Team Members

Principal Investigator

Rupshi Mitra

Biology and myself have walked a long and happy path.I guess starting from my kindergarten days.From then till now, life in each and everything and the science behind it is so much part of me. Be it a bright green garden pea (our teacher was showing us and I fancied a room-full of dancing peas and myself sitting inside), a wriggly roundworm, a fern leaf with million spores beneath, our body and brain with amazing capacity to respond and adapt, all have their own stories to share. I am never tired of listening to it. I love Biology. I soak in it all possible ways, exploring, experimenting, paper-writing, discussing, designing, even painting, partying and fighting for.

There is always this longing for catching the pulse of life, catching the ‘thing’ that makes it tick in leaves, flowers, worms, friends and myself. What is it? Throughout school years and college I wondered, studied and followed my every-day dream ‘Life’. During my Masters, I came across the study of Brain and a whole new Universe of Life opened. How do we learn? Learn to live? To remember? To forget? Since then I am Neurosciencing. I guess I’ve landed in the most pulsating part of Biology, the Brain-Biology. Now, the question is ‘How to Survive as the Fittest’? How to be ‘Resilient to Stress’ in this ever-changing world?... Currently pursuing it here @ Resilieo

PAST MEMBERS (2012-2017)
Project Officers

Wu You, Eunice

The fast-paced world continuously urges us to seek out the ways of shaking off “stress”. Nowadays, people are more and more aware of their mental health. However, stress is not always the “bad guy”, but seldom do we appreciate their efforts when they are actually strengthening our capabilities. Moreover, individuals respond differently even to the same adverse circumstances. Let alone, the same organism is entitled with fluctuating stress vulnerabilities throughout the dynamic journey of life. Coming from a background of studying the deleterious effects of stress on cognition, my next step directs to how to positively cope with stress and how to prepare ourselves better for taking stress, especially from the perspective of neuronal function.

Siddharth Janarthanan

I believe that a combination of Behavioral, Developmental, Molecular and Evolutionary Neuroscience(s) is a comprehensive and exhaustive method to study and establish the fundamental aspects of animal brain functioning. Such an approach will clearly establish the link between the behavioral (psychology related) and the biological (genetics, endocrinology etc.) aspects, making its findings more conclusive as compared to approaches which focus solely on behavioral or biological experiments. Though my major was Biological sciences, I also enjoyed reading courses from Psychology, Philosophy etc. "Stress and Resilience" research is exciting, given the prevalence of stress and its damaging effects and also challenging, as evident in the lack of universal agreement on definitions of words such as stress and resilience itself and interpretations of results. I hope to learn more about this field of research and hope not to get too stressed in the process!

Graduate Students

Archana Ashokan

“It is notoriously difficult to define the word living.” As rightly quoted by Francis Crick, these words reflect the complexity with which the Biology manifests itself in the natural world. Animal behaviour is one of its sophisticated subsets that cradles over layers and layer of molecular and cellular networks of the neuro-endocrinal systems developed over the course of evolution. But why is it so intriguing and difficult to study? Because of its sensitivity to respond to the environment which is variable for most individuals. In this current fast-paced world, human behaviour is most affected by psychological stress and anxiety. My primary interest is to identify biological factors responsible for active stress coping and the behavioural phenotype of stress-resilience in individuals.

Akshaya Hegde

Dynamic environments have helped in evolving the systems of the organism according to their coping capacity. The level of coping capacity varies from individual to individual ranging from positive adaptation to negative ones. The various factors that help the organisms to cope better with the environment are called “resilience”. What are the factors contributing to resilience? To answer this question, we need to look into various methodologies that confer resilience.

As a Neurobiologist, I would love to bring us a step closer in discovering ways to manage effects of stress which will further lead to numerous ways to solve problems in stress-related psychiatric conditions.

Grace Sum Chi en

Being in the veterinary profession made me realise that many healthy pet dogs and cats are euthanised due to behavioural problems linked to maladaptive anxiety and fear. In people, depression and other mental health issues are emerging areas of concern, and according to WHO, suicide is the 15th leading cause of death worldwide. I have developed a passion for understanding stress, anxiety, and resilience in animals and people. This exciting journey of pursuing a PhD in neuroscience will enable me to contribute to the enhanced understanding of mechanisms regulating neuronal responses to stress and enrichment for the development of therapies for vulnerable humans and animals.

Research Fellows

Meena Lochani Sivasubramanian

As someone who strongly believes in being positive in everyday life even during stressful times, I am fascinated by the differences in coping capacities among individuals. I had pursued my graduate research in the Parkinson’s model and acquired tissue and molecular work experience with some handling of rodents. I joined Resilieo to further my animal handling experience and also explore the behavioral side of neuroscience. I wish to apply my previously acquired experience in mitochondria related work to stress research as this  is still a nascent field. As several anti-depressant drugs target mitochondrial functioning, this is an exciting avenue to explore

Previous members

Amelia Koe

My interests are in understanding the neurobiological mechanisms by which stress in early life contributes to the risk of developing mood and learning disorders later on in adulthood. In addition, I am investigating the potential for environmental enrichment to overcome the effects of early life stress, in the hopes of developing a means of reversing or creating resilience to early adversity. For this, I will focus on the differential effects of environment on neuroplasticity and neurotransmission, and investigate how these contribute to altered behaviour.

Arnab Datta

My research interest focuses on the application of a multi-disciplinary approach (involving proteomics, bioinformatics, statistics, pharmacology and molecular biology) to answer unsolved questions of biology and medicine. My research interest extends from generating, experimenting with pre-clinical models and clinical samples to handling large -omics data sets and analyzing them through commercial and open-source software. I have successfully integrated literature mining and bioinformatics tools for the rational identification of potential therapeutic targets and biomarkers in the area of ischemic stroke and dementia (vascular and neurodegenerative).

In my current assignment as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow, I am planning to study the proteomic and structural alterations of various substructures of rodent brain. Our study can potentially identify hitherto unidentified molecular pathways and key proteins in the brain that plays major role in coping with stress.

Yamini Bhaskar 

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is one of the most disabling and common diagnoses throughout psychiatric disorders, showing a prevalence of 5 – 10% of the general population. Conventional treatment includes anti-depressant drugs and psychotherapy. However patients do not respond to these satisfactorily. It has been seen that environmental enrichment promotes anxiolysis and lowers the adverse effects of stress.On the other hand,  deep brain stimulation (DBS) has been used as a therapy in neurological and psychiatric disorders.Separately, these two treatments have proven to be effective in reducing the effects of stress and stress related disorders. However the potential of them acting together has not been looked into intensively. I am interested to find out what could happen if we combine the two and my project is aimed to look into this. 

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