I was born in Kolkata, eastern part of India where I did my schooling. Later, I moved to Bombay, on the western coast of the country, where I did my Bachelor’s in Microbiology and Biochemistry. I received the chance to do internships in labs doing cutting-edge science and that is how I realised my love for research in biology.

For my Master’s, I wanted to delve deeper into molecular and cell biology and the unique curriculum offered by Leiden University, The Netherlands, motivated me to apply there. This is how I landed in Europe. During my Master’s, I studied molecular genetics and biotechnology.

I also did 2 master theses during that time. One was at the Institute of Biology, Leiden with Dr. Sylvia de Pater. The project investigated the role of Mre11 in alt-NHEJ DNA repair pathway during targeted T-DNA integration in Arabidopsis thaliana, the Mre11 mutant plants were generated using CRISPR-Cas9. My second thesis project was at Janssen Vaccines Leiden in the Bacterial Vaccine Analytical and Development team with Dr. Anish Chakkumkal. I developed a novel assay to test the consistency of harvest process used to extract glycoconjugate antigens from E.coli periplasm for the Extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC) vaccine development. With this diverse research experience, I realised what I wanted to pursue next and applied for PhD positions.

This is how I came to Münster through the CiM-IMPRS graduate school in Mario’s lab in 2022. The idea of a project that combines different aspects of my interest (viruses, cell biology and glycobiology) seemed like the best way to take the next step in my research career. My project aims to study the interactions between HPV and bacterial glycans. Apart from this, I am quite a social person but one could also use the adjective ‘selectively social’ for me. From my past, one can already guess my love for travelling and exploring new places. I love to know more about new cultures and explore new cuisines. I look forward to having a great time in Münster, cheers!