Other links:

Other links:

Simantini Ghosh

Head of the Department, Psychology, Assistant Professor

Ph.D. University of Rochester

Simantini (Simi) Ghosh conducts research on Gender and Mental health. She focuses on gender based violence and studies traumatic stress. She is also interested in studying intergenerational transmission of violence and abuse. A separate strand of research in her lab focuses on exploring the molecular neurobiology of stress in vivo. Her background has evolved from neuroscience to psychology. She studied neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation , traumatic brain injury and chronic and acute traumatic stress in the past. She earned a PhD in Neurobiology and Anatomy at the University of Rochester,NY  and pursued her postdoctoral fellowship in Neurology at the Washington University School of Medicine in Saint Louis, MO prior to joining Ashoka. She enjoys teaching courses that straddle both neuroscience and psychology, as well as research methods courses.

Outside work she enjoys reading poetry and nonfiction, listening to classic rock, jazz and blues.

Research Gate profile: 

Academia profile

ORCID: 0000-0002-0791-7255

Ghosh, S., Mohammed, Z., & Singh, I. (2021). Bruton’s tyrosine kinase drives neuroinflammation and anxiogenic behavior in mouse models of stress. Journal of neuroinflammation, 18(1), 1-26.  doi: 10.1186/s12974-021-02322-9

Ghosh, S., & Vohra, N. (2021). Procrastination and Anxiety among Indian college students: The role of perceived parenting styles, locus of control and self efficacy. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/wbf5v

Ghosh S (2020) Decoding Gendered Online Trolling in India in Mirchandani (Ed.), Tackling Insurgent Ideologies in a Pandemic World 59-64 (ORF and Global Policy Journal, 2020) (https://www.orfonline.org/research/tackling-insurgent-ideologies-in-a-pandemic-world/)

Rivera-Escalera, F., Matousek, S. B., Ghosh, S., Olschowka, J. A., & O’Banion, M. K. (2014). Interleukin-1u03b2 mediated amyloid plaque clearance is independent of CCR2 signaling in the APP/PS1 mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Neurobiology of Disease, 69, 124-133. doi:10.1016/j.nbd.2014.05.018

Ghosh, S., Wu, M. D., Shaftel, S. S., Kyrkanides, S., Laferla, F. M., Olschowka, J. A., & O’banion, M. K. (2013). Sustained interleukin-1  overexpression exacerbates tau pathology despite reduced amyloid burden in an Alzheimer’s mouse model. Journal of Neuroscience, 33, 5053-5064. doi:10.1523/jneurosci.4361-12.2013

Matousek, S. B., Ghosh, S., Shaftel, S. S., Kyrkanides, S., Olschowka, J. A., & O’Banion, M. K. (2011). Chronic IL-1u03b2-mediated neuroinflammation mitigates amyloid pathology in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease without inducing overt neurodegeneration. Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology, 7, 156-164. doi:10.1007/s11481-011-9331-2

Students requesting letters of recommendation, should note the following:

  • I feel uncomfortable writing letters for students who have not worked with me on a research problem/project either as a thesis or an ISM student. This is simply because it is not always possible to gauge anyone’s ability from a class, unless it is a class of ten or twelve. Even if I do write a letter in that capacity, I will only be able to comment on your potential as I have seen in the course(s) that you have taken with me. Decide how much advantage that will give you before you ask.
  • I request that you do not ask me to write more than 6 letters. With multiple students each applying to many places, it becomes overwhelming very quickly
  • I ask the following documents at least 3-4 weeks in advance
    • A current, up to date CV
    • Statement of purpose you are going to use for your application
    • Your Ashoka transcript (screenshots work too, just an assessment of your grades from years 1-4)
    • A spreadsheet with the following details for each school that you apply for
      • Name of the program, department and University
      • Link to the program page
      • Deadline for submission of LOR
      • If there is a specified link for LOR submission, provide that, or any prescribed format, or specific instructions for submission, put it there.


Dear Students,

In your 4th (ASP) year, there are both thesis and non-thesis tracks, both of which will enable you to get research experience.

The thesis track:

A thesis track (16 credits) will be divided into thesis proposal (8 credits) and thesis (8 credits) over the monsoon and the spring semester of your ASP year. There is a tight timeline with respect to several stages of the process, and submission of several drafts of the proposal and the final thesis will be required on specific dates. For a sample timeline, please use the 2021 timeline. Course manuals for PSY4998 (Thesis Proposal) and PSY4999 (Thesis) can be found here https://docs.google.com/document/d/1MUJ7xZumyRNqMblvvbQBKXv-1CwnisDvNjX00JsUoKI/edit?usp=sharing

An honors thesis is a capstone course where students will complete a piece of original scholarly work that contributes substantially to the knowledge and/or application of the discipline. Doing a thesis requires a substantial amount of research skills, commitment, and time management skills.

Please do not enter the thesis track lightly. A thesis is a student’s independent idea and the formulation of the research questions, methodological decisions and analysis is mostly dependent on the student, with a general oversight by the advisor. While accepting thesis students, I try to assess whether the project conceptualization is strong enough to make an independent publication in a peer reviewed journal.

