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Booming in Bioscience:

Coffee with Kanak Raina

Order: Iced Latte
Location: Koffee
Hometown: India
Current Town: New Haven
Career: Principal Scientist at Halda Therapeutics

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CT for Kanak

Q1: Why did you choose to live and work in Connecticut?

I had no preconceived notions about Connecticut before moving here. I had completed my undergraduate degree in chemistry in India and my goal was to become a biologist. I came to the U.S. for the graduate program at Yale. Even back in India I knew how incredible it would be to attend Yale. I lived in New York City for a year, but ultimately decided that New Haven was more my scene.

Q2: What’s your favorite thing about life in Connecticut?

New Haven has access to everything a city has to offer, while still being close to more suburban areas. The city has so many great places to eat and drink – even more than you’d expect. There’s a wine bar right near my apartment, and I could go on forever about New Haven pizza. I also love that I’m a short drive from hiking in Connecticut’s state parks, especially in the fall. The state also has a pretty great wine trail, and I love spending a summer afternoon just lounging at a vineyard – it’s beautiful.

Q3: Has Connecticut provided any benefit to your career path?

New Haven has a thriving bioscience industry. Yale provides amazing opportunities for continued learning through events and lectures. I get to be part of a growing bioscience scene paired with a lower cost of living than in larger cities. I see myself as part of the New Haven bioscience scene for a long time to come.

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The state also has a pretty great wine trail, and I love spending a summer afternoon just lounging at a vineyard – it’s beautiful.

Q4: Who is someone you admire in your field?

I admire Craig Crews, the world-renowned bioscientist who created Halda Therapeutics, where I currently work. I am a strong believer in his ideas – which is why I’ve worked for more than one of his companies. I had been interested in Craig’s lab since I started applying for grad programs and I feel so lucky to be a part of his work.

Q5: What would you tell someone your age who’s considering moving here?

I think Connecticut is a beautiful place to live and work, and if you’re looking to start a family one day, it’s a no-brainer. We have lively cities with lots of things to do, but also great suburban areas. You get to have it all.

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