From AP Biology to Research in Cancer Cells and Genetics

Middlesex School
photo by Jay Welch '13

At Middlesex Anita and Nikita Kodali '13 share hobbies, lab space, jokes, sports, and birthdays. The twins also share an extraordinary talent and enthusiasm for math and science, disciplines that each sister has pursued deeply in their four years on campus. These shared passions certainly lead to frequent (and cherished) intersections between the sisters, but Anita and Nikita are also sharply defined individuals who allow their personal passions to direct them to a variety of different, exciting opportunities.

This past summer Anita and Nikita hugged goodbye as they set forth toward different internships that fused their love of math and science. Anita was granted an internship at the Dartmouth School of Medicine in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, where she worked on a study that measured the types of proteins in cancer cell lines.  Her demanding yet exhilarating research, coupled with the real world application of concepts she had just learned in AP Biology, yielded a summer experience that further affirmed Anita’s desire to one day become a doctor.

Nikita remained closer to Middlesex for her summer internship, working at MIT in the Lab for Computational Biology and Biophysics. She had made it a priority to find an interdisciplinary internship that satisfied her scientific curiosity, and MIT (perhaps not surprisingly) turned out to be a perfect fit. Nikita arrived to the lab everyday with the thrilling challenge of creating a computer program that could automatically track and collect data from drosophila embryos, an insect that is crucial in the study of genetics.

After such intellectually stimulating summers, one might imagine that Anita and Nikita would crave a much-deserved respite from bustling activities when they returned to Middlesex in the fall. But driven by their fervent desire to experience as many Middlesex opportunities as possible, the Kodalis stepped on the accelerator both in and out of the classroom.

In addition to a course load that includes several college-level classes, both Anita and Nikita are fully involved in a myriad of extra curricular activities. Stop by Eliot Hall after classes and you might find Nikita preparing for her next political debate as a member of the Model UN or cabinet officer of the Junior State of America. While Nikita refines her oration, head upstairs to the MX TV headquarters to find Anita as she plans, edits, and produces short Middlesex TV programs. Or you could wait until spring and catch the sisters holding serve on the varsity tennis team, of which they’ve both been members for the past four years.

Of course, Anita and Nikita could also be rehearsing Kuchipudi, a classical form of Indian dance. The Kodalis love sharing their Indian heritage almost as much as the school enjoys their beautiful performances. Ask either of the girls about the Indian language, Telegu, and they’d be happy to teach you some phrases. After all, whether it’s interdisciplinary or intercultural, Anita and Nikita are all about sharing.  

© 2011 Middlesex School