Renuka Elizabeth Joseph is a PhD candidate in Jason Rasgon’s lab at Penn State. She is currently researching a mosquito specific virus as a tool against arboviruses. Renuka is from India and did her bachelors in biotechnology there. She moved to the United States to pursue her masters at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health where she worked on a adeno-associated virus vectored immunoprophylaxis against Plasmodium falciparum in Dr. Gary Ketner’s Lab. When not in the lab, she likes to bake, garden and hang out with her dog, Georgina.

1 Are you an early bird or night owl?Night Owl
2 Are you pro- or anti-pun?Pro-pun
3 Do you have any pets?Georgina is a 1 year old lab-pitty mix
4 Do you have any science-themed home decor?But I was gifted a mosquito coffee cup which is my fav.
5 Do you prefer cooking or baking?Baking
6 Do you prefer sweet or savory?Both
7 Do you speak any other languages?Malayalam, Hindi and terrible french
8 If you could switch professions, what would you do?Astronaut
9 If you could switch science fields, what field would you want to work in?Marine biology
10 If you got a plane ticket right now, where would it go?Home to Kochi, India
11 If you had one superpower, what would it be?Teleportation
12 Is there anything you strongly recommend we watch and/or read and/or listen to?Many things but most recently I enjoyed the movie Denial.
13 It’s your day off. What do you want to do?Read a book on my patio with my dog by my side while eating tiramisu.
14 What are three things you can’t live without?My dog, my family and my friends
15 What beverage gives you life?A good Paloma
16 What book did you read in school that positively shaped you?The Harry Potter series
17 What did you want to be when you grew up?Formula 1 racer
18 What drives you and keeps you going?My curiosity
19 What got you excited in science?Wet lab work in undergrad
20 What excites you about science now?Discovering something unexpected
21 What is a guilty pleasure of yours?Korean Dramas
22 What is a secret talent of yours?I am decent singer
23 What is your favorite game?Any murder mystery/ treasure hunt game
24 What is the last book you read?The guest list
25 What is one of the best pieces of advice you’ve received?Boundaries are important
26 What is something you’ve always wanted to try but you’ve been too scared to do?Bungee jumping
27 What is the best advice for your 18 year old self?You deserve everything you achieve
28 What is the best way to de-stress?Karaoke
29 What is the last thing you watched?Primal fear
30 What is the weirdest thing you’ve had in your bag?My Indian driver’s license
31 What is your favorite animal?Elephants but also dogs
32 What is your favorite book?Too many to count but I do love Agatha Christie
33 What is your favorite comfort food?Maggie magic masala
34 What is your favorite day of the year?Christmas Eve
35 What is your favorite plant?Foxtail fern
36 What is your favorite science fact?Elephants can recognize old friends and hug by wrapping their trunks to together.
37 What is your favorite season?Fall
38 What is your favorite smell?Sage
39 What is your favorite sound?Waves
40 What is your favorite thing about yourself?I am kinder to myself today than I was yesterday.
41 What is your favorite word (in any language)?Not a word but I love the Indian nod which can mean yes or a no.
42 What is your proudest moment?Winning my first grant
43 What kind of tree would you be?Willow tree
44 What’s the best thing about where you live?The trails, how safe it is and sower’s harvest cafe
45 Tell us something we probably don’t know.Each state in India had its own language, distinct cuisine and culture. Traveling from one state to the next is like traveling to a different country.
46 Who would you like to see 46 Questions interview next?Rebecca Johnson-@entomosOswin, Damie Pak-@pakdamie and Sarah Van Tol- Sarah_vanTol