Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, India
Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India
I am currently an Assistant Professor at the Department of Physics, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. My Ph. D. was in the area of soft matter which lies at the intersection of physics, chemistry and biology. I studied interfacial dynamics for the Ph. D. degree at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai. My techniques were microscopy and optical trapping which are also widely used in biophysics research. I then moved to Brandeis University, USA for post-doctoral work that focused on self-assembly with biopolymers. It is here that I learnt a number of techniques in microbiology and molecular cloning. The ‘Quantitative Biology’ program at Brandeis University encouraged extensive formal and informal interactions between physicists and biologists through its weekly seminar series. These interactions introduced me to a number of interesting problems in biophysics, one of which was ciliary beating. I felt that my inter-disciplinary expertise could provide a new perspective and insight by combining ideas and methods from biology with that of physics of non-equilibrium systems in the particular context of ciliary beating. On my return to India, I applied to Wellcome-DBT India Alliance with a proposal that focused on collective effects in ciliary beating. This choice was driven by the fact that Alliance had a broad and holistic view of biomedical research. I am glad that my proposal met the high standards set by this prestigious organization.