Ashok Trivedi, Founder and Trustee Ashok has co-founded successful technology companies such as IGATE Corporation and Mastech Digital. As the Managing Partner of SWAT Capital, he has been an angel investor in over 50 early-stage technology and financial services businesses. Ashok holds an MBA from the Ohio University and a Masters in Physics from the Delhi University. Ashok Trivedi is a seasoned entrepreneur and a visionary thinker. He is the Founding Trustee of Ashoka University, a private non-profit University offering multidisciplinary courses in liberal education. Ashok founded Trivedi School of Biosciences in early 2020 as a cornerstone to the Ashoka University’s natural sciences program. He has also founded the Trivedi Center for Political Data, as a joint venture between the Political Science and Computer Science departments at Ashoka University. The Center aims at promoting data-driven research, policy work, and journalism on India’s political life by producing and disseminating scientifically collected and treated political data.

Ashok Trivedi

Founder and Trustee

Ashok Trivedi is a seasoned entrepreneur and a visionary thinker. He is the Founding Trustee of Ashoka University, a private non-profit University offering multidisciplinary courses in liberal education. Ashok founded Trivedi School of Biosciences in early 2020 as a cornerstone to the Ashoka University’s natural sciences program. He has also founded the Trivedi Center for Political Data, as a joint venture between the Political Science and Computer Science departments at Ashoka University. The Center aims at promoting data-driven research, policy work, and journalism on India’s political life by producing and disseminating scientifically collected and treated political data.
Ashok has co-founded successful technology companies such as IGATE Corporation and Mastech Digital. As the Managing Partner of SWAT Capital, he has been an angel investor in over 50 early-stage technology and financial services businesses. Ashok holds an MBA from the Ohio University and a Masters in Physics from the Delhi University.

Our Leadership

Venkatraman Ramakrishnan Venkatraman "Venki" Ramakrishnan is the current President of the Royal Society, UK (2015-20). He shared the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2009 for his work on the atomic structure of the ribosome, and was knighted in 2012. Since 1999 he has worked as a Group Leader at the Medical Research Council (MRC) Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, UK, and is also a Professor at the University of Cambridge, UK. As ribosomes are the site within living cells where the genetic information is read to synthesise proteins, its improved understanding has yielded many fundamental biological insights. More recently, Venki has been using electron microscopy to visualise ribosomes in action in higher organisms. This work has advanced our understanding of how the ribosome works and how antibiotics inhibit it. In the past he has also worked on histone and chromatin structure, which help us to understand how DNA is organised in cells. Jack William Szostak Jack William Szostak shared the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2009 for discovering how chromosomes are protected by telomeres. He is Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and Alexander Rich Distinguished Investigator at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, USA. His contributions to the field of genetics have helped map the location of genes in mammals and develop techniques for gene manipulation, which were instrumental to the Human Genome Project. His discoveries have also helped to clarify the events that lead to chromosomal recombination—the reshuffling of genes that occurs during meiosis and the function of telomeres, the specialized DNA sequences at the tips of chromosomes. The Szostak lab currently focuses on the challenges of understanding the origin of life on Earth, and the construction of artificial cellular life in the laboratory. Ronald David Vale Ronald David Vale was given the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research in 2012. He is currently a Vice President of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Executive Director of its Janelia Research Campus. He was a Professor in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, University of California at San Francisco, USA, where his laboratory studied molecular motors. Ron is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Sciences and the US National Academy of Sciences. In 2006, he established iBiology, a non-profit organization that produces and disseminates free online videos by leading biologists for the professional development for practicing scientists. In 2009, he established the Young Investigators' Meeting in India, which provides a mentoring and networking workshop for postdocs and junior faculty in India. He founded ASAPbio (Accelerating Science and Publication in Biology) in 2015, promoting the use of preprints and an open and transparent peer-review process. James J. Collins James J. Collins is considered the “Father of Synthetic Biology”. He is Termeer Professor of Bioengineering in the Department of Biological Engineering and Institute for Medical Engineering & Science at MIT, USA, and is also affiliated with the Broad Institute and the Wyss Institute. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and a charter fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. Collins works in synthetic biology and systems biology, with a particular focus on using network biology approaches to study antibiotic action, bacterial defence mechanisms, and the emergence of resistance. He has pioneered the development and use of nonlinear dynamical approaches to study, mimic and improve biological function, and helped to transform biology into an engineering science. His current research interests include synthetic biology and systems biology and the reverse engineering naturally occurring gene regulatory networks. He recently used AI/ML approaches to develop a new class of antibiotics – a global first. John Kuriyan John Kuriyan is Chancellor's Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, USA in the departments of Molecular and Cell Biology (MCB) and Chemistry. He is also a Faculty Scientist in the Lawrence Berkeley National Labs, a HHMI investigator, and Fellow of the US National Academy of Sciences. Kuriyan did his PhD at MIT and a brief postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard before becoming an Assistant Professor at Rockefeller University. His laboratory studies the structure and mechanism of enzymes and other proteins that transduce cellular signals and replicate DNA, which has led to a fundamental understanding of signaling pathways in many cancers. Satyajit Mayor Satyajit Mayor is Director of the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bengaluru, India. He is a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences, an EMBO Fellow, and has received many awards for his work, including the Wellcome Trust International Senior Research Fellowship, Swarnajayanti Fellowship, Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award and the JC Bose Fellowship. He was given the Infosys Prize in 2012. He obtained a PhD in Life Sciences from The Rockefeller University and carried out postdoctoral research at Columbia University, New York. His research is aimed at understanding the molecular mechanisms of endocytosis in metazoan cells at many scales.

