The Team

Current lab

Principal Investigator

Kavita Babu, PhD

kavita.babu [at] babulab [dot] org and kavitababu [at] iisc [dot] ac [dot] in

Kavita completed her undergraduate degree in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics, from St. Joseph's College, Bangalore. She then attended the MSc Biotechnology programme at The Maharaja Sayajirao University (MSU), Baroda but left midway to pursue her doctorate at Professor William Chia's laboratory at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB, now IMCB-A*STAR), Singapore, King's College London (MRC Centre for Developmental Neurobiology), London and Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory. Kavita went on to do her Post-doctoral research at Professor Josh Kaplan's laboratory at the Massachusetts General Hospital (Department of Molecular Biology), Boston, MA. Subsequently, in August 2011, Kavita joined IISER, Mohali.

After spending more then 7 years in Mohali, Kavita moved back home and is currently gearing up to study aspects of the C. elegans nervous system at The Centre for Neuroscience (CNS) at Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore.

Kavita was Wellcome Trust — DBT India Alliance Intermediate Fellow and was a recipient of the DBT-Innovative Young Biotechnologist Award.


Post Doctoral Research Associate

Pratima Sharma Pandey, PhD

pratima.sharma [at] babulab [dot] org

A native of Shimla, Himachal Pradesh (HP), Pratima obtained her B.Sc from St. Bede's College, HP. She then obtained a master's degree in Biotechnology from HP University, Shimla. Between 1999 and 2004 she worked on her Ph.D. at Professor Alok K. Mondal's laboratory at the Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTECH), Chandigarh. After completing her Ph.D., Pratima joined Dr. Lynn Boyd's laboratory at the University of Alabama, Huntsville, AL as a Post-doctoral fellow in 2005. In 2009, Pratima went on to pursue her research in Dr. Harbinder Dhillon's laboratory as a Post-doctoral Research Associate at the Delaware State University, Delaware, DE. Subsequently, in 2012, Pratima joined IISER, Mohali.

Pratima initially worked on the role of RIG-3 at the NMJ, this work was published in Genetics. She is currently interested in studying movement and chemotaxis in C. elegans.

Pratima was a recipient of the DBT- Bio-CARe grant and is currently a recipient of the DST-WOSa fellowship grant.


Doctoral Students

Nagesh Kadam

nagesh.kadam [at] babulab [dot] org

Nagesh is a native of Nanded, Maharashtra. He completed his undergraduate education at the N. E. S. Science College Nanded, receiving his degree in biotechnology from Swami Ramanand Teerth Marathwada University. He then went on to do his Master's degree in Biotechnology at the School of Life Sciences, Ramanand Teerth Marathwada University, Nanded. Nagesh joined IISER Mohali in 2013.

Nagesh is a recipient of the UGC — Junior Research Fellowship (2013) and Senior Research Fellowship (2015).

During the course of his PhD, Nagesh worked in collaboration with Thomas Pucadyil's lab to understand the function of EHD1. He was a contributor in a paper from the Pucadyil lab that was published in Nature Communication.

Nagesh is currently interested in studying chemotaxis in C. elegans.


Anuradha Singh

anuradha.singh [at] babulab [dot] org

Anuradha is a native of Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. She graduated in Biotechnology from C.S.J.M., Kanpur University. She obtained her Masters degree in Molecular and Human Gentics from Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi. Anuradha joined IISER Mohali in 2016.

Anuradha is a recipient of the UGC - Junior Research Fellowship (2015). She, along with Pratima are currently in the process of understanding the relationship between ethanol and dopamine.


Umer Saleem Bhat

umerusb3 [at] gmail [dot] com

Umer hails from Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir. He has done his B.Sc from Amar Singh College, Srinagar and graduated with an M.Sc in biotechnology from University Of Kashmir in 2018. Umer joined IISER Mohali in 2018.

Umer is a recipient of the DBT-JRF (2018) Fellowship and has also qualified the CSIR-UGC JRF exams in June and December, 2017 as well as the GATE entrance test in 2018.

Umer is interested in studying the role of neuropeptide in locomotory circuit of C. elegans.

Apart from research, Umer is very interested in photography.


Aishwarya Ahuja

aishwaryaa [at] iisc [dot] ac [dot] in

Aishwarya was born in Delhi and spent a good 20 years of her life in the capital city finishing up her schooling and graduation. She graduated in Zoology from Maitreyi college, Delhi University in the year 2016 and then went on to pursue her Masters in Biotechnology from Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune through the JNU CEEB Biotechnology entrance exam. Aishwarya joined the Centre for Neuroscience, IISc for her PhD in 2018.

Aishwarya has qualified GATE 2018 and the DBT-JRF (2018) entrance exam.

Aishwarya is interested in molecular neuroscience and is currently gearing up to understand the role of claudins in the interneurons of C. elegans.


