2. Research Experience
I’ve pursued my bachelor’s and masters in genetic engineering from SRM University, Chennai. I was an Indian Academy of Science-Summer Research Fellow, in NIBMG, Kalyani where I studied the role of immune genes and their mutational landscape, in all cancer types. Bioinformatics tools like shell scripting, R, and Python was used to filter the TCGA data and scout out 9 genes that could be targeted for further study.
For my bachelor’s dissertation, I worked in the Neuropsychiatric and Epigenetics lab of Dr. Arvind Kumar, where I studied the epigenetic modulation of the reward pathway in mice. Pregnant mice were subjected to various stresses and their dams were tested for epigenetic changes like methylation and acetylation in the brain. Their behavioral changes noted in comparison to control dams born to non-stressed mothers. Behavioral tests like EPM, NORT, WMT, Rotarod, TST, and others were performed. Here I gained experience and expertise in mice handling and dissection, RNA extraction, cDNA synthesis, and qPCR procedures.
For my master’s thesis, under the supervision of Dr. Sitaram Harihar, at SRMIST, Chennai, my focus was to study the metastasis suppressor gene ITIH5 in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Highly metastatic pancreatic cancer cell line MiaPaCa and Panic-1 were cultured and ITIH5 was pulled down using ChIP. The proteins interacting with ITIH5 were thereby isolated and then separated in-gel, which was further trypsin digested for mass-spectrometry. The proteins were then identified using a qTOF mass analyzer, to elucidate the interacting partners of the metastasis suppressor. Here I gained experience in cell culture, protein extraction, and trypsin digestion, as well as mass spectrometry.
2. Research Interest
I’ve been keenly interested in both neurobiology as well as cancer biology, having exposure in both domains. But after being introduced to proteomics, I have tried to learn multiple facets of biology, the hardware, and the software to be able to holistically grow my expertise in the field. Here at TTCRC, I have got the perfect environment and opportunity to learn new things at the Sciex 6600 TripleTOF mass spectrometer, where I’m making effort to take over both sample handling and instrument handling at the facility. Wet lab techniques like PCR, qPCR, Fragment Analysis, Western Blotting, Protein Extraction and Estimation, Trypsin Digestion, and others are also being performed for the Ikaros project. My responsibilities include taking care and account of the proteomics facility, performing experiments and procedures for the sample preparation.