I am a future neuroscientist, born and raised in India. As a kid, I was always driven by science especially – Biology. I was fascinated by how little yet complex organs make up a huge working system called the human body governed by the BRAIN. The brain, itself being a very complex organ, chaperones all the cells, tissues, organs, hormones, how we think, our emotions, and so much more. It’s a whole thriller movie, haha.
Current and Past Research Experiences:
Research Assistant, Jarvis Lab, Rockefeller University
August 2020 – Present
Advisors: Dr. Erich Jarvis (PI), César Vargas (5th year PhD student)
Neuroethology: Learned vocal communication is rare and has only been found in four groups of mammals (including humans) and three groups of birds. All other species have been shown or assumed to be vocal non-learners. Mice, which are easily tractable, show evidence of a rudimentary vocal learning system, including a direct projection from the motor cortex to the brainstem motor neurons controlling the larynx. The cortical region has been termed the Laryngeal Motor Cortex (LMC). This kind of direct projection from the motor cortex is considered to be the primary mechanism by which vocal learners can learn and finely modulate their vocalizations. Recent work from ours and other labs on forebrain circuits in mice revealed that the Orofacial Motor Cortex (OFC) in the anterolateral motor cortex, plays a role in controlling the vocal muscles. To understand the neuroanatomy of the LMC and the OFC in mice, we are doing retrograde and anterograde viral tracing experiments in the cortex (OFC and LMC) and in vocal muscles.
Research Intern, Keshishian Lab, Yale University
Advisor: Dr. Haig Keshishian
Developmental Neuroscience: Dr. Keshishian and his team are studying how synapses originate using a Drosophila model. The Drosophila neuromuscular junction is a has a high synaptic sophistication and therefore can be studied using molecular mechanisms. During my time at the lab, I learned about Drosophila (adult & larvae) husbandry, egg dissections, HRP immunocytochemistry, and cell ablations under a laser confocal microscope.
Senior Research Assistant, New York Institute of Technology
Fall 2019, Spring 2020
Advisor: Dr. Niharika Nath
Microbiology: Organosulfur compounds were screened for potential anti-cancer and anti-bacterial properties. We used disc-diffusion assay to test the effectiveness of antibiotics on Klebsiella pneumoniae, E.coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Zones of Inhibition were measured. We also did a growth curve by inoculating fresh bacteria from plates that were made in nutrient broth.
Research Assistant, New York University
Spring & Summer 2019
Advisor: Dr. Eleni Nikitopoulos
Primate Genetics: I spent my time here reading a lot of literature about social cues in paternal sisters in wild monkeys. I also learned DNA Extraction and PCR of microsatellite loci from fecal matter of wild monkeys.
Observer, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital
Advisor: Dr. Hrishikesh Sarkar (Consultant Neurosurgeon), Dr. Yuvika Kamdar (Neuropsychologist)
Neurosurgery/Neuropsychology: Observed inpatient sessions for epilepsy, head trauma, and stroke.