Interview part 2- Cellular connections: Where biology meets mechanosensing

Dr. Avinanda Banerjee’s interview with Bio Patrika hosting “Vigyaan Patrika”, a series of author interviews. Dr. Banerjee is presently working as research fellow in Skin Research Institute of Singapore, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore under Dr. Srikala Raghavan. Her present role involves working on testing novel biomaterials for skin grafts in burn patients. Before moving to Singapore, she obtained her first postdoctoral training in Dr. Srikala Raghavan’s lab at Institute for Stem Cell Science and Regenerative Medicine (inStem), Bangalore, India from 2016 to 2020. Where she worked on the role of vinculin in maintaining stem cell quiescence. She obtained her PhD degree from Calcutta University in the year 2016 under supervision of Dr.Kaushik Sengupta from Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics (SINP), Kolkata, India. Her doctoral works identified effects of Lamin A mutations in nuclear morphology, function in Dilated Cardiomyopathy. She obtained her master’s degree in Biotechnology from Bangalore University, India and her bachelor’s degree in Microbiology from Calcutta University. Her research interest revolves around different accepts of mechanobiology of cell and tissue. Here, Avinanda talks about her joint first author paper titled “Mechanical instability of adherens junctions overrides intrinsic quiescence of hair follicle stem cells” published in Dev Cell.

Interview part 1- Mechanical instability of cell junctions regulates fate of hair follicle stem cells

Ritusree Biswas’s interview with Bio Patrika hosting “Vigyaan Patrika”, a series of author interviews. Ritusree is a PhD student in the lab of Dr. Srikala Raghavan at inStem, Bengaluru. She completed her Master’s degree in Applied Microbiology from Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore, during which she undertook master’s project training for 6 months in Dr. Yashoda Ghanekar’s lab at inStem, and was inspired by the work culture there. Ritusree joined Dr. Srikala Raghavan’s lab as a Junior research fellow in 2015. Her research focuses on the mechanistic role of factors that regulates mammalian(mouse) skin stem cells. Ritusree seeks to explore other stem cell models in the field of mechanotransduction. Apart from research, she is a trained Kathak dancer and is passionate about dancing, artwork, gardening and loves playing badminton. Here, Ritusree talks about her joint first author paper titled ” Mechanical instability of adherens junctions overrides intrinsic quiescence of hair follicle stem cells” published in Dev Cell.

Zinc interaction with membrane modulate SOD1 aggregation in ALS 

Dr. Achinta Sannigrahi’s interview with Bio Patrika hosting “Vigyaan Patrika”, a series of author interviews. Dr. Sannigrahi is currently working as a postdoctoral research associate in the chemical engineering department of the Indian Institute of Science. He did his PhD in structural biology and bioinformatics division of CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical biology under the supervision of Prof. Krishnananda Chattopadhyay (2014-2020). His PhD research work was based on protein-membrane interactions towards the understanding of molecular mechanisms of different pathogenic and neurodegenerative diseases. Achinta obtained his B.Sc. Degree in chemistry from Burdwan University (2009-2012). After that, he did his M.Sc. in the department of chemistry in IIT Guwahati (2012-2014). He qualified CSIR-UGC national eligibility test (Dec 2013) and GATE (2014) in chemical sciences. During his PhD work, Achinta received the prestigious Biophysical society travel award (2019) and an ICMR travel grant to attend the 63rd biophysical society meeting held in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. After PhD, Achinta received SERB-national postdoctoral fellowship for his postdoctoral work in IISC. Here, Achinta talks about a portion of his PhD work which is recently published in eLife (2021).

From Chaos to Order

Mr. Subhankar Kundu’s interview with Bio Patrika hosting “Vigyan Patrika”, a series of author interviews. Subhankar is from Gangarampur, West Bengal. He completed his B.Sc. in Chemistry from Scottish Church College, Kolkata (University of Calcutta, 2014). In 2016, he won a gold medal in his Master’s degree from the National Institute of Technology (NIT) in Rourkela. After which, he joined the Ph.D. program in the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Bhopal, under the guidance of Dr. Abhijit Patra. His research work revolves around the development of functional fluorescent materials for intracellular sensing and imaging and exploration of complex molecular self-assembly processes at various length scales. Here, Subhankar talks about his work “Deciphering the evolution of supramolecular nanofibers in solution and solid-state: a combined microscopic and spectroscopic approach” published in Chemical Science.

How bacteria efficiently pack their bags?

