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, allostery, computational predictions of hydrogen deuterium exchange etc. and design and analysis of graphs arising in mechanical engineering and robotics. My work on computational and algorithmic methodologies is beginning to shift our understanding of elusive protein signaling phenomena known as “allostery”. Deep understanding of allostery and protein dynamics can provide us new clues to how proteins function and role in disease. Modelling and predicting allostery is costly and very difficult (if not impossible) to study with traditional biochemistry experimental technologies.
My research is highly interdisciplinary, spanning areas in applied mathematics, algorithms, computational biology and bioinformatics. I am very much attracted to research problems in which I can solve fundamental biological problems, particularly relating to protein structures and dynamics, while pushing the state of the art in mathematical theory and algorithms. I develop and apply computational and mathematical methods which are combined with experiments to understand how proteins perform their function. These mathematical techniques and models also have applications in robotics and mechanical linkages research which is another theme of my research. 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.