I was introduced to cancer research in my first job as a cancer diagnostic laboratory research technician in India. This experience inspired me to pursue my doctoral dissertation in oncology. It was while pursuing my PhD in the Bellis laboratory that I was fascinated by the role of sugars, referred to as glycans, in pathology. My thesis focused on deciphering the role of glycans in pancreatic cancer initiation and progression. In investigating pancreatic cancer glycome I was fascinated by the interaction of the cancer-associated glycans with immune cells.
Therefore, for my postdoctoral training, I joined the Dimitroff laboratory which focuses on glyco-immunology. My work in the Dimitroff Lab was focused on the role of galectins – a type of glycan protein, in metastatic melanoma. While this was my major project which lead to the discovery of Gal-8 as a major player in metastatic melanoma pathology, I was also able to explore the role of Gal-9 in B cell biology. Additionally, working with a team that was building the Translational Glycobiology Institute in Florida (TGIF) allowed me to learn critical skills necessary for building a laboratory from the ground up including setting up collaborations and being resourceful as well as innovative so as to be able to perform the required experiments with the equipment and resources available.
My project in glyco-immunology deepened my interest in exploring the role of glycans in cancer immunology. This led me to join BWH-HMS as a postdoctoral fellow in the Barthel and Schatton Lab. The current project I am working on investigates the role of altered glycosylation in key immune cell receptors in cancer progression. My aim is to leverage my past training in solid tumor glycobiology with immunology to investigate the role of glycans in pancreatic cancer immune response in my future work as an independent investigator.
Apart from research, I am interested in technology commercialization and startup establishment. Researchers need to be trained to take charge of their discoveries and be in control of how their intellectual property is used. I am actively seeking out experiences in the biotech startup ecosystem and am eager to explore more. In the same vein as fostering training for taking charge of one’s career, I am passionate about mentorship and have been a student mentor in multiple groups. If you are looking to chat to know more about the field, science in general, or anything else that you think I can help with please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Scientist – Palleon Pharmaceuticals | 2023 – Present
Fellow – Breakout Ventures | 2023 – Present
Postdoctoral Fellow – Barthel and Schatton Labs – BWH-Harvard Medical School (USA) | PhRMA Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship | 2022 – 2023
Postdoctoral Associate – Dimitroff Lab – Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, FIU (USA) | PhRMA Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship | 2019 – 2022
Graduate Research Assistant – Bellis Lab – The University of Alabama at Birmingham (USA) | Carmichael Graduate Fellowship | 2014 – 2019
Diagnostic Research Technician – ACTREC – Tata Memorial Hospital (India) | 2013 – 2014
Research Technician – Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (India) |
2012 – 2013
M.Tech – D.Y Patil University (India) | 2008 – 2013