Dr. Amitesh Anand’s interview with Bio Patrika hosting “Vigyaan Patrika”, a series of author interviews. Dr. Anand, a chemistry graduate, earned his doctorate in Chemical Biology from CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), India. He is currently working on microbial systems and evolutionary biology with Prof. Bernhard Palsson at the University of California San Diego, USA. His research work has made significant contributions towards the understanding of bacterial adaptive features and their stress response pathways. He remains passionate about the microbial lifestyle and continues to explore pathogenic as well as applicative aspects of bacterial systems as a Postdoctoral employee. He is setting up his research group at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, India starting June 2021. Here, Dr. Anand talks about ‘how bacteria efficiently pack their bags’ and discusses his paper titled “Restoration of fitness lost due to dysregulation of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex is triggered by ribosomal binding site modifications” published in Cell Reports (2021).

Mistakes in protein synthesis can lead to phenotypic diversity

Dr. Laasya Samhita’s interview with Bio Patrika hosting “Vigyan Patrika”, a series of author interviews. Dr. Laasya is postdoc and DBT/Wellcome Trust early career fellow with Dr. Deepa Agashe, National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore. As an independent postdoctoral fellow, she works in an Evolutionary Biology laboratory and blends molecular biology with evolution, investigating how errors in protein synthesis can influence bacterial adaptation, and even turn out to be good for the cell. She is also interested in studying antibiotic resistance and exploring its link with translation accuracy. She obtained her PhD from the Indian Institute of Science. During her doctoral research she explored the molecular mysteries of bacterial protein synthesis. After her PhD, Laasya worked as a freelance science writer for a year. In the future, she intends to understand more about the contribution of non-genetic variation to adaptation and evolution. Here, Laasya talks about her work on “The impact of mistranslation on phenotypic variability and fitness” published in Evolution journal.

Calcium sensor STIM1 regulates gene expression and synaptic connectivity of Purkinje neurons

Sreeja Kumari Dhanya’s interview with Bio Patrika hosting “Vigyan Patrika”, a series of author interviews. Dhanya is a Ph.D. student working under the guidance of Prof. Gaiti Hasan in National Centre for Biological Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Bangalore. She completed her master’s in Medical Biotechnology from Manipal School of Life Sciences (MSLS) at Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), Manipal. Her doctoral research focuses on understanding the role of STIM1 (Stromal Interaction Molecule), a calcium sensor molecule present in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and investigating its role in regulating gene expression, excitability and synaptic connectivity in mouse Purkinje neurons (PNs). Her research has significantly contributed to uncovering novel aspects of intracellular calcium signaling in regulating neuronal functions and physiology in mammalian system. Dhanya, as her long-term goal, envisages exploring signaling mechanisms involved in various neurodegenerative disorders and identifying novel therapeutic insights. Here, Dhanya talks about her work on ‘Purkinje Neurons with Loss of STIM1 Exhibit Age-Dependent Changes in Gene Expression and Synaptic Components’ published in Journal of Neuroscience.

Evaluating structure-Activity relationship of an immuno-modulatory signaling lipid, Lysophosphatidylserine

Dr. Neha Khandelwal’s interview with Bio Patrika hosting “Vigyan Patrika”, a series of author interviews. Dr. Khandelwal completed Masters in Biotechnology from Rajiv Gandhi College in 2007 (Now Deemed University) and received her Doctorate from National Chemical Laboratory, Pune under the supervision of Dr. Ashok Giri. In 2018, she joined Dr. Siddhesh Kamat’s lab at IISER-Pune as a SERB-National Postdoctoral Fellow and has been a postdoctoral research associate since 2020. Dr. Khandelwal’s research work at IISER involves understanding the immunomodulatory activities of an important lipid mediator called lysophosphatidylserine. Apart from research, she enjoys exploring new places, playing badminton and dancing. Here she talks about her first author article published in Cell Chem Biol.

Skin- The genetics and it’s transcription in C.elegans

Anjali Sandhu’s interview with Bio Patrika hosting “Vigyan Patrika”, a series of author interviews. Anjali was born in Haryana. Her achievements are results of the hardships and strength that she possess. She finished her schooling from Delhi and went onto pursue Biology major from Maharani College, Rajasthan. Due to the financial crisis in her family, she gave tutions in evening and pursued her college studies during the daytime. It’s during this time in her graduation she developed interest in science and the unknown. Despite her struggles she enrolled for an integrated Ph.D. programme at IISC, Banglore. Slowly the hardships took the backseat and her journey from unknown to known became the reality. The upbringing of her parents as she remembers gave her strength to be independent and pursue her dreams where as her failures made her stronger. She wants to inspire and guide other girls/women in similar or other hardships through her work. She says “one step at a time is enough to take one near to their goals”. All the struggles in life made her what she is today and as she says “I would not want to change anything in my life” with pride and sparkle in her eyes, Anjali Sandhu completes her interview.