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#IAmNYAS: Rakesh Mishra

Figuring out which career path to follow with a PhD is not easy. Learn how Rakesh Mishra, PhD, made the decision to pursue bench research.

Published April 04, 2016

#IAmNYAS: Rakesh Mishra

From the moment a young person feels the spark of science light up their imagination and curiosity about the world, a set of possible pathways opens before them. Not only are there questions about what kind of education to pursue, but from there, they must decide how best to make use of their interests and skills in order to build a career.

Academy Member Rakesh Mishra, PhD, a Research Scientist at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai made the decision to pursue bench research. Learn more about his path and the work he's doing today.

What led you to pursue the career path you're currently on?

I obtained a doctorate degree in Biochemistry from the University of Delhi. Then came the question of what to do next. I had really enjoyed working in laboratories during my degree and always wanted to obtain more depth of experience in scientific research, so I decided to pursue post-doctoral training.

What project(s) are you currently working on?

My research focuses on understanding the role of co-stimulatory molecules in target organ inflammation. Co-stimulatory receptors are involved in the trafficking of immune cells to target organs. Normally, immune cells are sequestered in the lymphoid organs, such as the spleen and lymph nodes. When they traffic to a non-lymphoid organ, such as the kidney, they can induce inflammation. Therefore my recent work focuses on lupus nephritis and the role of immune cell activation in kidney damage so as to understand the molecular basis for cell migration to the kidney and for resolution of inflammation after remission-inducing therapies.

Other projects I am working on include looking at whether the deficiency or overexpression of the circadian master transcriptional regulatory protein CLOCK/BMAL1 has any impact on lupus severity.

What has been one of the most rewarding moments of your career?

Being a scientist, I get motivated when my experiments work and are published in high impact scientific journals. One of my most memorable days so far was when my work got published in Nature Immunology.

What is one of the biggest challenges you're facing right now?

Like many other postdocs, making the transition from postdoc to an independent position is a challenge.

What is one of your hobbies (outside of science)?

When I am not in the lab, I enjoy following world news. My wife and I enjoy spending time together and eating international cuisines.

Are you trying to figure out which pathways to pursue in your own career, or considering making a change in the paths you're currently on? The Academy is hosting two career fairs this spring. Join us on April 9, 2016, or May 14, 2016, for this chance to learn more about the options available to you and to talk with others like you who are trying to answer the same questions for themselves.

Read other #IAmNYAS profiles here.