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.

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).

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.

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.

Role of mycobacterial histidine biosynthesis in murine tubercular infection and pathogenesis

Dr. Abhisek Dwivedy’s interview with Bio Patrika hosting “Vigyan Patrika”, a series of author interviews. Dr. Dwivedy is a native of Angul, Odisha. He was born and raised in Chakradharpur, a small railway settlement in Jharkhand. After completing his schooling, he pursued the 5-years Integrated Masters Programme in Biology at the National Institute of Science Education and Research, Bhubaneswar. He undertook his doctoral research in structural and infectious disease biology at the National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi, where he is currently working as a post-doctoral Research Associate. Here, Abhisek talks about his first author work on “De novo histidine biosynthesis protects Mycobacterium tuberculosis from host IFN-γ mediated histidine starvation” published in Communications Biology.

Finding the dynamic key to the COVID-19 lock

Dr. Nikhil Tulsian’s interview with Bio Patrika hosting “Vigyan Patrika”, a series of author interviews. Dr. Nikhil, a co-first author of the recently published article in eLife, is a skilled biochemist who is interested in characterization of protein-protein interactions using a range of biophysical methods including mass spectrometry, fluorescence spectroscopy and cryo-electron microscopy. Currently, he is a joint postdoctoral fellow at Dept. of Biological Sciences and Dept. of Biochemistry in National University of Singapore. Dr. Nikhil obtained his Ph.D. from National University of Singapore in 2017 and completed his Master’s degree from University of Hyderabad in 2012. Here, Nikhil talks about his work on ‘SARS-CoV-2 S protein:ACE2 interaction reveals novel allosteric targets’ published in eLife (2021).

TGR63 as a potential drug candidate for the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease

Dr. Sourav Samanta’s interview with Bio Patrika hosting “Vigyan Patrika”, a series of author interviews. The author, Dr. Sourav Samanta, was born on May 1st, 1991, at Natibpur, West Bengal, India. After his initial schooling at Natibpur Bhudeb Vidyalaya, he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry in 2013 from Bangabasi College under Calcutta University, India. He obtained his Master Degree in Chemistry in 2015 from the Department of Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IIT Guwahati), Assam, India. He joined the New Chemistry Unit (NCU), Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bangalore, India, for the PhD program in August 2015 under the guidance of Prof. T. Govindaraju. He received his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Chemistry from JNCASR in February 2021. Currently, he is appointed as a postdoctoral research associate (PRA) under the supervision of Prof. T. Govindaraju at JNCASR. Here, Sourav talks his first author wort titled ‘Naphthalene Monoimide Derivative Ameliorates Amyloid Burden and Cognitive Decline in a Transgenic Mouse Model of Alzheimer’s Disease’ publishd in Adv Therap (2021).

RNA-based biosensors win a race for metabolite-sensing in cells

Dr. Sudeshna Manna’s interview with Bio Patrika hosting “Vigyan Patrika”, a series of author interviews. Dr. Manna is currently a postdoctoral scholar at the group of Prof. Ming Hammond in the University of Utah, USA, where she works on RNA engineering to develop genetically encodable tools for synthetic biology, cell biology, and biotechnology applications. She pursued her Ph.D. in 2019 in the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Pune, India, under the supervision of Prof. S. G. Srivatsan. Her Ph.D. was focused on the chemical biology of nucleic acids, particularly on the development of nucleoside probes to understand the structure and recognition of nucleic acids in the cell-free and cellular environment. Before joining her Ph.D., she obtained her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati and Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India, respectively. Her research interest revolves around synthetic biology, nucleic acids, and protein-based tools for diagnostics and therapeutics and exploring new antimicrobial targets. Here, Sudeshna talks about her first author work on “Guanidine Biosensors Enable Comparison of Cellular Turn-on Kinetics of Riboswitch-Based Biosensor and Reporter” published in ACS Synthetic Biology (2021).

Machine-free DNA amplification using triangular gold and silver nanoparticles

Pradeep Kadu and Satyaprakash Pandey’s joint first author interview with Bio Patrika hosting “Vigyan Patrika”, a series of author interviews. Here, authors talk about their first author research article titled “Machine-Free Polymerase Chain Reaction with Triangular Gold and Silver Nanoparticles” published in J Phys Chem Lett (2020).