Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, USA
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, USA
Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics, Hyderabad, India
Rashna Bhandari obtained her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Biological Sciences from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, where she worked with Sandhya Visweswariah on signal transduction by the membrane-bound guanylyl cyclase, GCC, which is involved in maintaining fluid and ion homeostasis across the intestinal membrane. In 2001, she moved to the laboratory of John Kuriyan at the University of California at Berkeley as a post-doctoral fellow, to work on the structural biology and biochemistry of proteins involved in cell signaling. There she studied the structure-function relationship of JAK-STAT proteins and the EGF receptor. In 2003, she relocated to the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, where she worked with Solomon Snyder on deciphering the role of inositol pyrophosphates as signalling molecules. She was involved in the discovery that inositol pyrophosphates are mediators of protein phosphorylation in eukaryotes. Her work revealed that inositol pyrophosphates transfer their high-energy beta phosphate moiety to pre-phosphorylated serine residues to generate pyrophosphoserine, a novel protein modification. The characterization of a knockout mouse with low levels of inositol pyrophosphates highlighted a role for these molecules in fertility, growth and insulin secretion. In January 2008, Rashna joined CDFD as a staff scientist, where she continues to pursue her study of signal transduction in biological systems, with particular emphasis on understanding the role of inositol pyrophosphates in physiology and metabolism.