I am an expert in, in vitro (iPS/ES Stem cell models, Organoids, primary cells and cell based assays) & in vivo (European FELASA C certified “Animal experiment Study Director”), Viral vector development (AAV, Lentivirus, etc), immunoassays, protein biochemistry, OMICS and usage for disease modeling and therapeutic assay development. For the past 12 years I have been working on novel methodologies both in vivo and in vitro for the purpose of CNS disease characterization studies and therapeutic intervention using shRNAs, antibodies and lately CRISPR gene editing system. Among several responsibilities as a Senior Scientist, I have been extensively involved with management of internal projects, external collaborators, writing grant proposals, Study designs, developing and implementing new methodologies in suitable assays.
Senior research Scientist Zurich
Since November 2013
As a senior scientist, I have been extensively involved with management of internal projects, writing grant proposals, Study designs, developing and implementing new methodologies in suitable model systems. Especially in my work at USZ, I have been managing research projects focusing viral vector mediated delivery of antibodies, CRISPR for in vitro and in vivo, phenotype rescue to study the role of gene mutations using Omics based approach.
Primary focus on Neurodegenerative diseases, Prion & ALS using Stem cells, ES and iPSC cell based model systems.
I have used gene-editing tools like CRISPR expansively for gene KO and mutation studies in human primary cells/iPS stem cells, mouse lines, and performed extensive in silico analysis of genetic perturbation after genome editing for off-targets and phenotype identification. I have developed and established preclinical cell biological and biochemical assays for major human diseases (ALS, Prion, Alzheimer’s Disease, etc.,), drug screening assays at CUMC, USZ as well as in our collaborative labs in Zurich.
Therapeutic Antibody and CRISPR screens, OMICS, Viral vector mediated gene delivery
Project lead and coordinator Wolhusen, Switzerland
March 2016 --- June 2017
Project lead and coordinator for Geistlich Pharma AG, Wolhusen, Switzerland on a successfully completed collaborative study aimed at using 3D human iPS Stem cells/Organoids for regenerative therapy for Cartilage and Bone diseases. I managed the project to assess the influence of collagen-based Scaffolds on stem cell and 3D Organoid regeneration, especially Cartilage tissue growth for future transplantation into patients as regeneration therapy.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow New York, NY, United States
January 2011 --- September 2013
After my Ph.D, I moved to US to pursue my first Postdoctoral fellowship in Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC), NYC, US, working on Neurodegenerative diseases like ALS (motoneuron disease) with a using human iPS/ES Stem cells, derived cells lineages for which I was successfully awarded Helmsley stem cell starter grant.
Working on ALS disease using patient Stem cells, ES and iPSC cells model systems
Animal models of ALS mutations, NGS, Protein biochemistry
Ph.D student Zürich, Switzerland
February 2005 --- July 2010
I did my Doctoral degree in Molecular Neurobiology from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland in 2010. Here, I developed novel in vivo (rodents) technologies like molecular sponges for cell/tissue specific gene manipulations and delivery of gene/shRNA/miRNA/ using viral gene expression methodologies to study the complex synaptic adaptations during addictive CNS diseases. For the very first time, I have identified the role of miRNAs in synaptic plasticity induced by drugs of abuse in vivo resulting in a number of highly cited top publications.
Molecular Neuroscience, using Animal models, Viral vector development, Behavior analysis, Sterotactic surgery, Neuroanatomical studies, Dopamineric system. GPCRs
Animal models Biochemistry Cell biology R&D Scientific writingAntibodiesAseptic TechniquesAssay developmentBioanalysisBiological Drug DevelopmentBiologyBioinformaticsBiotechnologyBudgetingCell Based AssaysCell CultureCell SignalingCellular Product DevelopmentCNSCoachingCommunication SkillsCompliance with regulationsConfocal MicroscopyData AnalysisDesign of Experiments (DOE) Drug metabolismDNADiagnosticsDatabasesDNA sequencingELISAEnzyme AssaysExperimentationFlow CytometryFluorescence MicroscopyFunctional AnalysisGene therapyGenetic polymorphismGeneticsGenomicsGrant WritingGraphPad PrismGXPHistologyHigh Throughput Screening (HTS)ImmunoassaysImmunocytochemistry (ICC)In VitroIn VivoInfectious diseasesInflammationLaboratory ManagementLaboratory study designLeadershipMicrosoft OfficeMolecular CloningNeurosciencePathology labspeople managementPersonalized MedicinePharmaceutical IndustryPharmaceutical ResearchPre-clinical researchPresentation SkillsProduct developmentProtein EngineeringProtein ExpressionqPCRScientific WritingScientific CommunicationsSmall moleculesStem cell researchStudy proposalsSystems BiologyTeam ManagementWriting Study Procedures and SOPs3D culture Organoid cell assay
Skills and Expertise
project management Create SOPs Develop protocols Interpret data Technology research Write papers Write protocolsAct as the main line of communication between the sponsor and the investigatorAdvise on strategyAssign activitiesBiomarker ResearchCell cultureCoach and provide guidance to clinical staff.Collaborate with project teamConduct animal studiesConduct research at universitiesCoordinate ethics committeeCoordinate projectsData verificationDesign efficiency studyDesign protocolsDesign scientific experimentsFollow up projectsGuide staffGuide studentsManage budgetsManage multiple projectsManage subject safetyManuscript preparation and reviewOral presentationPeople managementPlan work to meet objectives and deadlinesR&DSet up research projectsSupervise PhD studentsSupervise analysts and researchersTrain on site staffUse laboratory techniquesUse fluorescence microscopyUse western blotting techniqueWrite final reportsWritten presentation Analyze data Analytical skills Lab scale batches Receptor Pharmacology Report dataAdjust processes Adjust methodsAlzheimerAseptic techniquesFACSELISAIMMUNOASSAYScollaborate in research projects at universitiesCommunication
Post graduate training in Protein chemistry and Crystallography from Indian Institute of Science in 2005
Master of Science (MS) in Microbial Gene technology from Madurai Kamaraj University in 2002
Bachelor in Microbiology from Bharathidasan University in 2000
Training and Certification
FELASA C-(LTK-2 module for Study director supervising animal experiments) in 2015 Certification