Manasi Kelkar

Manasi was born in Mumbai, India where she completed her Bachelors in Life sciences and Biochemistry in 2008. She then moved to Pune, India where she obtained her Masters in Life Sciences in 2010. There in the lab of Prof. Deepti Deobagkar she studied an aspect of epigenetic gene regulation looking at differential DNA methylation patterns in mice tissues.

Her interest in molecular and cellular biology, led her to joining the lab of Prof. Sophie Martin at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland for her PhD. In Sophie’s lab Manasi used the fission yeast (Schizosaccharomyces pombe) as a model system to dissect mechanisms of size control upon nutrient starvation. Her work led to the finding of a novel PKA-microtubule based signalling pathway that delays mitotic entry and buffers cell size upon glucose limitation.

Her continued interest in mitosis and cytoskeletal signalling and the need to expand her knowledge to other cell types led her to joining the lab in August 2016, via an early post-doctoral fellowship from the SNSF. Here she studies the actin cortex that drives dramatic shape changes occurring in animal cell mitosis. She aims to couple signalling changes from the cortex to changes in mechanical properties that govern morphogenesis.