Shahid Jameel Shahid Jameel is Director, Trivedi School of Biosciences since October 2020. He is a recipient of the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize in Medical Sciences for his work on human viruses and is also an elected Fellow of all three science academies in India. He was also a Rockefeller Foundation Biotechnology Career Fellow and a Wellcome Trust International Senior Research Fellow. Shahid obtained a PhD in Biochemistry at Washington State University, USA, and did postdoctoral work was in Virology at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, USA. In 1988 he set up the Virology Group at the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, New Delhi, India and led it for 25 years. His research at ICGEB on human viruses – hepatitis E, HIV/AIDS and SARS – focused on virology, immunology and pathogenesis, and contributed to vaccine development. In 2013, Shahid was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the DBT/Wellcome Trust India Alliance, a biomedical research charity, which he led towards excellence in research management, public engagement and science communication. L.S. Shashidhara L.S. Shashidhara is Dean (Research) and Professor of Biology at Ashoka University. He is President of the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS), the first Indian in its 100 years history and was elected as Associate Member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO). He is a recipient of the CSIR Technology and Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prizes, a JC Bose National Research Fellowship, and fellowships all the three Science Academies of India. Shashidhara received his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, UK and started his independent research career at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, following which he moved to IISER Pune at its inception and contributed to its growth. He specializes in Genetics, Molecular Biology and Evolutionary Biology, and identified key mechanisms that specify organ development and regulate growth control during embryonic development. The scope has expanded to study evolutionarily conserved mechanisms in human epithelial cancers. He is involved in national efforts to understand manifestation of cancer in Indian populations using multi-omics approaches.

