Education and Positions: Int. M. Tech. Indian Institute of Technology Delhi 1995-2000; Software Engineer Affymax Research Institute 2000-2001; PhD The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 2001-2006; Postdoctoral Fellow 2006-2012 University of Washington; Assistant Professor (Chemistry and Chemical Biology) Rutgers University 2012-2018; Associate Professor 2018-present.
Research Interests: Protein design and engineering; design of protein functions, enzyme specificity design, metalloproteins, conditionally activatable proteins, enzyme-based biomolecular circuits, supramolecular assemblies; experimental data-driven computational modeling and simulations; machine learning in protein science.
Honors and Awards: Honorary Graduate Stipend IIT Delhi 2000; Scholars for Tomorrow Fellowship UNC 2002.
The Protein Society: Attended meetings since ~2006.
Service: Graduate Program Director (Interdisciplinary Quantitative Biomedicine Program Rutgers) 2018-present; NSF panelist and ad hoc reviewer MCB, GRFP; External reviewer for Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research; Advisory Board: Office of Advanced Research Computing Rutgers 2018-present; Meeting organization: organizer of the session on computational enzyme design at the Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology Annual Meeting 2013; co-organizer Annual Rosetta Conference 2014, TriState Area Biodesign Meeting 2015, Session on Protein Design at the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) Annual Meeting, 2016 and 2018; Faculty mentor for Rutgers undergraduate research teams iGEM 2013,2014 BIOMOD 2015, 2016.
Vision Statement: I still vividly remember the thrill of discovering that there is a society devoted to the molecules I loved (and love), and attending my first meeting. Apart from exposure to excellent science via its journal and annual meetings, the Protein Society has provided me with wonderful opportunities to learn, network and mentor – indeed the dynamic, diverse community of scientists that the society has created and nurtured over the years remains its strongest and most attractive feature in my view. If elected, my focus would be continuing and expanding efforts in diversity and inclusion of different types of protein science and scientists: in particular, (a) reaching out to undergraduate and high school students from traditionally under-represented groups via building/strengthening bridges with other societies, and (b) the effective use of social media to initiate conversations with and bring protein science and scientists to the wider international community, particularly in the developing world.