Monmita Bhar

monmita [at] iisc [dot] ac [dot] in

Monmita hails from the city of Chandannagar, West Bengal. She completed her undergraduate education from St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata receiving her degree in Microbiology from The University of Calcutta.

Monmita qualified the JAM exam in 2017 and joined Indian Institute of Science as an Integrated PhD student at the Department of Biological Sciences. She is currently rotating in our lab at the Centre for Neuroscience and is interested in studying aspects of learning and memory in C. elegans.

Monmita is a classically trained singer and dancer.

Alumni

Postdoctoral Fellows

Yogesh Dahiya, PhD

yogeshdahiya [at] protonmail [dot] com

A native of Haryana, Yogesh obtained his B.Sc. from Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra, Haryana. He then completed his Master's degree in Biochemistry from Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi and joined Professor Ajit Sodhi's laboratory at the School of Biotechnology, BHU to do his Ph.D. Yogesh recieved two CSIR fellowships — Junior Research Fellowship (2007—2009) and Senior Research Fellowship (2009—2012) during the course of his PhD.

Yogesh was a recipient of the DBT post-doctoral fellowship from 2012-2014 and went on to receive a Wellcome — DBT Early Career Fellowship (2014-2018).

Yogesh was interested in understanding aspects of learning and memory in C. elegans. During the course of his postdoc, Yogesh developed a robust assay to study learning and memory in C. elegans and has used this assay to understand the isoform specific role of CREB1 in memory formation. This work is currently available as a preprint in bioRxiv.


Doctoral Students

Ashwani Bhardwaj, PhD

ashwani.bhardwaj [at] babulab [dot] org

A native of Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh, Ashwani obtained his undergraduate degree in Biotechnology from DAV College Jalandhar, Punjab. He then completed his Master's degree in Biotechnology from DAV College, Chandigarh (Panjab University).

Ashwani was a recipient of ICMR — Junior Research Fellowship (2012) and Senior Research Fellowship (2014).

Ashwani was interested in studying the neural circuitry involved in movement in C. elegans. More specifically he was interested in understanding how worms give rise to and stop reversals. A part of Ashwani's thesis work has been published in The Journal of Neuroscience.

Ashwani Graduated in January 2019 and is currently in charge of a forensics laboratory in Himachal Pradesh.


Vina Tikiyani, PhD

vina.tikiyani [at] babulab [dot] org

Vina hails from the "Pink City" — Jaipur, Rajasthan. She holds a Bachelor of Sciences degree in biotechnology from the Rajasthan University, Jaipur. She then obtained her master's degree in biotechnology from the University of North Bengal, Darjeeling. Vina has previously worked in other labs, including at the CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology. Vina was a recipient of the CSIR — Junior Research Fellowship (2014).

Vina was interested in understanding the function of claudins at the C. elegans NMJ. Her doctoral work was published in Cell Reports. Vina graduated with a PhD in November 2018 and is currently pursuing her postdoc in Professor Mark Hoon's lab at NIH.

While away from the research bench Vina spends her time reading or playing badminton or chess.


Pallavi Sharma, PhD

pallavi.sharma [at] babulab [dot] org

A native of Chamba, Himachal Pradesh, Pallavi obtained her undergraduate degree in Biotechnology from KMV College Jalandhar, Punjab. She then completed her Master's degree in Biotechnology from National Centre for Human Genome Studies and Research (NCHGSR), Chandigarh (Punjab University).

Pallavi was the recipient of an ICMR — Junior Research Fellowship (2012) and Senior Research Fellowship (2014).

Pallavi worked on understanding the role of claudins at the C. elegans neuromuscular junction (NMJ). More specifically, she went on to characterise the role of HPO-30 at the NMJ. Her work was published as a paper in The Journal of Neuroscience. Pallavi graduated in July 2018.


Shruti Thapliyal, PhD

shrutithapliyal87 [at] gmail [dot] com

A native of Uttaranchal, Shruti grew up in Delhi. She completed her undergraduate degree in botany from Miranda House, University of Delhi. She went on to do her Masters in Biotechnology at Banasthali University, Rajasthan. Shruti was a recipient of the CSIR — Junior Research Fellowship (2011) and Senior Research Fellowship (2013).

Shruti's work in the Babu Lab involved researching the role of CASY-1 at the synapse. Her doctoral work was published as two stories in PLoS Genetics and Genetics.

Shruti graduated with a PhD in March 2018 and is currently pursuing a postdoctoral position in Professor Lu Chen's laboratory at Stanford University.

