Laasya Samhita is a molecular biologist by training and explores problems at the intersection of molecular biology (how questions) and evolutionary biology (why questions). While DNA-based or genetic change is fairly well understood, the mechanisms by which non-genetic cellular changes contribute to adaptation and evolution remain poorly known. Her lab will investigate how non-genetic variation can contribute to shaping phenotypes and evolution using in vivo and in vitro molecular biology techniques combined with genetics and experimental evolution. Specifically, the lab will focus on the themes of mistranslation and antibiotic resistance, combining basic and applied research.
Dr Samhita received a Bachelor’s degree from Mount Carmel College in Bengaluru majoring in Chemistry, Microbiology and Zoology. She then joined the Integrated PhD programme at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru. After her PhD, she worked as an independent science writer and communicator for a year, writing for newspapers and magazines such as New Scientist and The Scientist. She then returned to research with a Wellcome/DBT early career fellowship at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bengaluru, where she developed her ideas on how errors in protein synthesis could aid in adaptation. She was also a visiting researcher at Uppsala University, Sweden.