Dipashree Chatterjee, Pharmacology and Toxicology
Year of Study: 1st year PhD
Student’s Name: Dipashree Chatterjee (although I prefer Dipa)
Graduate Department: Pharmacology & Toxicology
Country of Residence: Canada
Why Faculty of Medicine
The Faulty of medicine provides a great opportunity for translational research across academic institutions as well as hospitals. It gives options of learning multiple different techniques, staying aware of the current course of world-wide research, as well as exposing us to a diverse range of topics which forces us to be informed about research outside of our own specific fields. This broad knowledge allows us to be better equipped in learning things outside our comfort zone while teaching us how to balance our own research with research that might seem unrelated. This becomes highly important no matter which career path you choose to go on, whether in the sciences or out.
Why this Department
The Pharmacology Department is a great balance between basic and clinical research, and gives opportunities for translational research so you can experience first hand (either through your own research or from other labs that you become familiar with) how basic research and clinical research compliment each other. Another great aspect of this department is the links it has to pharmaceutical industries and drug development research. Putting all these together, the department of Pharmacology is a great place to learn the many different career aspects awaiting for us after finishing a PhD, both inside and outside academia.
Current Research Experience
I am currently studying the role of a RNA-binding protein called FXR1, which is an autosomal homolog to the FMRP protein known for being involved in Fragile-X Syndrome. This protein isn't well studied but it has been found to be involved in bipolar disorder, sleep disorders, and schizophrenia. My research has 3 aims: (1) I am interested in studying how different types of stressors affect this protein and the mRNAs it binds to; (2) Investigating the relation between BDNF (a neurotrophic factor that is important for brain development and increased function) and FXR1; (3) And finally I'm interested in studying how the presence/absence of FXR1 itself is affecting dendritic arborization and spine complexity. Another part of my lab is looking at molecules to directly target FXR1, so if my research shows links between FXR1 and stress/BDNF/morphology then it is a promising novel drug target for mental disorders.
Future Education Plans and/or Career Goals
First and foremost, I aim to finish my PhD and gain invaluable skills in multidisciplinary research. Then I plan to do 1 or 2 Post-Docs. In the long run, I've kept my options open to careers both in and out of academia, in the industry, or even on a related but parallel track.
Contact Ambassador Dipashree Chatterjee