After my B.Sc (Bachelor of Science, Hons) in Biochemistry from the University of Delhi (India), I joined the lab of the late Veronica Rodrigues in the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai (India), for an Integrated Masters-PhD program for which I received the TIFR research fellowship. After Veronica's sad demise, I worked with K. VijayRaghavan at the National Center for Biological Sciences, Bangalore (India) where I got the wonderful opportunity to collaborate with Heinrich Reichert (Biozentrum,University of Basel).
During my Ph.D, I worked on the developmental mechanisms that orchestrate the wiring of the olfactory neural circuit in Drosophila melanogaster, which eventually led to the discovery of a new player: a zinc-finger transcription factor called Jing, in this process. I also focussed on the possible interactions between the larval and adult olfactory circuits during metamorphosis in Drosophila and investigated the putative role of this interaction in building the adult olfactory circuit.Now I am switching gears from neurobiology to evo-devo in my first post-doc in the Extavour lab. Since I am still in love with fruit flies, I am excited about working on them again to address the evolutionary mechanisms that determine fertility in female fruit flies. I will be looking at the earliest embryonic events that initiate development somatic gonad, and how these events contribute to formation of the ovarioles (egg-producing structures in Drosophila) that eventually effect female fecundity.
My hobbies include reading, writing, cooking, travelling, solving puzzles, watching movies and dancing. I also enjoy teaching and hope to spend more time teaching in the future.
Nair I, Rodrigues V, Reichert H, VijayRaghavan K (2013). The zinc finger transcription factor Jing is required for dendrite/axonal targeting in Drosophila antennal lobe development. Developmental Biology, 381(1): 17–27