Lecture Series in Advanced Cell Biology 2015

Theme: Disease Biology

18 Jan to 15 March 2015, NCBS, Bangalore

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An advanced course in Disease Biology will take place on NCBS campus, Bangalore.

Classes will be held every Sunday from 18th January to 15th March 2015 from 10am to 12:30pm.

The target audience is students currently enrolled in bachelor level courses (BS, BSc) with a strong interest in fundamental research. The minimum biology experience expected is 12th standard/ II PUC.

Classes would be led by junior researchers of NCBS (Speakers listed below), and will focus on contemporary opinions on a subset of diseases. Four broad classes of

diseases will be covered: Genetic, Environmental, Pathological, and Neurological. Each

topic will have two components: 1) a lecture about the topic and 2) a paper discussion,

also called journal club or scientific activity.

Please note that the format of this course is discussion-based. It is aimed at understanding biology from a research perspective. Students will be expected to read provided materials and engage in discussions during the classes. The journal club will be an interactive session: a research paper will be provided, students are required to read it, and come prepared to present data from the paper and discuss the results. Attendance in all classes would be mandatory.

No. of participants: 40 students (3rd year BSc students)


<<LS2015 group photo>>




I completed my PhD from National Center for Cell Science, Pune and worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher at The Ohio State University, Columbus for 3 years. I am a trained Biochemist and Molecular Biologist with specialization in RNA biology and Translation regulation. Currently I am studying the role of translation regulation in Long term Memory with Drosophila Olfactory System as a Model.


I got my PhD at SUNY, Stony Brook, USA in Biochemistry and Structural Biology. I then moved to infectious diseases at the University of Washington, Seattle. Currently, I am working as a Wellcome Trust/ DBT India Alliance Early Career Fellow at NCBS. Using Drosophila as a model system, my work seeks to understand how neuropeptides regulate obesity and feeding.

Besides journal club, I will discuss about scientific communication and how to peruse scientific literature.

Reety Arora

I completed my PhD from University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute in 2012 in molecular biology. I specialized in tumor viruses and my project explored the newest human cancer virus- Merkel cell polyomavirus and its causative role in Merkel cell carcinoma. I then transitioned to stem cell research and am currently working as a postdoctoral fellow at inStem, NCBS, Bangalore investigating quiescence in muscle derived stem cells/satellite cells.

Shambhavi Naik

I did my PhD in cancer biology at the MRC Toxicology Unit, UK. Currently I am working at NCBS as a post-doctoral researcher studying mechanisms by which cancer cells evade cell death when subjected to different apoptotic stimuli.

For this course I will be discussing diseases related to tobacco consumption, the myths and controversies surrounding tobacco industry and the current approach to tackle tobacco-related problems.

Soumita Das

I am perusing my post-doctoral research in NCBS after getting PhD on ‘plant heavy metal homeostasis’ from Department of Biotechnology, University of Calcutta. My current area of interest is to study the role of epigenetic players in the expression and/or silencing of gene in plant system.


I completed my PhD from NTU, Singapore in May 2014 and currently a postdoc at NCBS. During my PhD, I explored the role of sphingolipids in neurodegeneration in Drosophila. At NCBS, I am interested to look at the role of phosphoinositides in modulating autophagy.

For the course, we will try and understand a bit about neurodegenerative diseases, Alzheimer’s disease in particular.


I got my PhD from the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore (IISc). During this time, I explored the role of the amounts of initiator tRNAs during bacterial protein synthesis. After my PhD, I worked as a freelance science writer and journalist for a year, writing for journals such as New Scientist, Down to Earth and Discover magazine. Now I am back in the lab as a postdoctoral researcher, and am exploring a potential link between stress and tRNA levels in bacteria.

For this course, I will be discussing prions, specifically yeast prions, and what makes them special both as heritable traits and in disease.


I am working toward my PhD in the laboratory of Dr. Aswin Sai Narain Seshasayee at NCBS, where I study bacterial gene regulation under conditions of stress and starvation. For this course, I will be discussing bacterial diseases of the gut, and how the interplay between the resident flora of the gut and invading pathogens can influence the progress of disease.

Deepti Trivedi

I did a PhD at University of Cambridge, UK on role of phosphoinositides in phototransduction. Subsequently, my postdoctoral research was on phototransduction and neuronal signaling at University of California, Los Angeles and University of Texas, medical branch, USA respectively. Currently, I am a scientist at Centre for Cellular and molecular platforms researching on new generation genomic engineering tools.

John Rowell

I undertook my Ph.D. in the Chromatin and Gene Regulatory Proteins lab in the Department of Biochemistry of the University of Cambridge, and was supervised by Prof. Dame Jean Thomas FRS. My thesis focused on an NMR study of the putative interaction between the intrinsically unstructured N-terminal domain of the tumour suppressor protein p53 and the chromatin-associated high mobility group protein HMGB1. Following this I worked as a biotechnology consultant in Paris for two years before returning to science as a post-doc in the the Institut de Myologie in Paris, France, working on early-onset myopathies with Dr Ana Ferreiro. Currently I am a visiting fellow at inStem from Paris Diderot University working on the regulation of muscle stem cells in an early-onset myopathy.