Special Interview -Episode1006
Ms Nisha Ponnappan
Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, India
Ms Nisha Ponnappan, a PhD candidate of the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT-D) carried out collaborative bio-nano research at the Bio-Nano Electronics Research Centre from 8 June to 7 July, 2015.
Note that Toyo University and IIT-D exchanged an MoU on the development of collaborative research & educational programmes in 2013.
Please introduce yourself and your university.
Hello, my name is Nisha P. I am pursuing doctoral research from Kusuma School of Biological Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, under the guidance of Dr. Archana Chugh and Prof. Aditya Mittal. The Ph. D programme at IIT Delhi is funded by University Grants Commission (UGC), Government of India.
IIT Delhi is primarily an engineering institute which offers graduate and post-graduate programs across various disciplines. Besides, different departments in the institute offer Ph. D programs for eligible students who are interested in pursuing research. The students for doctoral programme are selected based on their GATE scores (a national level test) and further screening through tests and interviews. Over the years, the institute has gained international repute in scientific research by providing excellent infrastructural facilities to students and through collaborative research with different institutes around the globe.
What is your recent research topic?
My doctoral research is focussed on the area of cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs). CPPs are small peptides that have the ability to cross the cell-membranes and carry, otherwise impermeable, cargo molecules along with them. My research encompasses the study of their transport across different membranes at cellular and molecular level.
What inspired you to become a scientist?
Actually I was pretty much clueless as to what is the area of my interest till bachelors programme. It was only when I started working on my dissertation project during masters that I started developing an interest in research. The dissertation project was based on “the study of neutralization of haemorrhagic activity of viper venoms by a compound, N-acetyl cysteine”. It was fascinating to observe different biological activity unfold during various experiments, the reasons behind which were challenging to comprehend. It was during that period that I realised that I want to pursue research as my career and I am happy that I ventured into this field.
What are your dreams and goals regarding future research?
The short-term goal is to perform quality research and publish in good peer-reviewed journals. Long term goal is to upgrade my knowledge and skills to industry level and contribute to scientific knowledge through research.