Researcher

Dr Vaishnavi Ananthanarayanan

Keywords

Fields of Research (FoR)

Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Biophysics, Cell Physiology, Cellular Interactions (incl. Adhesion, Matrix, Cel, Cell Development, Proliferation and Death

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Biography

Dr. Vaishnavi Ananthanarayanan is an EMBL Australia Group Leader at Single Molecule Science, School of Medical Sciences.

She graduated with a Ph.D. in Biophysics from the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden, Germany in 2014. Prior to this, Vaishnavi pursued a dual degree - M.Sc. Biological Sciences and B.E. Computer Science at BITS, Pilani, India. She started her independent group in 2014 at the Indian...view more

Dr. Vaishnavi Ananthanarayanan is an EMBL Australia Group Leader at Single Molecule Science, School of Medical Sciences.

She graduated with a Ph.D. in Biophysics from the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden, Germany in 2014. Prior to this, Vaishnavi pursued a dual degree - M.Sc. Biological Sciences and B.E. Computer Science at BITS, Pilani, India. She started her independent group in 2014 at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore with her Dept. of Science and Technology (India) INSPIRE Faculty Award. She transitioned to an Assistant Professor position in the same institute in 2017. She was awarded the Dept. of Biotechnology (DBT, India) Innovative Young Biotechnologist Award in 2015, Science and Engineering Research Board (India) Early Career Research Award in 2016, and was elected Associate of the Indian Academy of Sciences in 2018. In 2019, she was inducted to the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) as a Young Investigator and was granted the Wellcome Trust/DBT India Alliance Intermediate Fellowship. Most recently, her work was recognised with the Indian National Science Academy’s Medal for Young Scientists 2020. In June 2020, she co-founded BiasWatchIndia, an initiative to document representation of women, and to combat gender-biased panels at Indian science conferences.


My Qualifications

  • Ph.D. Biophysics                                                                                                                              July 2010- Jan 2014

Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden, Germany

  • B.E. (Hons.) Computer Science and M.Sc. (Hons.) Biological Sciences (dual degree)                    Aug 2004- Aug 2009

Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, India (CGPA: 9.28/10)


My Awards

2020

Medal for Young Scientists, Indian National Science Academy

2019

Member of the Editorial Advisory Board, Journal of Cell Science

‘Cell Scientist to Watch’, Journal of Cell Science

Women Excellence Award, Science and Engineering Research Board (India)

RI Mazumdar Young Investigator Award

BITS Alumni Association Global 30 Under 30 Award

2018

EMBO Young Investigator

 

Wellcome Trust/DBT – India Alliance Intermediate Fellowship

 

Associate of the Indian Academy of Sciences

2016

Early Career Research Award, Science and Engineering Research Board (India)

2015

Innovative Young Biotechnologist Award, Department of Biotechnology (India)

2014

INSPIRE Faculty Award, Department of Science and Technology (India)

2007

JNCASR Summer Research Fellowship

Rajiv Gandhi National Talent Science Research Fellow


My Research Activities

Cells employ tiny machines called ‘motor proteins’ to carry out a myriad of functions including maintenance of cellular organisation, transport of substances across the cell, and generation of forces required for cell division. These activities of motor proteins are facilitated by polymers inside the cell termed ‘microtubules’. Microtubules function as tracks for motor movement, and alternately as ropes which motor proteins pull on. Several cellular processes require a coordination of motor proteins and microtubules.  Scientists have gained a wealth of information by replicating cellular processes involving motors and microtubules outside living cell, in what are called ‘in vitro’ experiments. However, understanding the complex intracellular milieu within which motors operate to organise the cell remains an elusive quest. A thorough investigation of processes regulating motors and microtubules therefore lets us see how these processes unravel in both contexts of health and disease (including neurodegeneration and cancers), where they go rogue.

