Sunday Scholar Sessions

Bose/Khorana Alumni Talks

2020 Quarantine Zoom Sessions

After having meetings to catch up with scholar groups, Naveeda was motivated to continue the weekly Zoom meetings, this time in a way that would include all of the scholars who wanted to join from any year. The vision for our Sunday Sessions was to have a space where scholars could get together once a week and learn from one another. Having Alumni who were interested in sharing their experiences and new or more recent scholars who were interested in learning about new advancements was what helped craft the reality of these Sunday Sessions. For most of the Sundays over the past few months, WINStep has organized and host 2-3 Alumni each week sharing their stories with about a good amount, 20-30 or more at times, scholars in attendance. These typically last one hour on Sunday mornings, 9:30am CST and supply plenty of time for scholars to ask questions to the speakers. Below are small descriptions of each speaker, each of whom we are so proud of!


July 5th 2020

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Niranjana Natarajan, 2009 Khorana Scholar. Niranjana is currently a postdoctoral researcher at University of Pittsburgh. Niranjana is currently exploring the molecular mechanisms underlying inflammation in cardiovascular disease and heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. She was part of the Khorana Program in 2009. Niranjana did her Ph.D from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (2011-2016), where she worked on the interplay of microbial metabolites and GPCRs in blood pressure regulation. Niranjana’s graduate work was supported by an American Heart Association predoctoral fellowship. 


Devesh Bhimsaria, 2008 Khorana Scholar. Devesh is the founder and CEO of BioInformatics LTD in Jaipur. Dr. Devesh Bhimsaria works on development of computational tools and algorithms to elucidate DNA-protein binding obtained by high-throughput experimental platforms. In the past, he was part of the first batch of the prestigious Khorana Scholars program in 2008. In 2010 he received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in the department of Electronics & Communication Engineering of IIT Roorkee, with a medal for securing 1st rank in the department.


Prasanna Venkatesan Ravindran, 2018 SN Bose Scholar. Prasanna is studying electrical and computer engineering at Georgia Tech and will be sharing some details about his current project. Prasanna Venkatesan Ravindran was a 2018 S.N. Bose Scholar at Johns Hopkins University. He received his B. Tech. in Engineering from IIT Palakkad with a Gold Medal in the Department of Electrical Engineering. He was also the Chief Editor and Co-founder of The Fleet Street, IIT Palakkad’s student media body. He is currently in his PhD at Georgia Tech in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, where he works on Ferroelectrics and electronics based on quantum effects in Dr. Asif Islam Khan’s lab.




July 12th 2020

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Jishnu Das, 2009 Khorana Scholar. Jishnu is a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Departments of Immunology and Computational & Systems Biology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Jishnu graduated from IIT Kanpurwith a B. Tech in Biological Sciences and Bioengineering and then completed his Ph.D. from Cornell University where he worked on using protein interactome networks in conjunction with structure and evolutionary dynamics to understand molecular phenotypes underlying genetic disorders.


Nuzhat Ahsan, 2008 Khorana Scholar. Nuzhat is working as a DST WOS A Scientist at Institute of Life Sciences Bhubaneshwar, India. During her Khorana fellowship and her Ph.D. at the National Institute of Immunology in New Delhi, she worked on protein misfolding, aggregation and neurodegenerative disorders accompanying it.


Amartya Pradhan, 2019 Khorana Scholar. Amartya shared about his experiences helping out with the social media of WINStep Forward. Amartya was a Khorana Scholar in 2019 and volunteers for WINStep Forward. Currently, he is a Junior Research Scholar in Vaidya Lab at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai. He is also serving as the Vice President of Project Encephalon, an international student interest group in Neuroscience, and is a member of Alba Network.





July 19th 2020

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Kanika Khan, 2013 Khorana Scholar. Kanika completed my PhD in the labs of Prof. Elizabeth Villa and Prof. Kit Pogliano at University of California, San Diego in January 2020. Kanika completed her PhD in Biology at University of California, San Diego where she studied how bacteria grow and divide using high-resolution imaging methods in cryo-electron microscopy. She recently started her postdoc with Prof. Michael Fischbach at Stanford to study the role of gut bacteria in modulating host health and disease. 


Ahanjit Bhattacharya, 2009 Khorana Scholar. Ahanjit is a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Prof. Neal Devaraj at the University of California San Diego. He received his Ph.D. from the same lab during 2014-2020. Prior to moving to the United States, he completed Integrated Masters in Chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. His research interests include artificial cells, origins of life, lipid materials and bioconjugate chemistry.




July 26th 2020

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Ahana Chatterjee, 2017 Khorana Scholar. Trained as a Biomedical Engineer and Biotechnology researcher, Ahana forayed into development and public health after her degree from IIT Bombay. She currently works with Swasti, a global public health non-profit headquartered in Bengaluru where she manages the health technology functions in the organizations. Ahana’s training as a Biotechnologist/Biomedical Engineer has opened up interesting career choices- not conventional research, academia positions.


Manisit Das, 2014 SN Bose Scholar. Manisit Das is a pharmaceutical sciences Ph.D. with eight years of scientific research and medical communications experience, with a specialty in immuno-oncology therapeutic development. He has worked with academic and industrial cross-functional teams in the US, Taiwan, and India. He has published 13 peer-reviewed articles and currently serves as a reviewer in journals such as ACS Nano, Molecular Therapy, and Analytical Chemistry. Before his Ph.D. studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Manisit finished his Bachelors and Masters of Science in Chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur. 




August 9th 2020  

Sayan Dutta and Madhulika Rai, Purdue graduate students and SciROI leadership council members. Sayan and Madhulika shared a little bit about their post docs, Sayan is at Purdue and Madhulika is at Indiana University, Bloomington, but will mostly focus on work done by the group Science and Research Opportunities in India (SciROI), and their roles in the organization.





