OUR GROUP

'There is a very special place in science for women who support other women'

Annual Diwali Party, October 2019

Our group was featured in the UNESCO New Delhi publication

'A braided river': The universe of indian women in science

Check Karishma, Radhika and Deepti on the cover and inside!

Karishma comes up with new ideas. She also writes grants.

She has heard this to be called 'running a research group'.

Karishma is a recognized PhD guide at Savitribai Phule Pune University.

Dr. Karishma S Kaushik

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR / RAMALINGASWAMI RE-ENTRY FELLOW

Ph.D. Molecular Genetics & Microbiology, University of Texas at Austin, USA

M.D. Clinical Microbiology, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, India

M.B.B.S. Maharashtra University of Health Sciences

Email: karishmaskaushik@gmail.com

Twitter: @KaushikLab

Nizam is the senior member of our team!

nizam shaikh

JUNIOR RESEARCH FELLOW (JRF)

M.Sc. Microbiology, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda


B.Sc. Microbiology, Wilson College, Mumbai University


I am flabbergasted by the vastness and intricacies of biological world. I am particularly driven towards Immunology, Cancer biology, Cell biology, simply because it reminds us of how smallest things at times can be the most vital.


Whenever not working, you might find me binge-watching some weird TV series.


Have an exciting story to share? Super random topic to enlighten me with? I am all yours!


Email: nizams28@gmail.com

IBB Project Students (2022)

sharvari pitke

From the giant and complex living systems to the equally complex yet microscopic beings, the science of living beings never fails to engross me. The fascinating interactions between the micro and the macro world feed my curiosity!

It is the famous words of Madam Curie that inspire me the most- "Nothing in life is to be feared, it is to be understood. Now is the time to understand more so we fear less."

Apart from science, you will find me doing a variety of things ranging from learning German, reading, binging weird series, writing, playing the Harmonium (although somewhat imperfectly) to my favourite - Painting!

dhanashree jadhav


Humans and microbes have a very close relationship with each other.

Be it maintaining your body health or giving your taste buds the flavour of wine and cheese. I am interested in exploring this vast world of these microbes & their association with the human body.

Moreover, I am also interested in immunology and human physiology. Besides academics, I like to bake, read books and binge-watch.

remote internships (2020-onwards)

shreeya mhade (2020-onwards)


I've always been fascinated by microbes and the idea that something so microscopic can have such a huge impact on the rest of the world. My interest was piqued further after researching on John Snow's contribution during the cholera outbreaks. Since then, I've been using modern computational tools to improve our understanding of microbes and shed light on the emergence of new pathogens. When I'm not working, you'll find me binge watching House MD or roaming around Mumbai Lanes exploring new food places!

sai supriya avatapalli


2014 B. Tech in Biotechnology, JNTU, Hyderabad

2015 JRF, Molecular Diagnostics group, ICGEB, New Delhi

2017 Certificate in Biosciences, KGI - Biocon Academy, Bengaluru


Biology and I have been in a long-term committed relationship for 14 years. It was love at first sight! When mysteries are what interest me, why not dwell in the world of invisible mystery and get intrigued?

Recent presentations from the group!


Supriya presented her work with the Biofilm-AMP repository at IBS 2022, 44th Indian Biophysical Society Meet - Conceptual advances in Biophysics and its applications, in March-April 2022.


She also presented a poster at ISMB 2022 - 30th Conference on Intelligent systems for Molecular biology by the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB), July 10-14th, 2022.

remote internships (2020-2021)

stutee panse


Having started as a Microbiology student, I explored different aspects of the field, keeping a balance between dry lab and wet lab work. It made me realize that tremendous progress has already been made but there is ample scope for improving the status quo and achieving bigger and better things! What inspires me is the idea of waking up every day and having the possibility of discovering something new, something remotely simple that no one might have seen, but so crucial. My long-term objective is to see myself as a key participant in the effort to design and produce more selective, more effective, targeted novel stem cell therapies to combat the deadly conditions like cancer that have challenged humankind for years together. When I'm not studying, I love binging on TV shows, go on spontaneous trips and chill with my chubby labrador!

gandhar tendulkar


Learning about the discovery of penicillin stirred my interest in the field of microbiology and the destruction of microbes by drug action. My master's thesis project aided in delving deeper into the world of oral pathogens. I'm fascinated by the various aspects of a microbial system, but I'm particularly interested in them at the genetic level. When I'm not studying, I'm busy exploring and capturing the essence of Mumbai through my camera!

