Postdoctoral Research Scientist

February 2020 - At present

Department of Biology, Brain Health Consortium

The University of Texas at San Antonio

1 UTSA Circle,

San Antonio - 78249

Texas, USA

Priyanka is interested in understanding brain disorder, one cell at a time. In her position, she is trying to decode the genetic and epigenetic basis of neurological and psychiatric illness by developing and employing integrative approaches at the interface of single-cell epigenetics and genomics, gene regulation, and bioinformatics. Leveraging her expertise in cutting-edge sequencing and genome editing technologies, she aims to engineer cellular circuits and advance the landscape of precision medicine.

Postdoctoral Research Associate

February 2018 - January 2020

Pio Lab-Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

Simon Fraser University

8888 University Drive

Burnaby - V5A 1S6

British Columbia, Canada

At Dr. Pio's lab, Priyanka worked on a diverse range of projects, investigating virus tactics in adapting to their hosts, host immune response to infection, and capturing the dynamics of both host and pathogen transcriptional and translational alterations in infected tissues. By developing a multi-omics computational pipeline, her team published the novel plausible function of a group of undefined genes that are dysregulated during viral infection and further rendered evidence on a candidate transcription factor role in the viral innate immunity using a worm-virus model system. Her other major project that was focused on understanding the virus's role in brain function, behavior, and disease via microbiota remodeling and shifting in animal models, presented a striking clue on the alteration of key metabolites and neurotransmitters eventually leading to neuronal Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in humans.

Senior Research Fellow

December 2017 - January 2018

Sharma Lab- Repository of Tomato Genomics Resources (RTGR)
University of Hyderabad
Gachibowli, Hyderabad - 500046
Telangana, India

During her short term at Prof. Sharma's lab, Priyanka worked in a project at the cross-road of the genome editing and metabolomics field applied to tomato plants. As a member of that research team, she developed a qPCR based high resolution melting curve assay and characterized the CRISPR-CAS9 mediated genome editing in tomato genetic mutant lines.

Ph.D. Researcher

August 2012 - November 2017

Sundaresan Lab-CSIR - Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP), Research Center
Allalsandra, Bangalore - 560065
Karnataka, India

During her doctoral research at Dr. Sundaresan's lab, Priyanka studied the molecular genetics of sennosides compound, a naturally produced drug from the Senna alexandrina (senna) medicinal plant, and popularly sold as an over-the-counter branded senna drug, and employed for its laxative action. Briefly, by evaluating senna genome, she characterized novel molecular barcodes and developed multiplexed PCR and qPCR sequencing assays and chemical tools for identification and authentication of senna raw drugs and its finished products in pharmaceutical market. Moreover, by modeling secondary structures of the nuclear ribosomal (nrRNA) gene clusters, she discovered and published a novel motif to characterize senna genome. Additionally, through the chemical study, she developed a reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) method for precise quantification of sennosides compound in senna extracts.

Project Assistant

July 2010 - July 2012

Bagchi Lab-CSIR - Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMA))

Khurramnagar, Lucknow - 226002

Uttar Pradesh, India

During this period, Priyanka worked in a multi-organizational TKDL (Traditional Knowledge Digital Library) project. Applying data mining tools, she contributed to the development of TKDL database, documenting the comprehensive information on 2600 medicinal & aromatic plants and their formulations used in Indian systems of medicine classified as per international patent systems.