Statement of purpose I wrote while applying for MSc in Neuroscince in the University of Oxdord

Ever since the beginning of college, I have been highly intrigued by the complexity of the nervous system; how simple cellular components organize themselves to create the highly complex organization. Although, any life form is capable of processing information using energy, the nervous system is the most efficient biological entity that exhibits the highest efficacy of information processing. All of the capabilities of the nervous system (e.g. taking conscious decisions) are the consequence of its complexity. I want to study how nervous system demonstrates those extraordinary capabilities through the work of neural circuits, neural networks, and various cellular events. I also want to learn about the genetics and molecular biology behind those events.

I have always wanted to pursue the higher education in neuroscience. I could not do so because of the unavailability of any such graduate program in my country. There is a National Institute of Neuroscience but it is conducting research with limited scope. Although I am currently enrolled in a one year master’s program in Biotechnology, the degree is not sufficient to equip me with the knowledge to join a research profession. Therefore, I want to study in a renowned institute in the United Kingdom where I can use the state-of-the-art facility to advance towards my career goal. After I have acquired an MSc degree, I plan to go for a PhD in neuroscience and then join academic teaching and research career in my country.

During the undergraduate study I took courses belonging to Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science, Biostatistics and Bioinformatics. At first I learned about the nervous system in detail through the human physiology course. It intrigued me so much that I started watching online video lectures from renowned universities about the brain, neural network, neural circuits, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. However, my university does not offer any course dedicated to neuroscience. I trained myself by attending various seminars arranged by the National Institute of Neuroscience where my interest grew into a passion. Through various posters and oral presentations, I have explored those areas of neuroscience that interest me most, ranging from mechanism of the dream and the effect of music on nerve development to the application of neural networks.

The research experiences I have acquired during the last two years helped me grow the expertise required for graduate school. I observed the pattern of multi drug resistance in diabetic patients who were infected with urinary tract infection (UTI) and were not treatable with any available drug, under the supervision of Professor Mohammed Nazmul Ahsan. I conducted a research on bacteriocin production during the summer of 2013 under Dr. Mohammad Shahnoor Hossain. During the summer of the current year, I worked as a research assistant in his lab and exploited various techniques of computational biology to predict drug and vaccine targets. We have also used receptor-ligand interaction for the study of disease mechanism through structural analysis of proteins. This experience was particularly helpful in teaching me graduate level mathematics required for biology; such as, linear algebra, calculus, algorithms and so on. Currently I am trying to develop new drug to treat multi drug resistant UTI. The quantitative and experimental skills I have gathered during these years are relevant to any biology lab.

My motto of life does not end in finding a career that only enriches me. Rather, I aspire to affect the quality of life of a large number of people. Spawning from this vision, I have been always happy to contribute to any social and cultural organization. The leadership and public relation experiences achieved through those activities have taught me how to collaborate in a group to drive people towards the expected goals.

Based on the background and skills, I consider myself a perfect fit for the neuroscience MSc program of the University of Oxford. This program has drawn my attention because of its diverse coverage of research areas and the publications by the faculties in reputed journals. Here, I am mentioning the name of some supervisors with whom I wish to conduct research. I am interested to work with Professor Timothy Behrens working in computational neuroscience, Professor Nigel Emptage working in development and mechanism of synaptic signaling, Professor Stephen Goodwin working in evolution of neural circuitry responsible for sexual behavior, Professor Kristine Krug working in neural basis of visual perception and decision-making, Klaus Ebmeier working in neuroscience of aging, Sonia Bishop working in cognitive neuroscience, Michael Kohl working in synaptic mechanism, and Dr Liliana Minichiello working in cellular and molecular neuroscience. However, I would like to work in any laboratory on systems, molecular and cellular neuroscience.

The University of Oxford has a heritage to produce a fair number of academicians who are the leaders of the community. As my goal is to follow their path by building a career in my country, it will be a great opportunity for me to obtain a master’s degree from this well-known university.
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