Vaishnavi Ananthanarayanan (BSSE) has been selected as an EMBO Young Investigator.

Vaishnavi Ananthanarayanan obtained her Ph.D. in Biophysics from the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden, Germany, where she worked on the single-molecule observation of the motor protein dynein in vivo. Her work led to the discovery of the targeting mechanism of dynein from the cytoplasm to cortical anchors, as well as a novel mode of dynein regulation. Prior to her Ph.D., Vaishnavi pursued a dual degree in M.Sc. Biological Sciences and B.E. Computer Science at BITS, Pilani. Following her graduation from BITS, she had a stint at Microsoft Research India, where she developed a programming language for expressing Biology protocols. She was awarded the INSPIRE Faculty Award in 2014, the Innovative Young Biotechnologist Award in 2015, SERB Early Career Research Award in 2016 and was elected Associate of the Indian Academy of Sciences earlier this year. She has also been granted the Wellcome Trust/DBT India Alliance Intermediate Fellowship that will be activated in Jan 2019. Work from her lab has led to the discovery of a new mode of cytoplasmic dynein regulation by a myosin motor, identification of an indispensable role for microtubules in the differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells cultured on 3D scaffolds and most recently, identification of an intracellular nexus between microtubules and mitochondria. Her lab continues to develop and employ light microscopy and image processing techniques coupled with genetic manipulation in living cells to better understand processes mediated by the cytoskeleton and associated proteins.

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