants, can be studied in the future. Being able to collect enough models to study plants at the population level means that scientists can better explore the complex relationships and interactions between species, and therefore better understand and protect different ecosystems, a critical step in taking action to protect the natural world.

I enjoyed reading your discussion post about your research goals and interests. You have a very clear and ambitious plan for your project, and I admire your enthusiasm for creating and collecting data for 3D models of flowers. I also agree that your project is important for advancing the field of plant science and conservation!

Jun 16, 2023

1. My current goal is to compose a paper by the beginning of next semester so currently I keep track of all my progress through detailed notes. I am still working to further my primary research questions. What are the molecular mechanisms that underpin clinical evidence of more severe SARS-CoV-2  infection status when a patient has diabetes, and how may dysregulation as a result of SARS-CoV-2 infection instigate the development of diabetes? My aim is to complete a cluster elastic net regression model to identify gene signature predictive of SARS-CoV-2 infection status informed by cell composition and differentially expressed genes. Additionally, I am working on a comparative transcriptomic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 across stages and type 1 and type 2 diabetes. With a clear step-wise pathway I hope to be better equipped to tackle challenges. 

2. Patients with diabetes and COVID-19 are at a heightened risk of developing severe complications, such as acute respiratory distress syndrome, multi-organ failure, and death. This increased susceptibility may be attributed to the underlying inflammation associated with obesity, insulin resistance, and other comorbidities typically seen in patients. Patients with hyperglycemia exhibit elevated expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the cellular receptor for viral entry, which further facilitates viral infection. The pre-existing chronic inflammation, augmented inflammatory response, and increased viral load in diabetic patients contribute to a systemic immune response known as the "cytokine storm," which is strongly associated with the severity of COVID-19. Moreover, SARS-CoV-2 infection can also induce dysregulation of metabolic factors and trigger the onset of diabetes. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the bidirectional relationship between SARS-CoV-2 infection and diabetes are not fully understood. 

Jun 02, 2023
Replying to Rojeh Dayan

1. The fact that students are focusing on such a diverse range of projects allows me to see my project from perspectives other than my own. Since my project is much more focused in the humanities, seeing other students conduct STEM research, for example, allows me to see my project in a different light, while also considering how our projects compare and contrast. There are many differences, but also many similarities in these varying types of research. For example, the ethics session with Dr. Klitzman is essential for any type of research.

2. The lessons we learned from the sessions with the librarians have really remained front and center. In particular, working with my personal librarian to delve deeper into CLIO and databases has been immensely useful. Additionally, learning how to use Zotero was great since it allows me to keep track of my sources, letting me stay organized and on top of changes.

I particularly agree with your mention of the ethics session with Dr. Klitzman. Regardless of our specific research areas, ethical considerations are crucial in any type of research. Understanding the ethical implications of our work and incorporating ethical frameworks into our projects is essential for maintaining integrity and ensuring the well-being of participants or subjects. Dr. Klitzman's session provided valuable guidance and emphasized the importance of ethical awareness and decision-making, which is applicable across disciplines. The lessons from the librarian sessions have not only equipped us with practical research tools but have also emphasized the importance of information literacy. In an era of information overload, it is crucial to critically evaluate sources, discern reliable information from misinformation, and understand how to effectively use scholarly resources. These skills will undoubtedly benefit us not only in our current research projects but throughout our academic and professional careers.

Jun 02, 2023

1.  Interacting with students from different disciplines has exposed me to a variety of perspectives, methodologies, and approaches to problem-solving in a research setting. This exposure has helped me think beyond the boundaries of my own area of research. It has encouraged me to consider alternative viewpoints and innovative solutions I might not have explored otherwise. The exposure to different research areas has encouraged me to delve deeper into topics outside of what I have previously been exposed to. This past week has been invaluable in shaping my academic interests and inspiring me to pursue interdisciplinary research further.

2. Strong communication with mentors and informed collection of data are key takeaways from last week that have guided my involvement so far. I have found that the universities computing and database resources are especially helpful to my area of translational study. Also, connecting with my mentor to discuss different methodologies under the same goal or research question has broadened my understanding of the field. 

May 24, 2023
Replying to Cady Chen

1. I hope to develop my voice as a more confident leader. Moreover, I hope to learn how to connect with people who have different perspectives from me and to cultivate a team environment that empowers everyone to share their unique experiences and ideas. 

2. My first step is meeting with my mentor to identify my research priorities and design an experimental/analysis schedule, as well as immersing myself in background reading on my research topic! As I get started on my research project, I anticipate having to adapt and shift my research questions as I learn from my mentor what technologies and softwares are available/feasible for me to use in the next six weeks. 

Hello Cady! I think seeking diverse perspectives is a great way to grow as a leader and better understand ways to reach out collective goals. I would love to continue being in an inclusive and open environment in the future so I really agree with this aspect of leadership! I also will need to get aquatinted with unfamiliar technologies and/or methodology in my analyses pipelines and being open to a new way of learning and processing.

May 22, 2023

1. I would love to learn about how I can use my strengths in communication to create a positive, collaborative environment in a leadership setting.

2. I anticipate that my primary challenges will be more technical (statistical techniques) and learning and applying pathways I am unfamiliar with.