Divya Venkatesh is pictured.
PhD Graduate Student
1204 NorthWest Corner Building
Lab Phone: 
212 854 2899
Short Research Description: 

Previous Institution: Rashtreeya Vidyalaya College of Engineering

Full Research Description: 

My area of interest is best expressed through this quote by Kenneth R. Miller- “Our own genomes carry the story of evolution, written in DNA, the language of molecular genetics, and the narrative is unmistakable”. The fascination towards the field of Genetics got accentuated when I was taught about the Human Genome Project in high school and the interest has steadily grown ever since. I have always wanted to be involved in the quest to understand better and try to find new solutions to rare human disorders using the genetics approach.

During my undergraduate course the Bachelor of Engineering degree in Biotechnology from R.V. College of Engineering, Bangalore, India, I have pursued projects to further my research exposure. I enjoy a combination of wet lab and dry lab work. I interned at NCBS (National Centre for Biological Sciences), Bangalore under Dr Vijay Raghavan, Fellow of Royal Society. I worked on identifying certain unknown genes in Drosophila melanogaster, a project that NCBS was collaborating with Max Planck Institute, Germany. My work involved techniques of larval dissection, embryo collection, GFP based identification and imaging, to analyse the expression of certain unknown genes in fruit flies. My team pursued a project in college under my HOD (Dr H.G Ashok) relating to cancer research, where we tried to study the effect of Vincristine( a chemotherapeutic) on certain fungi. These seemed to be able to resist the drug’s effect on their cell division even though they were eukaryotes. In order to get exposed to research in a corporate environment, I completed a project at Bugworks Research India Pvt Ltd, C-CAMP, Bangalore under the guidance of Dr. Santantu Datta and Dr. Nainesh Katagahallimath. Our project involved identifying gene knockouts in E.coli that rendered the bacteria more susceptible to action of specific antibiotics, thereby enhancing the antibiotic efficacy. I also worked on understanding the use of optimization techniques in creation of Genetics by use of computational algorithms.  At Columbia University, I hope to be involved with challenging research that exploits the genetic components of human diseases in order to find a cure for them.

Apart from my passion towards Genetics, I am passionate about debating. I have pursued debating through school and even ventured into parliamentary debating during my undergrad. Public speaking is my forte. I am crazy about novels- from fantasies to thrillers, reading is my favourite pastime. I enjoy music and swimming as well. Teaching is also something I find very satisfying.

Business Office

Department of Biological Sciences
500 Fairchild Center
Mail Code 2401
Columbia University
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Academic Office

Department of Biological Sciences
600 Fairchild Center
Mail Code 2402
Columbia University
1212 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10027
212 854-4581