Rama Akondy Rama Akondy is an Associate professor of Biology in the Trivedi school of Biosciences. She received her PhD from the National Institute of Immunology (New Delhi, India) and worked at Emory university (Atlanta, USA) first as a post-doctoral researcher and then as junior faculty. Her primary area of interest is understanding immunological memory in humans by observing how our immune system reacts to viruses, vaccines and tumors. Her proudest moment has been when a figure from her paper made to a textbook! (Plotkin’s Vaccines). Alok Bhattacharya Alok Bhattacharya is Professor of Biology. He is the recipient of Robert McNamara Fellowship (World Bank), Rockefeller Biotechnology Career Development Award, Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize and JC Bose Fellowship, and is a fellow of Indian National Science Academy and Indian Academy of Sciences. He also served as one of the Vice Presidents of INSA. Following his PhD at Jawaharlal Nehru University, India, he trained at the National Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, USA. He spent a large part of his independent career at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, where his scientific interests were in the area of infectious diseases, biology of parasitic pathogens and genomics. He is credited with helping to set up one of the first teaching and research programs on Bioinformatics and Computation Biology in India. Sudha Bhattacharya Sudha Bhattacharya is an Indian National Science Academy (INSA) Senior Scientist in the Department of Biology. She is the recipient of Robert McNamara Fellowship (World Bank), Rockefeller Biotechnology Career Development Award, and JC Bose Fellowship, and is a fellow of all the three Science Academies of India. Prof Bhattacharya did her PhD from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, and postdoctoral research at Stanford University, Boston Biomedical Research Institute, and the National Institutes of Health, USA. She spent a large part of her independent career at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Her scientific interests are in gene organization and expression, rare genetic disorders and parasitic infection. Balaji Chattopadhyay Balaji Chattopadhyay is an Assistant Professor at the Trivedi School of Biosciences. He completed his PhD from Madurai Kamaraj University and pursued postdoctoral research at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, India, and the National University of Singapore, Singapore. Balaji is an evolutionary biologist whose research aims to integrate biodiversity conservation and human health. Balaji provided one of the earliest evidence of the susceptibility of natural populations to urbanisation. His research incorporates high-throughput genomic data alongside biological and ecological data to understand the effects of climate change on wildlife and investigate the potential link between wildlife endangerment and zoonotic infections. Balaji is also interested in understanding host-pathogen coevolution, specifically in regards to the evolutionary dynamics of the bat immune system and bat-borne viruses. Shubahsis Haldar Shubahsis Haldar is Assistant Professor of Biology. He did his PhD from Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkata and postdoctoral research at Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (Germany) and University of California and Columbia University (USA). His research is in Biophysics with a keen interest in single molecule technologies. At Ashoka he established the first covalent magnetic tweezers in India, which have several applications in Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Imroze Khan Imroze Khan is Assistant Professor of Biology, a SERB Early Career Fellow and an Intermediate Fellow of the DBT/Wellcome Trust India Alliance. He did his PhD from IISER Kolkata in Evolutionary Biology and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore. His primary academic interest lies in understanding how organisms adaptively evolve against/with infection and disease, combining diverse approaches ranging from experimental evolution and life history analyses to genetics and genomics. Shivani Krishna Shivani Krishna is Assistant Professor of Biology. She did her PhD in ecology at IISER, Thiruvananthapuram, and postdoctoral work in insect ecology and behaviour at the University of Haifa, Israel. She uses multiple approaches combining tools from mathematics, physics and ethology to understand the consequences of plant-animal interactions, structural features of habitats, vegetation richness and diversity in relation to pollination and herbivory patterns. Basudeb Maji Basudeb is Assistant Professor of Biology and Chemistry. He did his PhD at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard Medical School and MIT. His research group works on microbial CRISPR-based adaptive immunity, functional genomics, and synthetic biology to address various genetic and infectious diseases. He primarily uses protein engineering, chemogenetics, and chemical biology methods to understand cellular physiology in the context of diseases. Gautam I. Menon Gautam I. Menon is Professor of Physics and Biology, and also an adjunct Professor at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai. Prior to joining Ashoka University, he spent two decades as Professor with the Theoretical Physics and Computational Biology groups at the Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai, where he was the founding Dean of the Computational Biology group. He completed a Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore followed by post-doctoral work at the TIFR, Mumbai and Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. His interests span mathematical and computational modelling of DNA mechanics and cytoskeletal organization, and of infectious diseases. He leads the BharatSim project, which is developing both a detailed agent-based model for disease spread as well as a high-quality synthetic population for India and is also one of the developers of INDSCI-SIM, a detailed epidemiological model for COVID-19 spread in India. Anup Padmanabhan Anup Padmanabhan is Assistant Professor of Biology and an Intermediate Fellow of the DBT/Wellcome Trust India Alliance. He did his PhD in Biological Sciences at the National University of Singapore, and was a Research Fellow at the Mechanobiology Institute, Singapore. His lab investigates the dynamics of shape change in cells during physiological processes such as embryo development and microbial infections. He employs various genetic, cell biology tools as well live microscopy to study cytoskeleton regulation underlying these shape changes. Kasturi Pal Kasturi Pal is Assistant Professor of Biology. She did her PhD at the University of California at Riverside, USA and postdoctoral work at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas and the Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, USA. Dr. Pal’s research interests are dissecting the roles of G-protein coupled receptor signaling in hematopoietic and cardiovascular system, for which she uses a variety of biochemical, cell and molecular biological approaches. Bittu Kaveri Rajaraman Bittu Kaveri Rajaraman is Associate Professor of Biology and Psychology, and is the current Head of the Psychology Department. He received a PhD from Harvard University in neuroscience, and was then a DST-Kothari postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, and an INSPIRE Faculty Fellow at the Central University of Hyderabad. He works on the evolution of neural and behavioural systems of communication, the neuroethology of temporal pattern recognition in insects, and quantitative and economic cognition more broadly in zebrafish, dogs and humans. Sougata Roy Sougata Roy is Assistant Professor of Biology. He did his PhD from the University of Montreal, and postdoctoral work in multidisciplinary areas of research as EIPOD (EMBL Interdisciplinary) Fellow at the Sanger Institute, EMBL and the Department of Chemistry, Cambridge University, UK. He uses unicellular phytoplankton model systems to understand the physiological relevance of circadian clocks. keyboard_arrow_left keyboard_arrow_right

