I completed my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees through an integrated BS-MS program in the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) in Kolkata, India in 2020. Intrigued by the influence epigenetics has on gene expression and cellular differentiation, I pursued my master’s thesis in the group of Dr. Sanjeev Galande in IISER Pune (2019-2020). I worked on studying the effect of the chromatin organizer Satb2 as a gatekeeper of zygotic genome activation in zebrafish embryogenesis. It was there that I was introduced to the world of developmental epigenetics.
I then joined HMGU as a PhD student in the Institute of Epigenetics and Stem Cells in November, 2020. Under the guidance of Dr. Eva Hormanseder, I am now studying cell fate reprogramming using the classical method of somatic cell nuclear transfer, and the epigenetic factors that contribute to its resistance. I am investigating how the mechanisms of propagation of active chromatin marks in early embryos, which aid in stabilization of cell fate, may be similar to the processes that contribute to reprogramming resistance. As a group, we hope to gain insight into the epigenetic mechanisms that stabilize cell fates and consequently, understand how to improve reprogramming.