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Research groups

Aashika Sekar

DPhil Student

I completed my dual degree (B.Tech and M.Tech) program in Biochemical Engineering and Biotechnology at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IIT D) in 2017.

During the duration of my coursework, I had the opportunity to work on a summer research project with Prof. Jeremy Simpson at University College Dublin. I investigated the time-dependent intracellular distribution of polystyrene nanoparticles of different sizes, and identified and validated master regulators of internalization of these nanoparticles in HeLa cells.

Following this endeavour, I received the Khorana Program for Scholar’s Award 2016 from the Government of India and Indo-US Science and Technology Forum. It gave me the opportunity to work with Prof.Suzanne Pfeffer at Stanford University on a three-month summer internship, where I studied the role of Rb39B in the early onset of Parkinson’s disease. 

I was then awarded the Ministry of Human Resource Scholarship by the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India to undertake my Master’s project with Prof. Atul Narang at IIT D. My project aimed to increase the efficiency of industrial ethanol production from marine waste by overcoming catabolite repression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. 

My DPhil project in the Wilson Laboratory aims to dissect the regulation and functions of steroid receptor activity in prostate-like secondary cells of the Drosophila accessory gland. This work involves a combination of fly genetics, microdissection, high resolution fluorescence imaging and analysis of transcriptional targets. To date, my work suggests remarkable parallels between regulatory processes in fly and human prostate cells, which appear to be relevant to prostate cancer progression.