I got my PhD in Biochemistry from the National Institute of Immunology at New Delhi (India). My thesis was about delineating the biochemical properties of sickle cell haemoglobin in a specific context. Subsequently, I joined the Fink lab at University of California in Santa Cruz (UCSC, USA) as a postdoctoral fellow where we were characterizing α-synluclein’s role in Parkinson’s disease. An unplanned set of events led me to my current field of Astrobiology. My love for this field was nurtured at the Deamer lab in UCSC. I finished my postdoctoral stint with a post doc at the FAS Center for Systems Biology at Harvard (Cambridge, USA) prior to joining IISER Pune in 2012. In our lab, we are working to help discern the series of events that might have led to the origin and evolution of early life on prebiotic Earth.
Dr. Sudha Rajamani
Current Lab Members
I completed my doctoral studies in chemical biology from the IISER Pune in 2016. My doctoral research was aimed at the development of robust and modular labeling methods to study RNA function in vitro and in cells. I joined the COoL lab at Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune as a postdoctoral fellow in September 2016 where we are working on the synthesis and characterization of putative ribonucleoside precursors that are potential ancestors to modern nucleobase analogs.
I have completed my Masters in Biotechnology from Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla (the queen of hills). For PhD, IISER Pune seemed the best fit for me and thus have joined the COoL lab as a PhD grad student in Jan 2021. I am primarily interested in understanding the role amino acids and peptides might have played in the early evolution of life. In this regard, I am currently trying to understand how amino acid and nucleotides might have reacted in a one pot experiment and how this could have led to the modern-day emergent properties such as translation. My interests lie in cooking and reading novels (fantasy and fiction of course). Other than that I have found a new found zeal in learning taekwondo (some fun in kicking and punching, I suppose)!!!
I completed my bachelors from University of Calcutta and masters from Maulana Azad College, under University of Calcutta, both degrees are in zoology. Now, I became a member of COoL Lab family at IISER, Pune in the new year of 2020. I am interested in understanding, functionalization and evolution of protocell membranes, towards transition from non-living to living chemical systems. Apart from the scientific brainstorming, I love music, playing sports, designing and drawing, reading novels and writing stuff helps to calm the storm ;-)
I have completed my Master’s in Zoology from Maulana Azad College, affiliated to The University Of Calcutta. I joined the COoL lab in January 2023. I am very enthusiastic about the translational approach of prebiotic chemistry towards synthetic biology. I am trying to understand how non-enzymatic template-directed replication may have happened in the prebiotic milieu. Apart from academics, I love trekking, listening to music, singing, and maybe cooking!!!
I have completed my M.Sc. in Biochemistry from M.S. University, Baroda. Being a beginner in the field of Chemical Origin of Life, I am excited by the question of how the transition from chemistry to biology happened. In particular, I am intrigued by the idea of nonenzymatic template-directed replication under early Earth conditions. Besides doing science, I love origami, playing badminton, and writing biological science for a general non-biology audience.
I joined the COoL lab in December 2022 in my 3rd year of Integrated BS-MS. My previous research experience pertained to the synthesis of antibody fragments in genetically modified E. coli. This project was nominated in the 'Top 10' category amongst 350 projects in the International Genetically Engineered machines (iGEM) Competition 2022. Currently, I work on studying the physicochemical properties of vesicles formed by modified lipids in a prebiotic scenario. I am also working on metalloporphyrin complexes and how they could function as photocatalysts in carrying out early prebiotic reactions. Yes, I am a lipid-world and a metabolism-first person :) Science aside, I am a motorsport enthusiast, and I also enjoy cricket, badminton, cycling, and music!
Dr. Niraja Bapat
Dr. Manesh Prakash Joshi
Currently NASA Postdoctoral fellow at Pennsylvania State University
Dr. Chaitanya Mungi
Dr. Sikha Dagar
Currently Post-doc at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Dr. Susovan Sarkar
Currently Post-doc at University of Texas at Austin.