Special Interview -Episode1002
Dr. Athulya Aravind
Indian Institute of Technology Delhi
Dr. Athulya Aravind visits the Bio-Nano Electronics Research Centre as the interface between the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi and the Bio-Nano Electronics Research Centre for a collaborative nanotechnology research project.
Please introduce yourself and your university.
Hello! I am Dr. Athulya Aravind, currently working as a post-doctoral researcher from the Bio-Nano Electronics Research Centre (BNERC), Toyo University, Japan, employed at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, India to coordinate a joint collaborative research programme. I graduated from the Graduate School of Interdisciplinary New Science, Toyo University, in Bio-Nano Science Fusion Course in 2012. My PhD research was in the area of cancer nanotechnology involving targeted nano drug delivery. I have been mainly involved in investigating the aptamer-conjugated nanoparticles mediated targeting of tumour cells.
What is your recent research topic?
I am presently working on a project entitled “Studies on assembly of protein molecules on gold nanoparticles, quantum dots and magnetic nanoparticles”. It is a collaboration project between the Kusuma School of Biological Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi and the Bio-Nano Electronics Research Centre, Toyo University.
What is your motivation to do research abroad?
While I was visiting Japan as a cultural studies exchange student in 2008, I had the opportunity to meet Prof. Sakthi Kumar and through him I came to know about the various research opportunities and facilities available at BNERC, Toyo University. Prof. Kumar’s sincere and timely advice and constant motivation was my driving force to do research abroad. Also, Japan enchanted me and inspired me greatly to come back again. It’s a country, which treats its visitors with great respect and kindness. Hence I came back to Japan in 2009 as a PhD student at Toyo University.
Please tell us about your life in India.
I hail from Kerala, a south western state of India and I am currently residing in New Delhi, the capital city. India exists in a quantum state – in India all things are true at once. The cultural differences and unanimity across the country is the binding force of the largest democracy of the world. Delhi is located in northern India and is the seat of the executive, legislative, and judiciary branches of the Government of India. Even though there is a huge cultural shift between North and South India, life at Delhi is a unique experience.
You are working as the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD) as a coordinator of the collaborative research project between Toyo University and IITD. What do you do exactly?
Yes, I work as the interface between the two universities. We have a Research Collaboration Office of Toyo University in IIT Delhi from where we coordinate various collaborative research projects with different departments/centre/schools of IIT Delhi. We also select quite a few collaborative research proposals from PhD students of IIT Delhi every year and facilitate students' visit to BNERC and vice-versa. This programme offers the students of both institutes an international exposure as well as an opportunity to work with various research facilities that are available at one institution but not at the other. Thereby we try to elevate the level of research conducted and expedite the research by pooling the intellectual and infrastructural facilities of both institutes. Since the implementation of this project, within 18 months we have achieved the desired results which includes one collaborative research publication, one collaborative research poster at an international symposium, twelve collaboration projects, students training and visits by professors and a workshop.
What's it like to do research at the BNERC?
It has always been a great experience working at BNERC. The new BNERC beta building with its state-of-the-art facilities provides great ambience and working atmosphere.
What is your dream and goal regarding research?
My dream is to work in a challenging research organisation, which constantly motivates me in giving my best and which provides me opportunities to upgrade my research to industry levels.