I am currently working as an Early Career Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Study (IAS), University of Warwick. I carried out my PhD studies under the supervision of Prof Georgy Koentges in the School of Life Sciences, University of Warwick in collaboration with Dr Johann K Eberhart, University of Texas at Austin, USA where I focussed on comparative craniofacial development in vertebrates. Prior to this, I was a graduate research student in IIT Kanpur, India where I focussed on the vertebrate limb and hair development (I discontinued this programme and joined the University of Warwick). I hold a master's degree in biochemical technology from MKU, Madurai, India and a BSc(Honours) degree in zoology from Delhi University, India.
2018-present: Early Career Fellowship, Institute of Advanced Study, University of Warwick, UK.
2014-2018: International Chancellor's Scholarship, University of Warwick, UK.
2017 SPIRIT Summer School, University of Gottingen, Germany; Travel & Accommodation award.
2014 MIBTP-BBSRC doctoral training award (declined).
2011-2016: Graduate assistantship, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, India (discontinued this programme).
2009-2011: JNU CEEB scholarship for Masters course.
Best Flash talk award at Warwick postdoctoral science symposium in May 2019.
Best poster award at Warwick SLS PGR Symposium-2016.
I am interested in understanding the comparative development of the vertebrate face. A set of a highly conserved, transient-embryonic cellular population known as the neural crest cells (NCCs) is known to carry out the craniofacial patterning in vertebrates. Though the cranial NCCs and their stereotypic migratory routes during early embryogenesis are highly conserved across vertebrate species yet there are striking morphological differences in the adult vertebrate face. I am trying to understand if and how the "highly conserved" NCCs during late embryogenesis selectively tweak the developmental programs to attain species-specific craniofacial morphology. To this end, I am currently attempting to reconstruct the comparative pharyngeal fate maps in different vertebrate species like zebrafish, chick, axolotl and mouse to understand how alterations in the migratory patterns of NCCs might have introduced unique morphological variations in different species during vertebrate evolution. I am also interested in understanding how an abnormal migration of these cells during development can cause various craniofacial diseases using mouse as a model organism.
Koentges Lab, School of Life Sciences