University of Massachusetts, MA, USA
Institute of Nano Science and Technology, Mohali, Panjab, India
Panjab University, Chandigarh, India
I was passionate about Biology from the days of my high school and opted for Zoology major during my undergrad from University of Delhi. Subsequently, I graduated with an MSc in Genetics from the prestigious Department of Genetics, University of Delhi. The years during masters program equipped me with various advanced tools and techniques used in this field of microbial, plant and human genetics. I joined Dr. M.V Rajam’s lab as JRF and received an excellent training in molecular biology research.
Then it was the time to expand my horizons and I went to the United States of America for higher studies and to have a first-hand international intellectual exposure. I joined University of Massachusetts (intercampus program) to pursue the integrated Masters, PhD program in Biomedical Engineering and Biotechnology. This provided me with an opportunity to assess and enhance my scientific knowledge and skills. During my PhD and brief postdoc with Dr. Dhimiter Bello, I worked in close collaboration with investigators at Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, UMASS Medical School, Worchester and Northeastern University, Boston and published several first authored papers in high impact peer review journals such as Particle and Fibre Toxicology, Nanotoxicology, Inhalation Toxicology and Journal of Nanoparticle Research. I also got an opportunity to present my work at various international conferences such as ACS Nano, Gordon Conference etc and received travel grants. The scientific discussions and interactions with topnotch scientists from all over the world provided me with a much-needed platform that helped bring the best out of me to a greater extent. Additionally, working in a highly competitive environment and participating in brain storming sessions at seminars and conferences honed up my abilities to explore and undertake unanswered questions in the field of nanotoxicology. My Ph.D work “ Toxicological Potential of Nanoparticles from Photocopiers” got the attention of the media and shook the big printers, photocopiers and toner manufacturing companies industries to rethink about the technology to minimize the worker’s exposure to nanoparticles released during the printing process. During my one year of post doctoral period, I worked on a project to develop better assays to predict the toxicology of engineered nanoparticles. After the short post doctoral stint, I moved back to India and joined as Scientist B at INST which was a great experience before moving to my present role as Assistant Professor at Panjab University. I think much more research is needed in areas of nanotoxicology and I am greatful to Wellcome Trust/ DBT Inida-Alliance who recognized the research gap in this area and provided me with early career fellowship to do the same.