Meet Dr. Karthik Raman

On 21 July, 2021

“I was quite enamoured by ‘computational protein engineering’ at the time and had collected a boatload of research papers on the topic”, recalls Karthik. “But when Prof. Chandra suggested a project on systems biology, I jumped at it immediately. Turned out great for me, and one couldn’t ask for a better PhD mentor than Prof. Suma!”

Karthik quickly signed up to work on a systems biology project on modelling the TB pathogen with Prof. Chandra, which soon matured into his PhD thesis topic, where he combined his computing skills to model a pathway in the tuberculosis-causing bacterium to find out proteins that should be targeted by drugs to kill this disease-causing bacterium. This was one of the first systems biology theses in the country, employing a systems biology approach to study pathogenic bacteria, which was not being employed by Indian scientists. After his successful PhD stint, Karthik moved to the University of Zurich (UZH), Switzerland, to gain international exposure and learn more tools and techniques in systems biology. At UZH, Karthik worked with Prof. Andreas Wagner, whom Karthik reckons as one of the most creative and enthusiastic scientists he has ever come across, and yet another wonderful mentor and role model. In the year 2011, he moved back to his metropolitan hometown—Chennai—as an Assistant Professor at the world-renowned IIT Madras.

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