I am going to miss the amazing chat sessions :(
Jaypee Institute of Information Technology (2008-2012); Banasthali University (2006- 2008); University of Delhi (2003-2006)
PhD in Biotechnology (Specialization: Nanomaterial based Electrochemical Biosensor/Immunosensor); Registered Indian Patent Agent; M.Sc. Applied Microbiology & Biotechnology; B.A.Sc. Instrumentation (Hon.)
Piramal enterprises limited, Mumbai; Jaypee Institute of Information Technology
Marie Curie Post-doctoral at BDI
Dublin City University
Favourite thing to do in science: I enjoy working in the lab to make just one machine which can detect cancer in the early stages. This work is a real opportunity to give thousands of people more tomorrows.
The aim of my work is to help save lives by developing a blood test device for cancer detection that will help us to catch it early, when treatment is more likely to be successful.
I enjoy discussing science and about my work with others to have their opinion on my research area. I am working as a Marie Curie Post doctoral with Prof. Richard O’Kennedy at Biomedical Diagnostic Institute, Dublin City University. The goal of my work is to make portable, low cost, fast and easy to use tests for early detection of cancer. These medical devices are called point-of-care devices as the patient doesn’t have to go to laboratory for blood testing and the tests can be performed by a family doctor itself.
The rapid diagnostics will possibly give patients decades of life back, not just months or years. These devices require only a tiny drop of blood which means no pain while giving blood for testing. The devices will be of great help to people who are living in remote areas (villages) where there is no proper healthcare system. Since patients from these areas find it very difficult to visit doctors in cities many times, because either they are too ill to travel or due to inability to afford transportation cost. The low cost, easy to use, portable devices will be available at their local clinics for testing and diagnosis can be done there itself.
My present project is funded by European Commission “The Marie Curie Initial Training Network “Cancer Diagnosis: Parallel Sensing of Prostate Cancer Biomarkers” (PROSENSE). In order to make a device we have to work on lot of Chemistry, Biology, Materials Science and Electronics.
My Typical Day
I feel there are no typical days in life of any researcher. Every day is different and presents exciting, new challenges”. There are days when I am working in just the biology part of the work where we try to develop few biological molecules which are highly specific to only one disease whereas, few days I work in the physics part where we try to modify properties of material by making particles of nano size (one-billionth or 0.000 000 001). One nanometer is about the length that a fingernail grows in one second. I am really fascinated by nanotechnology and how stuff behaves on the nanoscale. Some days are just for electrochemistry or microfluidics work. Sometimes when my brain is just craving a little time off from lab work so I put on my favourite music, drink some coffee and read a book or any new research from the field. Then there are days which I enjoy the most when I present my work in front of others to have their opinion on the work.
What I'd do with the money
I will use the prize amount to run a workshop where we can offer a high quality, engaging science environment to middle school and high school students to increase their knowledge of core academic subject-disease and diagnosis. This will enhance their critical thinking abilities through “real-world” applications.
With the prize money if I win this competition, I want to conduct a science workshop on disease and diagnosis. The aim of the workshop will be to show students that how science can improve the lifestyle diseases like cancer, diabetes, etc. Whole workshop will be based on animations, hands-on game and small engineering projects where students have to apply their knowledge to overcome obstacles in a fun environment. This method of applied learning gives students a greater understanding of the real-world connection between classroom concepts and diagnosis industry, and allows students to explore a range of science research careers while learning the importance of continuous learning and academic excellence.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Independent, Honest and Energetic
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Difficult question, there are so many…but my all-time favorite is Maroon 5.
What's your favourite food?
Love Indian Cuisine and yea Pizza as well.
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Riding “The Flash” and “The Abyss Turbo Drop” at Ocean Park, Hong Kong thrice was the most amazing experience- You’ll hear the screams a mile away before you see it. I again had this experience in lot of rides in Lotte World, Korea it was so much fun.
What did you want to be after you left school?
I have always wanted to have a job related to medicine and science. The fact that every single thing I do in my job will go towards helping people and improving their health gives me a lot of satisfaction. So, initially I wanted to become a doctor but later on I realized research fascinates me more.
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Yes, when I bunked my English class to play volleyball with my friends.
What was your favourite subject at school?
Maths and Biology
What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?
I used to take science lab sessions for undergraduate students while doing my PhD which I really enjoyed along with research. And I have actively participated in many workshops and events to share my research ideas with other people. I have joined as a volunteer for teaching science to children after school. And the new exciting thing is I am going to participate in Physics Busking. In lab the best thing I have done is I developed new methods to make gold nanoparticles more bio compatible and prepared gold nano chains.
What or who inspired you to become a scientist?
My grandparents and curiosity to know and understand new things was the chief motivation.
If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?
A doctor or working as a traveller with discovery channel
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
First Wish: Happiness and good health for everyone, Second Wish: I want to travel around the world, Third Wish: Help developing countries to make a strong education system.
Tell us a joke.
Why did the scientist disconnect his doorbell? He wanted to win the Nobel Prize. (no bell)