Rafi Ahmed Rafi Ahmed is Director of the Vaccine Center and a Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Emory University, Atlanta, USA. An Eminent Scholar of the Georgia Research Alliance, he is a world-renowned immunologist whose work has shaped our understanding of memory T cell differentiation and anti-viral T and B cell immunity. He did his PhD at Harvard University, postdoctoral work at the Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla and was a Professor at University of California at Los Angeles before moving to Emory University in 1995 to establish the Vaccine Center. In 2009 he was elected to the US National Academy of Sciences and in 2017 he was awarded the William B. Coley Award and the Robert Koch Prize. Raghu Kalluri Raghu Kalluri is Professor and Chair, Department of Cancer Biology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, USA, where he is also RE Bob Smith Distinguished Chair in Cancer Research. With a PhD from the University of Kansas Medical Center and MD from Brown University School of Medicine, USA, Raghu has done postdoctoral work at the University of Pennsylvania and was Assistant and Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School, USA. His research interests are in cancer biology, treatment and mechanisms of metastasis. Vishva M Dixit Vishva M Dixit is Vice President of Early Discovery Research at Genentech Inc., San Francisco, USA. Prior to this he was a Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of California San Francisco and a Professor of Pathology at the University of Michigan School of Medicine. Vishva did his MD at the University of Nairobi, Kenya and trained further at the University of Washington School of Medicine, USA. His laboratory carried out seminal work on the mechanisms of apoptosis including the discovery of caspases, and on pro-inflammatory signalling. In 2013 he was elected to the US National Academy of Sciences. Vinay Tergaonkar Vinay Tergaonkar obtained his Ph.D. (2001) from NCBS Bangalore, through an international cancer society (UICC) fellowship for collaborative research at Tufts University, Boston, USA. He has been a fellow (2001-2004) and a special fellow (2004-present) of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America and conducted his postdoctoral studies at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, California. He currently serves as Research Director at Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB), Singapore, and a Professor at School of Medicine at National University of Singapore. He serves on Editorial Boards of 1) Science Advances (AAAS), 2) Molecular and Cellular Biology (American Society for Molecular Biology), 3) Biochemical Journal (Portland Press). Work from his lab has received international recognition including the British council development award (2014), the Premiers’ fellowship from Government of South Australia (2015) and University of Macau Distinguished Professorship (2019).