IBB masters' thesis Student (2021-2022)

nandika bhattacharya


I love biology because the complexities and sheer variety of living beings has always blown my mind. I'm interested in understanding why host and microbial cells behave the way they do at the host-pathogen interface.

When I'm not at the lab, you can find me reading, drawing or hanging out with one of my many cats!




IBB masters' thesis Student (2020-2021)

Manasi Chavan

5th Year, Integrated M.Sc. Biotechnology, Institute of Bioinformatics and Biotechnology, SPPU


I am interested in clinical research and along with being a Biotechnology student, my aim is to bring a revolution to smash patriarchy. My dream is to help shape a society where women would have the same platform as men and have equal importance. I am national level Table Tennis player and an assistant coach at Vibrant Table Tennis Academy, Pune. I also think of working as a part-time celebrity stylist someday!


IBB Project Students (2020-2021)

Anoushka Gholap

2nd Year, Integrated M.Sc. Biotechnology, Institute of Bioinformatics and Biotechnology, SPPU,Pune.

My interests in biology mainly focuses in neurobiology, medical biology, microbiology and bioinformatics. I am interested in computer programming (have learnt C, Java,Python programming languages) and would like to apply it in biological sciences. I am learning French, as well as practice Kathak, enjoy wildlife photography and love to swim (had participated National level Swimming competition twice).

Kashish Methwani

2nd Year, Integrated M.Sc. Biotechnology, Institute of Bioinformatics and Biotechnology, SPPU,Pune.

Since an early age I have been interested in science, especially biology. I am particularly interested in neuroscience. What fascinates me the most about science, is that, it is a way of discovering what's in the universe. I have a dozen hobbies like playing tabla, pistol & rifle shooting, reading books, dancing, playing basketball and singing. A quote that keeps me going is: "Great things never come from comfort zone. So dream big and work for it more than you hope for it."


Snehal Murumkar

2nd Year, Integrated M.Sc. Biotechnology, Institute of Bioinformatics and Biotechnology, SPPU, Pune.

I have always been fascinated by bacterial cell life studies and immunology. Also, i am a classical dancer and i like to read historical and non-fictional articles.

Meetali Barhate

2nd Year, Integrated M.Sc. Biotechnology, Institute of Bioinformatics and Biotechnology, SPPU, Pune.

I have always believed that somewhere something incredible is waiting to be known and only science can help us unlock this treasure. I am always amazed to read about the influence of the microbial world in our lives and its interactions with the human body. When not studying I like to sketch, write poems and read. If not doing any of the above you will find me experimenting in the kitchen!

Previous Members

Snehal has moved on to a PhD at Hull York Medical School, UK.

Snehal Kadam

RESEARCH ASSISTANT (2018-2020)

Current Position: PhD student, Hull-York Medical School, UK

My interests in microbes cultured after my participation in the iGEM 2015 competition, studying a bacterial synthetic genetic AND gate system. My Masters Thesis project led me further into the world of microbes studying a genetic regulatory network in Salmonella Typhimurium pathogenesis at the National University of Singapore. Fascinated by all things bacterial, I am particularly interested in studying bacterial pathogens and understanding host-pathogen interactions. I am also part of the PreLights community , where we highlight interesting preprints in biology. When I'm not in the lab, I'm either reading, dancing or finding new places and food to explore!

Email: snehalgkad@gmail.com

Twitter: @sne_kad

Vandana initiated several projects in our group, and has co-authored them into publications!

Vandana M

RESEARCH ASSISTANT (2019-2020)

Current Position: Program Manager, NCL-Venture Center, Pune

Graduated as a Microbiologist, I am always interested in understanding the microorganism to its depth. I'm also curious about parasitology and cancer biology. Other hobbies include drawing, gardening and preparing new recipes. Above all I find traveling most refreshing!

