PhD: 2013, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore

The toughest academic choice for me was choosing between history and literature on the one hand and biology on the other. Maybe because of this, I have always been fascinated most by questions of evolution. I got my PhD from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, during which I tried to understand the importance of initiator tRNA copy number in the bacterium E.coli and found that it plays a critical role in modulating cellular function and physiology. I spent a year after my PhD as a science writer, attempting to connect lay people to the (not so!) mysterious goings on in scientific labs and communicate some of my own enthusiasm. Although I enjoyed this, I felt drawn back to the lab where I could get my own hands dirty trying to answer questions. Right now, I will be exploring questions related to bacterial stress responses. In particular, I am interested in the evolution of new traits and how this might come about as a consequence of encountering stresses. That apart, I enjoy spending time in old book shops, particularly unearthing as yet unread detective fiction. Music, plays, travel, cheese and more recently cooking new things are other indulgences!

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