Hometown: Bombay, India
Ph.D., Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics - Kansas State University (2014)
Current Research: Outer membrane proteins (OMPs) are an important and diverse class of β-barrel proteins that are found in the outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria as well as mitochondria and chloroplasts. These proteins play crucial roles in numerous cellular processes both in prokaryotes and eukaryotes, including: membrane biogenesis, transport of toxins and metabolites, siderophore reception, enzyme translocation and mediators for bacterial infections. My research is focused on developing a tractable model system to study the biophysical forces that govern and direct polymeric β-barrel assembly, folding and insertion into lipid membranes. A determination of the principles of β-ligand design would enable the efficient targeting of engineered ligands to OMPs such as the VDAC-1 whose inability to induce apoptosis in tumorigenic mitochondria plays a contributing role in cancer metastasis.