From: Mumbai, India
Undergraduate (BSc, Biotechnology): University of Mumbai, India
Masters (MS, Biotechnology): State University of New York at Buffalo
What I like most about Ithaca: Ithaca is friendly and close-knit, and hence makes me feel at home! Its old stone architecture, bridges, gorges, plantations and trails are paradise surrounding an intellectually stimulating setting.
What I like most about Cornell: Its scientific environment coupled with the warm and friendly faculty and students fosters an ideal learning environment.
Top reason for choosing Cornell: Cornell’s MBG department was one of the few programs to offer ‘lab rotations’ prior to joining a lab. This encouraged me to explore my scientific interests and taught me the importance of multidisciplinary research. The faculty are very down-to-earth and take personal interest in your work and development.
Thing you didn’t know about Cornell before you came: Cornell has a lake and a waterfall inside the campus! Its just mesmerizing to sit by the lake after a long day or star gaze on the Libe slope by night.
Most exciting (scientific) person you’ve met since coming to Cornell: Nobel laureates: Roger Kornberg and Randy Schekman
About my research
The Schroeder lab is interested in the structural characterization of small molecules using NMR and MS analysis and elucidating their biological functions. One of our key areas of research is understanding the “dauer” stage in C. elegans, wherein the worm enters a seemingly “non-ageing” state of metabolic arrest. My project focuses on understanding the mode of action of Daf12 and Din1, the 2 key proteins involved in triggering this dauer formation. Additionally, I am also working on identifying the endogenous small molecule ligand(s) for the nuclear receptor AHR, which is known to play a critical role in immune response and tumorigenesis, by using a high-content metabolomics approach, coupled with protein-protein interactions and functional in-vitro binding assays.