FP7 Marie Skłodowska-Curie COFUND Programme
In Helicobacter pylori laboratory - © CEA/IRCM
I did my Master's in molecular biology in New Delhi. Then I carried out my PhD in biochemistry at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore. To be more specific, I was working on a bacterium, the Helicobacter pylori which can cause, between other diseases, stomach cancer. During my PhD period, between June and July 2014, I did a two-month internship at CEA, in the laboratory I'm currently working in, the Laboratory for Research in Genetic Instability (LRIG). I had heard of this laboratory because it is one of the few which is specialized in my field. At the time, together with my laboratory, we agreed that I would enroll there for a postdoctoral position. I quickly applied for an Enhanced Eurotalents fellowship and started my post doc tenure in August 2015
I am part of a small team: the laboratory supervisor, PhD students, two microbiologists from Université Paris-Sud and myself. We are studying the Helicobacter pylori, which is a small bacteria, of about 2 to 4 µm, and trying to understand how DNA is transported from outside to inside the bacteria. I am very happy with the progress we have made so far. We are currently writing a manuscript and we have good prospects in terms of publications.
Absolutely. The Institute has a great technical support. I am working with equipment I didn’t have the possibility to use before. I was new to several devices: I was trained on confocal microscope with environmental chamber and now I am fairly good at it. I enjoy a lot the fact that everything is at the same place. I don’t have to move to use specific equipment. We are simply missing an electrons microscope but we are able to use it.
My laboratory is quite international. There are people from all around the world: Argentina, Italy, Ukraine, and myself from India… Language is sometimes a real challenge, even now. For that matter, I would love to take French classes, maybe in the framework of the Enhanced Eurotalents programme?I think that having been trained in India in biochemistry is beneficial because I bring a different approach to the laboratory. It is also extremely valuable for me to learn new techniques. All in all, it is great for both the laboratory and me to share scientific knowledge and technical methods.
I attended this training session at the very beginning of my stay and I liked it a lot. It made me aware of different career opportunities. We received valuable training on job-hunting tactics, how to prepare a job interview, how to write a compelling CV and cover letter and how to adapt to an industrial or to an academic context. I learnt how to better present myself and I improved my CV, so I think it will be very useful for my career development afterwards. It was a very successful training I reckon. In addition, I met up with other Enhanced Eurotalents fellows and it was really nice to interact with them.
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.