Researcher biography

Born and raised in a small town in central India, I left home and moved to bigger cities in India to pursue my Bacherlors degree in Science and Masters in Genomics. Following this, I moved to New Zealand to work towards my doctorate under the supervision of A/Prof Merilyn Hibma at the University of Otago, New Zealand which was obtained in 2018.

In 2019, I joined Prof Ian Frazer's lab as a postdoctoral researcher and currently studying Human Papillomavirus (HPV) driven suppression of the immune system. HPV is associated with various anogenital cancers and skin cancers, and its protein called E7 has been shown to play a direct role in cancer progression by suppressing immune responses. My focus is on dissecting the mechanisms this protein employs to dampen immune cell function with an aim to identify novel targets for therapies for HPV-caused cancers.

Concurrently, with other researchers in the lab, I am studying the role of microbiome in skin cancer progression. We have identified a few bacterial types to be more abundant in skin cancers compared to normal sun-exposed skin. Our work now explores the role of these bacteria in causing immune suppression and skin cancer progression.