"TB or not TB?"
DPhil in Pharmacology (2002 – 2005; Medical Sciences, Oxford University); PhD in Molecular Microbiology and Biochemistry (1997 – 2001; Chemistry, Bose Institute, Kolkata, INDIA); MSc in Life Sciences with Molecular Biology & Genetics as special (1995 – 1997; Visvabharati, Santiniketan, INDIA); BSc(Hons) in Botany, Zoology & Chemistry (1992 – 1995; University of Calcutta, Kolkata, INDIA)
BSc(Hons), MSc, PhD, DPhil, PGCHE; Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, UK; Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology; Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, UK; Antibiotic Action Champion Member of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
1998 – 2000: Junior Research Fellow (Bose Insitute, Kolkata, INDIA); 2000 – 2001: Senior Research Fellow (Bose Institute, Kolkata, INDIA); 2001 – 2002: ISIS Innovation Senior Research Scholar (Division of Medical Sciences, Oxford University, UK); 2002 – 2004: Wellcome International Travelling Research Fellow (Division of Medical Sciences, Oxford University, UK); 2004 – 2006: Wellcome Post-Doctoral Research Scientist (Division of Medical Sciences, Oxford University, UK); 2006 – 2009: University Lecturer (School of Biologocal and Chemical Sciences, Birkbeck, University of London); 2009 – 2014: University Senior Lecturer (Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology, Birkbeck, University of London & UCL); 2014 – to date: Reader in Molecular Microbiology and Biochemistry (Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology, Birkbeck, University of London and UCL); 2016 – to date (Strategic Dean- International and Partnership of School of Science, Birkbeck, University of London)
University Reader in Molecular Microbiology and Biochemistry, Course Director/Admissions Tutor for MRes Global Infectious Diseases, Strategic Dean (International and Partnership)
Birkbeck, University of London
Favourite thing to do in my job: Discovering something enthralling in the lab e.g. challenging germs’ shrewd hiding tactics in our body or identifying potential of a pain-killer to beat antibiotic resistance in superbugs!
I am an extremely ambitious “young” hard-working individual, who enjoys playing Indian classical music and is a keen gardener :)
I live with my wife and our only daughter in a small village of Buckinghamshire, a county in South East England. We love eating food, the most family favourite is Thai cuisine. At home, our working week dinner starts with Rice and Indian curry and ends with Fish and chips mostly! Weekends (manly in Summer) I spend a lot of time in growing my own vegetables and kitchen herbs and get delighted watching the ever-changing beauty of nature. Some weekends when weather does not permit, I practise Indian classical music or listen to songs. Occasionally, I spend time in the kitchen to help my wife in her amazing cooking! That’s “a” secret of this Scientist’s married life, 15 years running 🙂
I am a Molecular Microbiologist and Biochemist. At my current work, I juggle research, teaching and administrative responsibilities.
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My Typical Day
Every day is a new day for me in my office and my day starts in my laboratory with a lovely perfume of microbes and chemicals infusion!
My day starts with dropping off my daugher at her school and then about an hour commute (reading articles and often answering emails) using london underground network to my office located in central London. Taking off my coat, first I visit my laboratory and take a deep breath to start my day! I have fallen in love with the typical smell of a microbiology lab since my graduate research training days. My days at work vary widely with different kinds of activities, ranging from research meetings, teaching meetings to management meetings. However, I never leave my office without visiting my lab, having fun with my research group’s lab activities, challenging my scientific abilities of thinking and generating new ideas to address the key research questions we designed for our team research goal. Often, over a cup of tea/coffee in our common room (in winter) or some sort of cooler drink somewhere nice outside (in summer) helps re-energising our brain! Some days are good days and some are frustrating indeed, nevertheless, a day discussing a new method development successfully, first sign of a new research result, editorial acceptance of our research work in an international journal bring perfect ending of the day at work…Science is great!
What I'd do with the prize money
I would like to donate the prize money to a local school, work with them on organising a workshop to share our research finding and comemorate World TB Day.
A brief public lecture followed by practical demonstration of a simple but gold-standard laboratory experimental technique that we have discovered in our laboratory to test drug resistance in superbugs! Students in the workshop will have change for hand-on learning of the technique (using safe bacteria) and viewing the fixed and stained germs under bright-field microscope! Pictures of experimental results will be published on various open-accessed media.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
ambitious, dreamer and achiever
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
In making of new aspiring scientists…
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
My research mentor, National Professor Parul Chakrabarti who worked in MIT with Nobel Laureate Har Gobind Khorana.
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Yes, many forgetting homework fiascos!
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Kishore Kumar (INDIA 70s); Justin Bieber (UK pop with immense influence from my daughter!)
What's your favourite food?
Rice and fish curry (Bengali Cuisine)
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Once stole mangoes (very sweet Alphonso) from one of our neighbours large garden during school summer holidays (In India)!!
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
I wish (a) there is no poverty in the world (b) all diseases are under control and last but not the least (c) there is one world with no boundaries.
Tell us a joke.
Biology is the only science in which multiplication is the same thing as division :)