Health Sciences Global Student Spotlight: Nishtha Desai

Aug. 11, 2021


University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson and Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham University dual-degree student Nishtha Desai always knew she wanted to explore the sciences of biotechnology from different perspectives. To that end, she spent the last year in the inaugural class of the new dual-degree program at the UArizona microcampus location in Amritapuri, India, where she concurrently earned master’s degrees in cellular and molecular medicine from UArizona and biotechnology from Amrita. 

Building on the knowledge and experience she gained from participating in this program, Nishtha plans on coming to the United States to pursue a PhD in regenerative medicine and stem cell biology. Her long-term dream is to find a career in research.  

We recently sat down with Nishtha to discuss her experience in the innovative new dual-degree program. 

“I felt like I was learning things larger than life.” 

- Nishtha Desai, UArizona/Amrita Dual-Degree Student 

What made you interested in pursuing the dual degree? 

I really have a burning desire to indulge myself in cutting edge-research, particularly in stem cell biology and genetic engineering. And the science of regeneration has always fascinated me, particularly when it comes to such times when the world is facing many diseases. 

Courses like Histology and Genetic Medicine really caught my eye when I was looking into the UArizona program. Those courses are really interesting to me, and I knew they were going to help me reach my goals and push me to achieve my potential. I never would have had this amazing experience without the dual degree program. 

What did you enjoy most about your experience with UArizona? 

It was the friendliness of the professors. If you wanted to ask questions, they were always ready. They were always around despite the time difference. In fact, we never felt the time difference. So, talking to professors and learning from them — those were really things I enjoyed. 

What was your favorite UArizona course? 

I particularly enjoyed learning histology with Helen Amerongen, PhD. She taught the course amazingly well. It was only a three-week course, but it was so good it was mindboggling! I felt like I was learning things larger than life. It was really interesting. She taught the course beautifully. 

What impact has this program had on your life? 

The courses always merged the clinical applications, the real-life applications, with the science, so that really helped us think about the knowledge that was given to us and how we could apply that science in medicine to help society and increase health. That has really helped and had a big impact on me. 

Overall, the program opened my eyes. We were encouraged to think outside of the box, and the courses I took allowed me to reach my potential. I am very grateful for my experience. 


The UArizona Health Sciences Global and Online and College of Medicine – Tucson’s partnership and innovative dual-degree program with Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham University enables students to complete a U.S.-accredited degree completely in Amritapuri or Kochi, India.  Learn More  

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