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Ishani Dasgupta focused on how cells communicate; signaling pathways may hold clues to disease

By Alice Chappell

UMass Medical School Communications

July 12, 2018

The Women in Science video series on UMassMedNow highlights the many areas of research conducted by women at UMass Medical School.

Ishani Dasgupta, PhD, a postdoc in the lab of Dannel McCollum, PhD, professor of biochemistry & molecular pharmacology, is a cell biologist interested in how cells communicate with each other. She is studying signaling pathways to understand the role they play in diseases.

“I’ve wanted to pursue research to do something beneficial for mankind,” Dr. Dasgupta said. “I’ve always been interested in studying signaling pathways that are implicated in diseases such as cancer. My long-term goal would be to unravel the mechanisms that play a role in this, and ultimately to develop therapeutics.”

Intrigued by science since she was a child, Dasgupta earned a bachelor’s degree in microbiology from the University of Calcutta and a master’s in biotechnology from KITT University in Bhubaneswar, India. She joined the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore as a junior research fellow, where she studied the molecular pathogenesis of salmonella. She earned her PhD at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. She said she learned to be an independent thinker from the mentorship of her advisors. She arrived at UMass Medical School last year as a postdoc.

Dasgupta has attended several international conferences and received travel awards to present her work and disseminate her research results. She serves as the events director for the Association for Women in Science, Central Massachusetts Chapter.

“UMass Medical School has a history of breakthrough discoveries in both clinical and basic research,” Dasgupta said. “It promotes a lot of interdisciplinary research and collaborations, which makes it every researcher’s dream. I always wanted to do my postdoctorate in the U.S, which is why I chose to come here.”

Learn more about Dasgupta’s research in this Women in Science video.

Women in Science videos:
Zhiping Weng works to accelerate understanding of genome regulation with ENCODE 4 project
MD/PhD student Miriam Madsen strives to improve communication for those in need
Katherine Fitzgerald focuses on novel discoveries in innate immunity
Molly Waring focused on helping mothers manage their weight
Shlomit Schaal develops methods for early detection of diabetic retinopathy
Jill Zitzewitz is unraveling protein misfolding to understand disease