Associate Professor Vijay K. Pandey from the Institute of Biopharmaceutical and Health Engineering (iBHE) has been teaching hybrid classes since 2020. Although he isn’t teaching any classes this semester, his research on cancer biology and its clinical applications in the Oncotherapeutics Lab continues.
Associate Prof. Pandey leads three sub-research groups, which are all hybrid. They are made up of 5 to 7 lab members: himself, one post-doctoral researcher, one senior student who has experience with publication, remote students, and students on campus who can perform experiments in-person in the lab. With students who don’t have access to labs, he spends time having research-related discussions and assigning readings of related literature and papers. In these hybrid and often cross-cultural research groups, every student stays involved in the research project, whether they are in the laboratory or supporting the team by researching scientific literature. They come together online daily to discuss their work.
For Associate Professor Pandey, not much changed when classes at SIGS went online in the beginning of the spring semester. Three of his student researchers were already located abroad due to travel restrictions, which led him to come up with this hybrid research group model to make sure all students are engaged and contributing to the research. Dr. Pandey shared that this hybrid format comes with the benefit of flexibility, but also the challenge of being accessible at any time, especially when some of his students are located abroad and in different time zones.
Over these last few years, especially working with students who have been learning remotely for a long time and who are pursuing very lab-oriented majors, he has encouraged his students to keep a positive attitude and to use the time away from the lab to engage more deeply in the research literature.
Seeing how Associate Professor Pandey’s research groups have thrived under a hybrid model shows how hybrid research teams have challenges but also benefits.
Written by Alena Shish
Edited by Yuan Yang
Photos by interviewee