Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia
Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
As any inquisitive child, I always sought answers to every possible question about life. During my childhood, my family encouraged me by answering many but few remained unanswered. Slowly, I realized that our society is built in a way so that one cannot be an expert in every field or undertake all the responsibilities of the system. The different tasks of life are performed by specialists of the field. Since then, I yearned for that question where I can become a specialist. I believe if I find my question, finding the answer wouldn't be that difficult. I was never a great school student and followed my friends and family culture in choosing my career; I ended up doing Engineering in the field of Biotechnology.
During third year of my engineering, I got an internship to work in the area of Tissue Engineering in Australia. After my engineering, I partially thought that I wanted to do research in the field of Biology and interdisciplinary sciences. Then I got a chance to do PhD under the supervision of Professors Elena Ivanova and Russell Crawford in Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia. I loved doing experiments on bacteria and to try to learn how they attach on a specific material or a biological surface. Among such experiments, I liked playing around with microscopes and nano-surfaces until I observed that the insect wing surface was killing the attached bacteria due to the sole effect of surface geometry. It was kind of a discovery. I felt overawed and with a great team of scientists and support from supervisors during PhD, I think I have finally got the question I was looking for. How would these insect wings kill the cells? Why would they kill bacteria of specific shapes and composition? What if I can contribute to make such nanostructure materials for the society that could help solve problems of bacterial infection? With hope of answering these questions, I will now start my Early Career Fellowship in IISc Bangalore, India.