  • Our main research themes are:
  • Regulation of motor proteins
  • Cytoskeleton-organelle interactions
  • Intracellular organisation
  • Cellular decision making
  • In vivo single-molecule imaging

My Research Supervision


Supervision keywords


Areas of supervision

ILP, Honours, Masters, PhD


Currently supervising

Postdoctoral Fellows

  • Gregory Redpath

Mar 2021 – present

PhD Students

  • Leeba Ann Chacko
starting May 2021
  • Harsh Kumar (jointly with Prof. Sandhya S. Visweswariah, IISc)

Aug 2019 – present

  • Joel Joseph

Dec 2019 – Nov 2020*

  • Mitali Shah

 Aug 2018 – Nov 2020*

  • Nireekshit Addanki Tirumala

July 2015 – Nov 2020

Master’s Students

  • Leeba Ann Chacko (Junior Research Fellow)

Dec 2017 – Nov 2020

  • Rishabh Singh (Project Assistant, now: MS Boston Univ., USA)

July 2017 – June 2018

  • Kritika Mehta (Junior Research Fellow, now: PhD UIUC, USA)

July 2017 – July 2018

  • Tirthankar Sengupta (Research Associate)

Sept 2016 – Nov 2017

  • Stephen Nuthalapati (Junior Research Fellow, now: PhD GLU Geisen, Germany)

July 2016 – July 2017

  • Ashwini Ravi (Project Assistant, now: PhD Bangalore Univ., India)

July 2015 – July 2017

  • Jerrin Mathew Thankachan (Junior Research Fellow, now: PhD IISc, India)  

July 2015 – June 2016

Undergraduate Students

  • Lauren Raasch (SN Bose Summer Research Fellow from U. Michigan, USA)

Jun 2019 – Aug 2019

  • Ananya Rajagopal (Research Intern)

May 2019 – July 2019

  • Anand Sankar (Project Assistant)

Aug 2018 – Sept 2018

  • Reshma Raj (Research Intern)

Aug 2017 – Aug 2018

  • Elsa Barron (SN Bose Summer Research Fellow from U. Notre Dame, USA)

July 2018 – Aug 2018

  • Aditya Jeevannavar (Research Intern)

May 2018 – July 2018

  • Keval Pandya (MBBS Research Intern)

May 2018

  • Manish Ayushman (Research Intern, now: PhD Stanford Univ., USA)

May 2017 – July 2017

  • Parth Sharma (MBBS Research Intern)

May 2017

  • Amoolya Girish (Research Intern, now: MS U. Florida, USA)

Sept 2016 – Dec 2016

  • Milind Singh (Research Intern, now: PhD Yale Univ., USA)

May 2015 – July 2015


My Teaching

Courses          

  • Cell Mechanics (2019)

30 hours of teaching in a semester to a class of ~25 Undergraduate and Graduate students.

  • Biology and Physiology for Engineers (with Prof. Siddharth Jhunjhunwala, BSSE, 2018 – 2020)

7.5 hours of teaching in a semester to a class of ~25 Graduate students.

Invited Instructor

  • Introduction to image analysis: A hands-on introduction to image analysis on Fiji/ImageJ. Taught at:
    • RCB Bioimaging Workshop, Regional Centre for Biotechnology, India, 2018
    • International Workshop on Modern Biophysical Tools and Techniques, IIT Bombay,India, 2017
    • QIP Course on Modern Biophysical Tools and Techniques, IIT Bombay, India, 2017
    • Workshop of Biennial Meeting of the Indian Society of Developmental Biologists, IISER Pune, India, 2017
  • Cytoskeleton and Motor Proteins (As a part of the Bioengineering Workshop held at, Indian Institute of Science, 2018)
  • Advances in Cell Biology – Protein Trafficking (As a part of Indian Science Academies’ Refresher Course for College Teachers)
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Location

Single Molecule Science
C25, Level 3 Lowy Cancer Research Centre


Map reference (Google map)

Contact

+62-2-9065 4811

Publications

by Dr Vaishnavi Ananthanarayanan