BS/MS Students

Sukanta Behera

sukanx1995 [at] gmail [dot] com

Sukanta joined BS-MS Program at IISER Mohali in 2014 as a KVPY fellow. He worked with Nagesh Kadam, studying chemotaxis in C. elegans. Sukanta is interested in neural networks and the dynamics of these networks. He hopes to pursue his study on neural networks in cognition.Sukanta is a College level Volleyball player and a part time android porter


Saloni Rose

salonirose.95 [at] gmail [dot] com

Saloni Rose joined BS-MS Program at IISER Mohali in 2013 as an INSPIRE fellow. She is originally from Kalpakkam, a small township near Chennai hosting a Nuclear Power Plant. For her Master's thesis, she worked on how transcription factors and associated molecules are involved in associative learning in C.elegans. More broadly, she wants to address how neural circuitries evolve and give rise to complex behaviours that involve learning with great degree of variability. Besides science, she is very passionate about badminton, travelling and gourmet food.


Shruthi Ravindranath

shruthi.ravindranath11 [at] gmail [dot] com

Shruthi joined IISER Mohali in 2012 as an INSPIRE Fellow. She is originally from Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Shruthi is interested in understanding the causal relationship between neural circuits and behaviour. She studied the circuit for locomotion in C. elegans to understand how genes and proteins confer functionality to a circuit that forms a building block for behaviour. In her free time, she enjoys reading, swimming, playing music and exploring culinary culture. Shruthi is now a doctoral candidate at Princeton University and a recipient of the university's 'Centennial Fellowship in Natural Science and Engineering'.


Mohan Lal

mohanlal316 [at] gmail [dot] com

Mohan, a native of Udhampur, Jammu and Kashmir,

joined IISER Mohali as an INSPIRE Fellow in August 2012. For his final year thesis, Mohan studied the properties of neural circuits involved in controlling the locomotion of C. elegans. Mohan is currently pursuing his doctoral studies in Bioinformatics at IISER Mohali.


Diwakar Maraina

diwakarmaraina [at] gmail [dot] com

Diwakar is a native of Baijnath, Himachal Pradesh.

He joined IISER Mohali as an INSPIRE Fellow in August 2012. Diwakar worked on understanding the role of claudins and how they function in the C. elegans nervous system.


Maruthi Prasad

mimpatp [at] gmail [dot] com

Maruthi is a native of Madurai in Tamil Nadu, from where he completed his primary education. Maruthi joined IISER Mohali in August 2012 as an INSPIRE fellow, Maruthi worked on a project with Yogesh to understand how transcription factors are involved in memory formation and learning in C. elegans.


Saurabh Thapliyal

saurabh.iiser [at] gmail [dot] com

Saurabh, a native of Karanprayag, Uttarakhand. He joined IISER as an INSPIRE fellow in August 2011. In his final year thesis project he worked on understanding the neural circuitry of C. elegans. Saurabh is currently pursuing his doctoral studies at University of Fribourg in Switzerland.


Aiswarya Joy

joymaiswarya [at] gmail [dot] com

Aiswarya, a native of Cochin, Kerala, joined IISER Mohali in August 2011 as an INSPIRE fellow. She completed her final year thesis in the lab and is currently working at AIIMS, New Delhi.


Shiji L.V.

Shiji is a native of Kerala, who joined IISER Mohali in August 2010. In our lab, she worked on understanding multidrug resistance proteins in C. elegans and graduated with a BS/MS degree in 2015. She is currently pursuing her PhD at IISER, Trivandrum.


Kuldeep Tomar

tomarkuldeep39 [at] gmail [dot] com

Kuldeep was a senior undergraduate student at IISER Mohali, where he joined in July 2009, as an INSPIRE fellow, after completing his schooling from Dehradun. Kuldeep

was interested in studying the role of morphogens in synapse development and function. More specifically, Kuldeep was involved in understanding the role of TGFb family of morphogens at the C. elegans nervous system. Kuldeep graduated from IISER Mohali in 2014.

Kuldeep has graduated with a degree in management from IIM Calcutta.


Shivam Bhardwaj

shivambhardwaj [at] hotmail [dot] com

Shivam was a senior undergraduate student and IISER Mohali where he joined in July 2008, as a KVPY scholar, after completing his schooling from Patna. Shivam worked on setting up assays that would help identifying molecules involved in memory formation.

Shivam graduated from IISER Mohali in 2013. He has just finished his PhD from The National University of Singapore.

Junior Research Fellows

Ambey Dwivedi

ambeydwivedi [at] gmail [dot] com

Ambey is a native of the Cultural Capital of India, Banaras (Kashi), Uttar Pradesh. He completed his undergraduate education at the Banaras Hindu University, with an honours in Chemistry. After his Undergraduate degree, he went on to do his Masters in Biotechnology from IIT, Bombay (Mumbai). Ambey is GATE and CSIR-UGC NET qualified. Ambey spent a year getting hand-on experience in Neurobiology before starting his PhD.

Ambey is currently pursuing his PhD at CDFD, Hyderabad.