My research interests span the area of auditory physiology, electrophysiology and neural prostheses. My passion for analytical problem solving and my love for science led me to pursue my B.Tech in Biomedical Engineering from Cochin University, India and Master of Biomedical Engineering from Latrobe University, Australia. My master’s program gave me an insight into electrode-based neural prosthetic systems. In my final year, I had the opportunity to work on a project at the Bionics institute, Australia. It was here that I was exposed to a research environment and had the opportunity to watch an auditory electrophysiological experiment for the first time. This sparked a desire in me to pursue a PhD and my interest in the auditory field has grown ever since. During my doctoral studies, I investigated a novel electrical stimulation technique for cochlear implants using electrophysiological studies, under the supervision of A/Prof. James Fallon and Prof. Robert Shepherd. It involved analysis of neural recordings of the inferior colliculus in response to a range of electrical and acoustic stimuli, furthering my interest in auditory neuroscience and electrophysiology. Another major aspect of my research was exploring the effect of degree of degeneration in the cochlea on the effectiveness of cochlear implant stimulation techniques.
The more I understood the underlying issues with existing systems to restore hearing loss, the more fascinated I was about how the biological auditory system routinely performs task. Along the way, I realized the need to deepen my basic understanding of auditory science to be able to help improve hearing loss. After completing my thesis, I recently joined Dr. Anthony Ricci’s lab to help understand the molecular mechanisms and the functional relevance of mechanotransduction, the first step in hearing. My research involves learning cellular/molecular biological approaches and developing imaging techniques in providing insight into the physiology of the mechanosensing of hair cells. Specifically, I am keen to understand the role of the lipid bilayer in regulating hair cell mechanotransduction. I think understanding precisely how and when hair cells acquire mechanosensitivity in normal state is a prerequisite for understanding auditory disorders.