Hovakim Grabski

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 An Interview with an ESCS travel fellowship winner Hovakim Grabski

In this interview, one of the organizers of #ESCS2020, Pradeep Eranti is talking with Hovakim Grabski, a Travel fellowship winner of the European Student Council Symposium (ESCS) 2018 symposium. Hovakim is currently an Early career researcher at the Russian-Armenian University, Armenia.

Hovakim Grabski

Pradeep Eranti: What are your research interests? What are you currently working on? 

Hovakim Grabski: As an Early career researcher at the Russian-Armenian University, I am currently working on my dissertation -- how to counteract antibiotic resistance of Pseudomonas aeruginosa by targeting the quorum sensing system using molecular modeling techniques. I obtained my specialist degree in Bioengineering, Bioinformatics, and Molecular Biology from Russian-Armenian University in 2015. My research interests include antibiotic resistance, quorum sensing and drug design.

PE: How did your scientific journey begin?

HG: I was a 2nd year bachelor student at the Russian-Armenian University that started my journey around molecular modeling thanks to my supervisors Prof. Hrachik Vardapetyan and Dr. Susanna Tiratsuyan.

PE: What impact do you hope to make through your work?

HG: Right now we are living in unusual and difficult times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The majority of deaths caused by COVID-19 are due to secondary infections, caused by pathogenic bacteria. I hope that my work can make a tiny difference and help people.

PE: What do you love most about being a researcher?

HG: Puzzle-solving, tinkering and learning new things.

PE: Was there something specific about ESCS that drew you to apply?

HG: It was an amazing opportunity where I could present my work and discuss with specialists participating in the conference. And the wonderful possibility to get valuable feedback, which was a very important part of ESCS. 

PE: What was your key takeaway from the symposium; and how did you plan to apply it to your work?

HG: ESCS gives the opportunity to get acquainted with different professionals. In my case, I met different well-known specialists, who are much more open to giving valuable feedback, criticism, and notes. So the meetings and discussions at ESCS helped me to understand the shortcomings of my works and improve scientific quality.

PE: What feedback or advice would you share with someone considering to participate in ESCS?

HG: Don’t hesitate to ask questions. The best way to learn is through questions. For non-native English speakers, try to be concise, so the peers can understand you.

PE: What did you like most about your participation in an ESCS event?

HG: Meeting people, learning new things, and thinking inside and outside the box.

Follow Hovakim on twitter at @h_grabski. Pradeep tweets as @pradeeperanti! For more content about the #ESCS2020 follow the official account @escs2020 and more Early Career Researchers’ lead activities of the ISCB student council at @iscbsc.