PhD Student Hypnotised by the Wonders of Nanodots and The Street Dogs of Mumbai

Unveiling the Unseen: My Odyssey in Sensor Development

Tathagata Pal

AMSPARE, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-Bombay)

Hello, dear readers! Join me on a journey through the captivating world of sensor development, where science meets art and the invisible is unveiled. I’m Tathagata Pal, and I’m currently on the cusp of completing my PhD in BioChemical Sensor development at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay under the esteemed supervision of Prof. Soumyo Mukherji. My academic background spans various fields, including an MTech in Nanotechnology, an MSc in Biophysics, and a BSc in Physics (Hons). These diverse disciplines converge in my unwavering passion for crafting sensors that shed light on the hidden facets of the world around us.

One of the milestones of my academic journey has been my MTech thesis, an exploration into the realm of biocompatible carbon quantum dots. These minuscule wonders became the key to unlocking the mysteries of the microscopic universe. With their aid, I could illuminate the intricate details of bacteria, cancer cells, and even zebrafish. These nanodots are a testament to the power of innovation and the limitless possibilities within the field of sensor development as well.

During my MSc studies, I ventured into the realms of microbiology and virology, gaining hands-on experience in assay development with biomolecules. These experiences honed my skills and deepened my understanding of the intricate world of life sciences.

My overarching goal as a researcher is to make sensor technology accessible to all. I envision a world where sensors are not just tools for scientists but instruments that can be harnessed by people from all walks of life. My journey is guided by the synthesis of nanoparticles, interface chemistry, and bio-conjugate chemistry, culminating in the development of sensors that are not only innovative but also user-friendly. These sensors are a bridge between scientific discovery and everyday life, a gateway to understanding the invisible factors that shape our world.

Collaboration is the cornerstone of my research. I find immense joy in working with individuals from diverse backgrounds. The synergy of different expertise and perspectives is often the crucible where impactful discoveries are forged. Together, we can bridge gaps, solve complex problems, and create meaningful innovations.

Beyond the realm of academia, I live a life of quiet curiosity. My solitude is my sanctuary, where I seek answers to the myriad questions that fuel my inquisitive spirit. I cherish the simple pleasures of jogging and trail running, where I’m in sync with nature’s rhythm. I’ve also found unique companionship in the street dogs I’ve befriended and petted during my solitary journeys.

Let’s embark on a quest of discovery together as we explore the invisible, unravel the mysteries, and celebrate the beauty of collaboration. Science is a shared adventure, and I invite you to join me in this exciting journey of unveiling the unseen.

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A chocolate loving engineer pushing the frontier in bacterial AMR reversal

Dr. Erin Corbett

AMSPARE, University of the West of Scotland

Hi everyone! I’m Erin, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of the West of Scotland working on the AMSPARE project. AMSPARE is investigating the relationships between anthropogenic contamination, microbial ecosystems, and environmental AMR, in order to try and understand how different factors drive the spread of antibiotic resistance. My work includes chemical analysis like ion chromatography and ICP-OES/MS, as well as microbiology including isolating amoebae and carrying out antibiotic susceptibility tests.

I completed my undergraduate degree in Biotechnology and my MSc in Synthetic Biology & Biotechnology at the University of Edinburgh. My MSc dissertation was a team-based project as part of the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition, investigating the use of bacteriophages to re-sensitise antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

During my PhD in Civil & Environmental Engineering at the University of Strathclyde, I researched the chemistry and microbiology of urban stormwater and its treatment in rain gardens, a type of sustainable urban drainage system. I needed to collect a lot of water samples in the rain, so Glasgow was the perfect place!

Outside of the lab, I enjoy cryptic crosswords, video games, quiz shows, and chocolate in all its forms!


An Environmental Engineer Who is Passionate About Improving Water Quality

Thara M V

Ph.D. Scholar, IIT Madras (AMRflows)

Hi, I’m Thara, an Environmental Engineer with a keen interest on assessing prevalence of antibiotics and antimicrobial resistance in the water environments of Chennai. I’m currently pursuing my Ph.D. in the Environmental and Water Resources Division at IIT Madras, India, under the guidance of Professor Indumathi M Nambi. I have been a part of AMRflows Indo-UK project since July 2022.

In my research, I’ve been focused on developing sampling methodologies, characterization techniques, and analytical protocols for antibiotics in water, wastewater, and sediment matrices. I’ve also conducted field sampling trips to Adyar river and other water bodies in Chennai to gather data.

One of my primary research interests is creating mesocosms to better understand the degradation of antibiotics and triggers for antimicrobial resistance, which poses an additional risk to human and animal health. I’m passionate about finding ways to improve water quality and reduce the potential negative impacts of antibiotics on the environment.

I completed my bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Cochin University of Science and Technology, Kerala, India. In 2018, I cracked the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) for Civil Engineering, which helped me to get into my Masters of Technology in Environmental Engineering program at the College of Engineering Thiruvananthapuram, affiliated with APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University, Kerala, India.

For my Master’s thesis, I conducted a study on “Antibiotic Resistance among Bacteria in Selected Water Sources of Trivandrum City,” which was funded by the Kerala State Pollution Control Board. The study aimed to determine the prevalence of antibiotic resistance in selected water sources and compare the removal efficiency of various wastewater treatment technologies in different wastewater treatment plants.