Mr Mutum Yaikhomba (2017)
I come from the outskirts of Imphal in Manipur, located in the foothills of the eastern Himalayas. Though serene, it has been a zone of armed conflict for the past 60 years. To escape this, my mother sent me to South India to study and explore the other side of the world. Thus, a constant nostalgia, as well as something to do for my home state, lingers intermittently in my thoughts. I then joined IISER Pune after my high school. Alongside exploring world-class science through conferences, seminars and the labs here, I could meet many outstanding scientists around the globe. Most importantly, I value the freedom and environment IISER Pune has given me - to imagine, think, question, learn and discuss - a relief from my school times. Here, I have worked on the biology of a chemoreceptor regulating bacterial motility. I will be soon moving to Cambridge to understand the mechanism of active proton transport in Complex I, an enzyme involved in making energy rich ATP molecules. Its dysfunction causes neuromuscular diseases like the Leigh’s syndrome. Alongside making fundamental discoveries in science and discussing it, I am keen on meeting the Gates Cambridge community to discuss how peace and sustainable development, considering all species around, can be initiated in an economically weak region, without compromising the values, culture and livelihood of the local people. I’m also very excited to explore arts and humanities with the GC club, for which I couldn’t get a chance so far.