I did my doctoral studies in Applied Mathematics in Toronto, Canada with pioneer in rigidity theory, Walter Whiteley. My PhD thesis and Master’s thesis (University wide best thesis prize award) have provided both theoretical mathematical breakthroughs and development of several rigidity-based algorithms. This original work has opened up opportunities for fast computational analysis of functionally critical protein motions (i.e. hinge motions, loop motions, etc) and its dynamics, computational predictions of hydrogen deuterium exchange etc. and design and analysis of graphs arising in mechanical engineering and robotics. Recent subsequent advancements using such computational and algorithmic methodologies is beginning to shift our understanding of elusive protein signalling phenomena known as “allostery”. Deep understanding of allostery and protein dynamics can provide us new clues to how proteins function, role in disease and drug discovery. Modelling and predicting allostery is costly and very difficult (if not impossible) to study with traditional biochemistry experimental technologies.
I have implemented two National Institute of Health (NIH)-funded projects during my PhD and postdoctoral work on protein flexibility simulations and data analysis of fMRI brain scans. I continued my research at Kyoto University, Japan and now as a research professor playing a leading investigator role as a member of CREST-JST big data project where I design and apply my algorithms in order to understand various aspects of protein function.
My research is at the confluence of rigidity theory, graph theory, discrete and computational geometry, and development of algorithms in computational biology. As an applied mathematician and computational biologist, my research is highly interdisciplinary which requires integration of knowledge from diverse disciplines. I work with a wide array of mathematical, computational and bioinformatics tools. This requires bridging mathematics and its many applications and a leadership and initiative to establish and maintain a wide circle of international collaborations. I regularly collaborate with experts in computer science, mathematics and robotics on theoretical aspects of algorithms and with biochemists to experimentally validate predictions and support new emerging hypothesis on protein function.
I am interested in outreach activities that will increase the public awareness of the impact of applied mathematics and computational biology as powerful tools that can advance protein research and design of novel medicines. I was the author of the protein mobility animations in the film “ Donald Coxeter: The Man Who Saved Geometry” and I have organized several workshops and international conferences in rigidity theory and biological applications, for instance see “ Workshop on Making Models: Simulating Research in Rigidity Theory and Spatial-Visual Reasoning” at the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences.
I have played competitive tennis since young age and have a strong passion for outdoors and fitness.