Thesis application form: https://forms.gle/rFsBfQxhBVouH2ocA

For academic year 2022-23 I will only be accepting thesis students whose research interests are allied with gender based violence and mental health.

The Independent Study Module (ISM) /Advanced ISM track:

An ISM/ advanced ISM is an avenue to gain hands on research experience with me on my research projects. The theoretical conceptualization and research question formulation is directly under my supervision, and students help collect data, and analyze them. When we publish, you get co-authorship/ acknowledgement depending on your involvement.
A list of my currently running projects, names of the coordinators for each project can be found here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1xwoMZF6au2PEfnYGduRkIXCn_Wfu7MCw1gK4g5BcFhU/edit#gid=0
The same sheet has also been circulated with the psychology representatives.

If you are interested to join any of my projects, please contact the coordinators mentioned in the sheet, read the documentation on the project, understand where the work is, and fill out the form for application by May 15 ( summer research) or July 30(For Monsoon 22). Then send me an email.  Most of my projects can span over multiple semesters, so ISM students can expect to be a part of a specific phase of a larger, ongoing project. PLEASE DO NOT RAISE ISM REQUESTS ON AMS WITHOUT TALKING TO ME FIRST. This is a form I ask to fill before I accept an ISM student: https://forms.gle/25ATaSTCdutg8Ke1A

Current Research Interests:
My broad research interest lies in understanding how chronic stress affects the mind and the psychological, sociocultural, neurobiological and neuroinflammatory components that underlie stress responses. Research and approaches span disciplines and techniques, but the central theme is focused on understanding the sequelae of chronic stress and by extension, developing interventions and targets for stress related disorders.
Current Projects:

  1. Studying domestic violence using  complex trauma theory
  2. Studying psychological variables that might moderate or mediate how emotional trauma affects mental health
  3. Studying social capital and its role in pandemic experiences
  4. Studying generational trauma
  5. Studying molecular aspects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in rodents using novel psycho-social and physical stress paradigms, followed by analysis of their brains, focusing on neuron-glial interactions and neuroinflammatory response

Prior Areas of Training: 
Neuroinflammation in the context of neurodegenerative and neurocognitive disorders, particularly Alzheimer’s disease. Specifically, consequences of sustained overexpression of Interleukin-1 Beta, a master regulator of the brain’s Immune response in murine models of Alzheimer’s disease and tauopathy.

Repetitive Concussive traumatic Brain Injury rodent models as developed in the Laboratory of Dr. David Brody at Washington University (Currently at NINDS) and the effects of such injuries in the dendritic spine compartments of cortical neurons.

Testing the toxicity of human Alzheimer’s brain derived high molecular weight oligomeric fractions in rodents by performing steterotaxic delivery into the mouse hippocampus, followed by immunohistochemical and behavioral characterization.

We are always looking for bright and motivated students to join our research initiatives. Passionate and curious about research? Undergraduates, YIF or MLS, or even fellows are welcome. I usually look at three things while evaluating one’s application, other than your academic achievements.

  • Research aptitude – If you have prior experience, great, even if you do not, and this would be your first exposure to research, I encourage you to apply still. You do need to have idea about basic statistical concepts, null hypothesis significance testing and research methods. For psychology majors I ask for SRMII as a prerequisite. Students from other programs can show me other coursework that they have taken at Ashoka or elsewhere (YIF/MLS/Fellows).
  • Ethics and integrity- Research ethics and integrity are very important for me and everyone i my group. If you come to my research group, please know that I have a zero tolerance policy towards plagiarism and any tampering with raw data. This lies at the core of research. Good data is not necessarily sensational data. There will never be any compromise with methodological rigour.
  • Interpersonal skills- Community engagement and knowledge of Hindi are essential if you’re interested in the psychology based projects. We can teach you good interviewing skills, but if you have a flair for talking to people from all socioeconomic and political backgrounds, it will help you manifold. Also, the environment in our group is very collegial, people collaborate rather than competing within the group. These qualities are very important for me to consider too.

So if our any aspect of our research excites you, and you would be interested to work with us, please write to me (simi@ashoka.edu.in) with a CV and a one page statement of interest. (what project(s) already described or what new project that aligns with the broader interest of my group would you liked to be involved in and why?)

We look forward to reading your applications!

Articles in the Indian Express


Articles in the Outlook magazine : https://www.outlookindia.com/author/simantini-ghosh-539 ( this is paywalled. You can read the unedited version here: https://www.academia.edu/44057763/Is_Indian_education_ready_to_go_digital_Truths_and_intersections

Quint: https://www.thequint.com/voices/women/misogyny-videos-on-tiktok-in-india

An unedited version of the article can be found here : https://www.thequint.com/voices/women/misogyny-videos-on-tiktok-in-india

Open Axis: https://openaxis.in/2020/10/07/sitting-inside-the-black-mirror-and-peeking-at-the-world-beyond/


Articles where I have been interviewed 





Study at Ashoka

Study at Ashoka