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Lalanti Venkatasubramanian Interview
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Lalanti Venkatasubramanian

Describe the project you’ll be conducting with your GWIS Fellowship funds. What do you hope to discover through this research, and how will the GWIS Fellowship help make this research happen?

The goal of my project is to identify the mechanisms that establish the distinct morphologies of post-mitotic motor neurons by focusing on a single stem cell giving rise to the majority of motor neurons that innervate the legs of adult Drosophila melanogaster. Studying a lineage that generates functionally similar yet morphologically distinct neurons will reveal the relationship between stem-cell identity and post-mitotic connectivity of progeny neurons. The GWIS Fellowship will help me to generate a new set of genetic tools to selectively perturb the neuroblast that gives rise to ~30 distinct leg motor neurons.

What’s the coolest thing about your research and/or favorite part of your job?

The favourite part of my job is working with fellow scientists and mentoring students in the lab. I have had a great time sharing my ideas with collaborators and helping to establish new projects to try and obtain a more thorough understanding of the biological system that we study.


How did you end up doing what you’re doing? What was your path to becoming a scientist?

I did my undergraduate studies in India in Industrial Biotechnology, but my first time interning in a lab and extracting my own DNA was probably enough of a motivating factor to pursue a research career!


What do you like to do when you aren’t working on your science?

I like to go on hikes or wander around the neighbourhood parks in search of tiny bugs and critters.



Do you have any words of encouragement or advice for girls and young women who wish to pursue a career in science?

As much as I enjoy improving myself by working on my ‘weaknesses’ I have learnt that it is equally important to identify, appreciate and nurture my strengths.

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