Email: kvandanas003@gmail.com

Twitter: @vanduz95

Radhika has moved on to a biotech company!

radhika dhekane

SENIOR RESEARCH FELLOW (SRF)

M.Sc. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Bremen, Germany

B.Sc. Biotechnology, University of Pune, India

I am fascinated by the internal world of cells, how they communicate, how they organize, how they survive adversities, and what kind of molecules and mechanisms allow them to do so.

Favourite bacterium: Deinococcus radiodurans (for its clever DNA repair mechanism that makes it radiation-resistant)

Email: dhekane.radhika@gmail.com

Devyani Bhide

2nd Year, MSc Microbiology, Abasaheb Garware College, Pune.

Muhammed Sha Ashil K S

2nd year, M.Sc Microbiology Amrita school of Biotechnology, Kerala.

Devyani and Ashil did their Masters Thesis in our group.

Devyani worked with us to understand bacterial growth in a simulant wound fluid and the role of creatinine as well as commensal bacteria in wound pathogen biofilm formation.

Ashil worked to initiate the study of 'a point of injury' therapeutic for acute burn wounds.

Rutuja Ugale

3rd Year, Integrated M.Sc. Biotechnology, Institute of Bioinformatics and Biotechnology, SPPU,Pune.

Utkarsha Tikhole

3rd Year, Integrated M.Sc. Biotechnology, Institute of Bioinformatics and Biotechnology, SPPU,Pune.

Rutuja and Utkarsha did their third year thesis projects with us as a part of the 5-year program at IBB.

Rutuja and Utkarsha studied the role of certain wound fluid based components on bacterial biofilms.


They are authors on our newly published 'Biofilm' paper!

Niharika Jadeja

3rd year, BA Molecular and Cellular Biology (Neurobiology), BA Integrative Biology (Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Diversity), UC Berkeley.

My passion for biology stems from how much we have yet to learn about it; my specific research interests include neurobiology of the order Carnivora (especially otters!) When I'm not studying, I love spending time outdoors and go on spontaneous field trips, searching for birds and herptiles. I also work at the UC Botanical Gardens and help prep specimens in the Prep Lab of the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology.

Jay Panchpor

Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical), MIT College of Engineering, Pune.

My passion for engineering stems from my curiosity to learn how the world around me works, and trying to rebuild it to be more efficient. I am particularly interested in the field of Robotics and it's application in Biomedical Engineering. I have created an affordable 3D printed Prosthetic Arm for my Bachelor's Project and I hope to make it available on a commercial scale soon. When I'm not working, you'll find me binge watching Masterchef Australia or roaming around the fields and forests looking for birds!

Aniket Ajay Kandalkar

5th year, Integrated M.Sc./ M.Tech, Institute of Bioinformatics and Biotechnology (IBB), SPPU.

Since childhood, I have always been interested in making new things from the available stuff. Also, I always believed that biology and other subjects go hand in hand. Biochemistry, Physics, and understanding of protein functioning, its structural studies are my field of interest. I and my teammate, under the guidance of Mr. Amit Morarka, have filed two patents in the field of Microfluidics. Apart from this, I like playing football.

Janhavi Lele

2nd Year, BSc Microbiology, Abasaheb Garware College, Pune.

Savani Sakhalkar

2nd Year, BSc Microbiology, Abasaheb Garware College, Pune.

Janhavi, Savani, Shivani and Pratiksha worked as interns in the lab. They did a literature review of wound infection model systems, to understand current model systems and their advantages and disadvantages in capturing the infected wound microenvironment.

This was published in Frontiers Bioengineering and Biotechnology (2020).

Check out our paper!

Pratiksha Mokashi

2nd Year, BSc Microbiology, Abasaheb Garware College, Pune.

Shivani Nadkarni

2nd Year, BSc Microbiology, Abasaheb Garware College, Pune.

The fabulous four are onto new opportunities!

Saptarsi Shai

3rd year, Bachelor of Pharmacy, Bharati Vidyapeeth, Poona College of Pharmacy, Pune.

Aditi Shahane

3rd year, Bachelor of Pharmacy, Bharati Vidyapeeth, Poona College of Pharmacy, Pune.

Saptarsi and Aditi looked at understanding current advances in wound therapies in this review paper!


Thanks for the work Saptarsi and Aditi, we enjoyed working with you!

Everyone brings something unique to the table (err...biofilm)

We are always open to new people and ideas to engage with