Prof Kasturi Mitra joined Ashoka as a DBT- WellcomeTrust Senior Fellow. She ran a federally funded research program as an independent faculty at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA. There, she also directed an undergraduate program fostering student learning from hands-on experience towards forging customized learning paths. Her educational training is from Presidency College (Calcutta) for BSc, Calcutta University for MSc, CCMB (Hyderabad) for PhD and NIH (Bethesda, USA) for postdoc. Her long standing research interest is in the cellular organelles called mitochondria that are classically known as ‘the powerhouse of the cell’. Originally, mitochondria were bacteria (prokaryotes) that got integrated into the eukaryotic cells during the course of evolution, and took control of various homeostatic functions of the eukaryotic cell. Her research has been pioneering in identifying various novel aspects of mitochondrial biology in various cell types including stem cells. Her lab takes a combinatorial approach involving quantitative cell biology, biochemical and genetic tools in probing the role of mitochondria in health and in diseases like cancer. Other than research articles she has also published several invited review articles in her areas of expertise. Her research has been featured in podcasts and newsletters.
She serves as reviewer for various leading scientific journals and international funding agencies, and has served as a lead guest editor on a mitochondria-related special topic.
She encourages out of the box thinking and learning through work and play. When she is not a scientist or a teacher, she is a busy mom and a musician.