A new Team Member – Rahul Mehta

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We have a great pleasure to introduce our new Team Member – Rahul Mehta, who joined Max Planck Research Group as a PhD student. He will work with us on a project focused on structural characterization of different RNAs. Here is what Rahul wants us to know about himself.

It is very easy to answer many of these fundamental biological questions; you just look at the thing! 

                                                                                                                                     ~ Richard Feynman

I have always been intrigued by Biology as I believe, firmly, that in Biology we can ask concrete questions that can very well be back traced to concrete molecular and cellular processes with fantastic details to answer mysteries of life. Having done my M.Sc. (Microbiology) and just securing a research position at Bhabha atomic research group, Mumbai, India I was awestruck by a presentation from Dr. Mukesh Kumar’s protein crystallography group wherein he showed some beautiful contour maps of electron density and some elegant pictures of protein crystals, that lead me to realize that structural biology can bring about staggering atomic details which in turn may solve problems concerning human health and I made up my mind to keep striving to learn more and more about structural biology. I got training in basic molecular biology and X-ray crystallography under Dr. Mukesh’s supervision while working on the Keap1-Nrf2-ARE pathway.

My next stint at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India brought an intensive training in biochemistry, molecular biology techniques and I worked in an exciting project dealing with regulation of gene expression at post-transcriptional level. I always wanted to work at the crossroads of structural biology and regulation of gene expression. However, there was a brief halt at this juncture in my research journey and I had taken up a teaching role for undergraduate and post graduate classes of Microbiology at DAV University, Jalandhar, India.

Here at MCB, UJ at the vibrant Max Planck research group headed by Dr. Sebastian Glatt, I find the perfect amalgamation of structural biology and diverse biological problems including but not limited to regulation of gene expression. This group’s energy, constructive discussions and the integrated multi-pronged research environment coupled with the mesmerizing city of Krakow, makes my maneuvering through the research journey not only exciting but fun-filled. I am looking forward to make most of my stay here at MPRG and learn from all the members of the institute and my lab in particular. My current research in the laboratory is focused on RNA structures using cryo-EM & I am super happy and elated to be a part of such an international group.

Rahul Mehta