Meet our Latest Travel Award Winner Ankita Kapoor
Ankita Kapoor is a researcher working at inStem, Bangalore, India in Dr. Tina Mukherjee's lab and is working to understand "The role of neurotransmitter dopamine in blood development". The Hello Bio travel award will help fund her trip to the 26th European Drosophila Research Conference.
It It feels amazing and at the same time encouraging to be a recipient of this travel award. This award will definitely support a part of my travel to the 26th European Drosophila Research Conference being held in Switzerland. Establishing contacts with various scientists and colleagues, presenting my ongoing research work to an audience that could critique it and learning from eminent scientists of my field are benefits that I look forward to achieve from this conference, supported by this travel award. Ankita Kapoor, Hello Bio travel award winner
Congratulations Ankita. First, can you tell us a bit more about what you're working on at the moment?
I am currently pursuing my PhD at the Institute for Stem Cell Science and Regenerative Medicine (inStem), Bangalore India. My research work aims at understanding how neurotransmitters, which are small molecules that govern functions of the brain, contribute to the development of blood cells. Using Drosophila melanogaster (fruit flies) as the model system, we are trying to uncover the “less appreciated” functions of neurotransmitters as regulators of blood cell development that forms the defence system of an organism.
What is it about your field of research that gets you most excited?
Being a part of the immunity and development lab, I find the cross-talk of blood cells with various aspects of an organism development, be it external or internal, to be exciting.
Which scientists working today do you most admire, and why?I read and admire works of scientists like Dr. Utpal Banerjee (UCLA), Dr. Norbert Perrimon (Harvard medical School, HHMI) and Dr. Bruno Lemaitre (EPFL). The concepts and tools that they bring to the scientific community is immensely valuable.
What do you think are the biggest challenges currently facing life scientists and their work?
I feel scientists today have a huge pressure to prove their capabilities at every stage of their career, be it at the level of a graduate student or post doc or a PI. This sometimes distances you from enjoying the fruits of your hard work. As a consequence, “survival of the fittest” becomes a key parameter to sustain yourself and not scientific inclination.
What’s your favorite science quote?
“I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong.”
― Richard P. Feynman, The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Works of Richard P. Feynman
Thank you Ankita - we hope you have an amazing time in Switzerland!
You can follow Ankita on Twitter @Ankita_kapoor26
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