About Fellow

Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India

Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio, US

Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India

I completed my medical education (MBBS) in Mysore Medical College, Mysore. The book, ‘Turning Point’ by Dr. Fritjof Capra, which I read during my final year of MBBS turned my path - I decided to quit clinical medicine and chose research as my career. I obtained my Ph.D from Indian Institute of Science (IISc) where I studied the interaction of the bacterium Salmonella with macrophages in Prof. Dipshikha Chakravortty’s laboratory. Thanks to the interdisciplinary environment of IISc and the scientific freedom given by my mentor Prof. Chakravortty, I was exposed to a variety of scientific disciplines including evolutionary biology, game theory and theoretical biology. These subjects have tremendously influenced my scientific thinking and they continue to guide my research.

I got interested in cell motility after observing the “cat-and-mouse” game of macrophages with Salmonella in IISc. I joined Dr. Paul Fox’s laboratory in Cleveland Clinic to study endothelial cell motility which is vital for angiogenesis. Through this, I entered the field of cardiovascular biology. During this period, unexpectedly, I stumbled on translational readthrough where ribosomes ignore the stop sign during translation. I found that translational readthrough in VEGFA mRNA generates a novel isoform, VEGF-Ax which contains a peptide extension at the C-terminus due to translational readthrough. While the canonical VEGF-A is pro-angiogenic, the extended isoform, VEGF-Ax, is antiangiogenic. After postdoctoral training I returned to my alma mater, IISc, as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry. Translational readthrough and angiogenesis will continue to be my laboratory’s primary interests.

During my research career I have had the opportunity to work in multiple scientific disciplines - microbiology, innate immunity, cell motility, protein translation, angiogenesis, evolutionary biology and theoretical biology. I enjoy entering new fields and learning from them. Throughout this career I have followed my observations as well as my instincts without restricting myself to a particular scientific field. I am going to begin my new laboratory with investigations on translational readthrough and angiogenesis. At this moment, I have no idea where it will lead. I look forward to tread the unknown path ahead of me with full excitement. I consider myself fortunate to experience this excitement inside the beautiful and vibrant campus of IISc.