Sanjay Rangavajjhala

Sanjay is a rising senior at Mission San Jose High School in Fremont, California. Over the course of his internship, he worked with Dr. Gustavo Glusman in the Hood-Price Lab. Outside of school, Sanjay is passionate about debate and public speaking, and is the president of his school’s Model United Nations. Additionally, Sanjay is the varsity captain for his school’s soccer and water polo teams, and is an active Boy Scout — he recently achieved the rank of Eagle Scout and takes pride in the lessons he learned from these activities. 

Sanjay has always been interested in biology, and in school, he has taken various classes to better understand what aspects of Biology he would be interested in pursuing further. Growing up in Silicon Valley, the significance of technology and its growing influence in nearly every facet of the job market was made clear from a very young age. This influenced Sanjay to seek a more interdisciplinary experience in an internship and ultimately drew him to the Institute for Systems Biology. His experience working with genomic analysis helped him realize that the current method of reductionism utilized by most of Western medicine is focused on treating only the symptoms of an illness instead of its underlying cause. Rather, by taking a systems view of the entire situation and finding links between different areas of the body, we can be more effective in preventative medicine and in solving for the root of illnesses. Work with genomics, especially with the massive amounts of data we have been able to gather by sequencing, could be used to identify predictive factors in one’s health, and he thinks that integrating a systems approach into the mainstream view of healthcare could save millions of dollars and lives.