August 23rd

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Annie Rathore, 2013 Khorana Scholar. Annie is a Technical Product Manager at Benchling, a cloud based R&D platform with the goal to accelerate life science research across industry and academia. Prior to that, as a Life Science Consultant with Deloitte, she advised top pharmaceutical clients on developing innovative strategies and leveraging technology to improve their R&D processes.

Soumi Sarkar, a 2017 SN Bose Scholar who interned at Pennsylvania State University. Soumi graduated from National Institute of Technology, Durgapur, India. Currently Soumi is working as a Software Engineer with Microsoft India R&D. She is a part of the Microsoft Tasks team that develops “Microsoft To Do” which is a task management application. 




August 30th

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Ritu Roy Chowdhury is a 2015 Khorana Scholar who interned at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) studying Systems Neuroscience. Ritu graduated from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Mohali (IISER Mohali) and is now pursuing a Ph.D. in Neuroscience at the International Max Planck Research Schools (IMPRS), Tuebingen, Germany. In her current project, she is working with mice to explore the question of how our brains sense and navigate the world around us. In her talk, she will be sharing results from her first Ph.D. project at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, Munich, where she and her team discovered key features of emotion processing in a less known brain region called the insular cortex. She will speak about her research and share what it’s like to be a Ph.D. student.


Divya Ganapathi Sankaran, 2010 Khorana Scholar who did her internship at UW Madison. Divya did his Ph.D. under Dr. Chad Pearson at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and is currently a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Andrew Grimson at Cornell University. He is investigating the role of non-coding elements in T cell division. 


Apoorva Joshi, 2015 SN Bose Scholar, is currently a Security Data Scientist at Elastic, based out of the San Francisco Bay Area, California. She has a diverse engineering background, with a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering, Master’s in Computer Engineering and now over 2+ years of research experience at the intersection of Machine Learning/Data Science and Cybersecurity. 





September 6th

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Anil Srivastava, head of Open Health Systems Laboratory (OHSL). Throughout his career Anil has worked with young people to take on challenging and innovative projects starting with learning to make films and at the same time teach his fellow students in high school to make a documentary. He founded and led a non-profit organization, Centre for Development of Instructional Technology (Cendit) whose alumni continue to do exceptional work in many disciplines across the world. After Cendit he worked as the founding chief executive of NASSCOM (National association of Software and Service Companies). Currently he is the President of the Open Health Systems Laboratory (; serves as a Special Volunteer with the Radiation Research Program of the US National Cancer Institute; and is engaged in setting up the International Centre of Excellence for Computational and Biomedical Sciences (ICECBS) in partnership with Indian Institute of Technology Delhi.




September 27th

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Smruthi Vijayaraghavan, after Smruthi’s Khorana program in 2011 and completing my B Tech in Biotechnology in 2012, she went on to pursue my PhD in Cancer Biology from MD Anderson Cancer Center from Fall 2012 and graduated in 2017. After my PhD, she did an Industry postdoc in Janssen pharmaceutical company of J&J and transitioned into a Scientist role in Oncology Discovery in Dec 2018. Smurthi was recently promoted to Senior Scientist and current lead discovery programs within Solid Tumor Oncology from lead ID to target validation and to the clinic.  


Shruthy Suresh, Shruthy Suresh Aggarwal was born and raised in Chennai for 21 years, and received a B.Tech in Biotechnology from IIT Madras in 2013.  A summer of exciting research at Michigan State University as a Khorana Scholar in 2012 motivated her to pursue graduate studies in the US.  Shruthy obtained her Ph.D in Cancer Biology from University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center as a HHMI Med to Grad fellow in 2019. Shruthy is currently pursuing postdoctoral research in Dr. Richard White’s lab at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center as a Melanoma Research Foundation Career Development Award fellow. 




October 11th

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Siddhesh Zadey, 2017 Khorana Scholar. Siddhesh did his undergraduate in the Bachelor of Science Master of Science (BSMS) program at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune. As a Khorana Scholar, he worked towards his Master’s thesis at Harvard Medical School with Dr. Alvaro Pascual-Leone on transcranial magnetic stimulation neuromarkers for cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s. After graduating in 2018, Siddhesh volunteered with the Society for Education, Action, and Research in Community Health (SEARCH) to understand the feasibility of brain stimulation for alcohol use in the Indian tribal population. 


Aayushi Uberoi, 2010 Khorana Scholar. Aayushi is a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Dermatology and University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. She studies the role of skin microbiome in skin physiology with a special focus on wound healing and regeneration. Aayushi was recently awarded the young investigator award by Wound healing society for her work. Her work is interdisciplinary and incorporates statistical models and computational approaches to understand microbiome impact on skin. She is currently a 3rd year postdoc and is interested to pursue a faculty career in academia. 





October 18th


Ovia Kumaran was a 2013 Khorana Scholar and worked at the University of Michigan Medical Campus with Prof. Ruma Banerjee. In 2014, she moved to Europe to do a masters in biophysics/biochemistry and with a personal grant from the Belgian Research Council she started a PhD. Currently Ovia is finishing up my PhD from KU Leuven, Belgium.

Unfortunately there is not a recording available.








October 25th

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Somesh Mohapatra, a 2016 SN Bose Scholar who worked at Harvard Medical School. Somesh is a keen researcher with an entrepreneurial mindset, is applying AI in Materials Science (as PhD Candidate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and Materials Manufacturing (as Co-Founder at MatSci AI). He completed his BTech courses from IIT Roorkee (India) in 3 years in 2017, and tried his hands at Bioinformatics in Japan, a government job in India, and algorithmic trading in Singapore.


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