News / 16 March 2021

Share with us something about you most people wouldn’t know.

On the science/education front, I did not code or take formal computer science courses in high school, but ended up opting for a Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science as the second course in my dual degree at university. (On the personal front, I have hypermobile joints, so I can do some neat party tricks.)

Why did you become a scientist?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been intrigued by how things work. Naturally, this translated into an interest in pursuing biological sciences in my undergrad. I continue to remain a scientist because of the thrill of discovery, which obviates all the other frustrations that come with one being in academia.

What are your scientific interests?

I am interested in understanding how living cells integrate multiple stochastic processes for optimal positioning and distribution of intracellular compartments in health and disease. The major players in the process are the cytoskeleton and motor proteins, which are the components my research is focused on studying using advanced microscopy.

What are your goals for your group?

I am hoping to build a research environment that is scientifically stimulating but open, welcoming and inclusive at the same time. I envision a group that works towards a common goal of enhanced understanding of living cells without a compromise on individuals’ mental and physical health, mutual respect and integrity. The goal is to help everyone achieve their potential in the process.

Name one tool you can’t do without. 

Does coffee count?

What advice would you give early-career researchers in the current climate? 

With the way science academia works now, a lot of things are a crapshoot and therefore it’s especially hard for ECRs who are trying to get a foot in the door.

Whether you get the next grant, award or fellowship is not entirely up to you. So don’t be too harsh on yourself, and take any opportunity that comes your way; get feedback from people you trust and look up to, work on it and hope for the best.
 

More about Vaishnavi's research