Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, India
Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi
I have always been attracted to science – chemistry and biology in particular at school. I loved to read the science articles in magazines and newspapers – what we now call popular science articles. So it was a natural progression into studying Microbiology during my Bachelors and Biophysics and Molecular Biology for my Masters. It was during my Masters summer research programme that I realized the fun, frustration and triumph associated with laboratory research. While working with Prof. Amar N. Ghosh at National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases, Kolkata; I was introduced to cholera phages - its purification and structural analysis. I moved on to study cellular signaling pathways in the regulation of megakaryocyte and erythroid differentiation with Prof. Subrata Banerjee at Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, Kolkata. It was here that I began to appreciate the megakaryocytes and their ability to increase in size and cellular complexity towards the end of their maturation and just before they release proplatelet processes. To further understand these rare cells of the bone marrow, I joined Prof. William Vainchenker at Institut Gustave Roussy, France. Here I studied the regulation of megakaryocyte polyploidy in detail. While still in France, I was fascinated by the just discovered calreticulin mutations in myeloproliferative neoplasms. These mutations had abolished the ER retention sequence on calreticulin. I found a perfect opportunity to study this mutation and the changes in its sub-cellular localization with Prof. Stefan N. Constantinescu at Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Belgium. These experiences provided the framework upon which I was looking to build my own research group. That opportunity was provided by the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi where I joined as Asst. Prof. in the Kusuma School of Biological Sciences in 2019 with research funding from DBT/Wellcome Trust India Alliance intermediate fellowship starting from 2020.