inStem Projects

The following projects are available for students with fellowships. Please contact the respective faculty members for further details.

Sunil Laxman:

Highly exploratory projects are available in four areas: (1) systems-level organizational frameworks of metabolic networks, (2) metabolic oscillations and rhythms, coupled to key metabolic sensors, (3) the evolution of metabolic pathways, and (4) resource exchange between cells.

Students must have fellowships/
Students must have either strong backgrounds/interests in systems-level studies (and can write code), and/or strong foundations in analytical chemistry & biochemistry. More about these diverse areas of our research can be found at ).

Contact: sunil at

Bhavana Muralidharan:

Human in vitro disease modelling of mental illness- “Disease in a dish” model of human cerebral cortex development

Our lab studies the cellular and molecular mechanisms of neurodevelopmental disorders like schizophrenia (SZ) and bipolar disorder(BPD).

In this project we would like to study the potentially damaging effect of deleterious genetic risk variants in epigenetic modifiers and identify altered neurobiological pathways. We will generate 3D cerebral organoid cultures from patient iPSCs to model human brain development in a dish. These cerebral organoids will be used to study altered cellular neural development phenotypes, which lead to clinical symptoms of the disease.

Thus, this project will provide valuable insights into understanding how pathological mutations disturb the normal process of chromatin regulation during cortical development leading to neurodevelopmental disorder.

Contact: bhavanam at