I attended Indian Institute of Technology(IIT) Gandhinagar for my undergraduate education where I studied B.Tech. (honors) in Chemical Engineering. After graduating in 2012, I joined Princeton University as a graduate student. I am affiliated with the department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics.
Animals rely on a conserved and limited collection of signal transduction pathways for a wide range of cellular events such as cell-fate determination, cell proliferation, cell guidance and axon migration, and cell survival. Of particular interest to me is the signaling pathway mediated by Receptor Tyrosine Kinases (RTKs), a class of single-pass transmembrane receptors with endogenous kinase activity.
The overall topology, mechanisms of activation, key intracellular components, and qualitative regulatory roles downstream of RTKs are conserved from nematodes to humans. Taking advantage of this, I am interested in quantitatively understanding the behavior of this pathway to genetic perturbations in fruity fly, a high through-put model for quantitative analysis. I want to study RTK induced RAS/ERK signaling in the context of development and diseases. Diseases associated with germline mutations in the RAS/ERK pathway are collectively called RASopathies and affect ~1/1000 births. I want to understand the molecular basis of disease progression in individuals carrying mutations in the RAS/ERK pathway using model organisms. The video below is a great primer on RASopathies:
In parallel, I am also interested in developing novel in vivo tools to study genetic and morphological responses to altered levels of RAS/ERK pathway in space and time.