I live in Cambridge, UK, and I originally hail from Assam, in India – famous for producing one of the finest black teas, and also for the single-horned rhinoceros. I grew up in the tropical climate of the Himalayan Rainforests, and was naturally interested in plants. Therefore, in my PhD, I studied how the carnivorous plant Venus flytrap recognizes an insect, and closes rapidly. I enjoy playing tennis, strumming a guitar, and long-distance cycling in my free time.
I studied Mechanical Engineering in my undergraduate, and I was especially interested in Aerospace. I was always interested in Rocket Science, and finally had the chance to be a part of the Academic Rocket Science Initiative, Switzerland. We built a reusable rocket capable of launching it to an altitude of 3kms.
I gradually transitioned towards Biology during my masters, where I combined my love for Aerospace, and was involved in a NASA funded project in the State University of New York, Stony Brook, USA, to prevent weakening of astronaut’s bones due to low gravity environment. In this project, I learnt how to prepare bone sample from pigs, in order to test its mechanical strength due to different therapeutic techniques.
In my PhD, I moved to Switzerland, and studied at ETH Zurich. There, I investigated how the carnivorous plant Venus flytrap responds to touch of a moving insect. The flytrap has tiny sensory hairs on its upper leaf surface, which are trigger electrical signals when the insect touches these hairs. The electrical signals, called Action Potentials travel across the leaf to indicate the plant to snap and close.
My pronouns are:
Investigating how cells grow and divide – the role of the cytoskeleton in plant morphogenesis
My primary research focuses on the simulation of cytoskeletal systems, with special emphasis on dynamics of filaments such as actin and microtubules. Microtubule behaviour plays a vital role in plant morphogenesis, and by understanding their processes, I hope to gain new insights into the cellular processes governing cell shape and tissue organization in the plant and animal kingdom. At the Sainsbury Lab, I am part of François Nédélec’s group, and we work on the development of an open-source cross-platform simulation tool called Cytosim, for the purpose of modelling a network of filaments connected by molecular motors.
My Typical Day:
I enjoy working late in the night, and use the daytime for sports and amusement.
So I wake up around 9 am, have a slow and easy breakfast. Then I mostly prefer to start working around 10:00 or 11 am. I enjoy working remotely and 2 or 3 days in the office every week. I work until 2:00-3:00 pm and go to play tennis and visit the gym.
I have a quick snack, and sit down to work a bit from 6:00 – 10:00pm after which I have dinner. And I usually sleep around 12:00-1:00 am
What I'd do with the prize money:
I will use it to visit your schools physically, and bring my lab equipment and show you some computer modells of cells and tissues.
Primary School – DPS Numaligarh, Assam, India
Secondary School – DPS Vasant Kunj, New Delhi, India
Undergraduate – Assam Engineering College, India
Masters – State University of New York, Stony Brook, USA
PhD – ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Bachelor of Engineering (B.E) in Mechanical Engineering, 2015
Master of Science (M.S) in Mechanical Engineerng, 2017
Doctor of Science (PhD) in Civil Engineering, 2021
Chief Technology Officer, Aspetuva AG, Switzerland – 07/2021-12/2021
Scientific Assistant Grade 1, ETH Zurich, Switzerland – 01/2018 – 06/2021
Teaching Assistant, State University of New York, Stony Brook, USA – 01/2016 – 12/2016
Research Associate (02/2022 – current)
Sainsbury Lab, Cambridge University, UK
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
I model stuff
What did you want to be after you left school?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Yes - I made a lot of noise, and was not very punctual.
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
Pork with bamboo shoot
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
I can see the whole world, I can retire at 40 yrs of age, and I have a good health as long as possible