Team Members

Principle Investigator

Sandip Basak, Ph.D.

Nanyang Assistant Professor (NRF Fellow)


Sandip Basak received his Bachelor and Master degree in Pharmacy from Jadavpur University, India. Later he pursued his doctoral study at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore where he worked with Prof. Gerhard Gruber. After completion of Ph.D. he moved to the United States and joined Prof. Sudha Chakrapani’s lab as a postdoctoral scholar at Case Western Reserve University. During his academic journey he developed interest in “Molecular mechanism of membrane proteins particularly ligand gated ion channels”. In 2021 he moved to NTU as an assistant professor to work on interesting projects related to ligand gated ion channels.

Who does the real work

Nikhil Bharambe, Ph.D.

Senior Research Fellow (2021-present)

Nikhil has bachelor's and master's degrees in Microbiology. He was an assistant professor in Modern College, Pune, India, where he developed an interest in structural biology while teaching biophysics. To pursue his interest further he joined Prof. Kaza Suguna's lab in the Indian Institute of Science, where he solved structures of adenylyl cyclase using X-ray crystallography. Nikhil has studied proteins involved in mitochondrial remodeling during his postdoctoral training with Prof. Rajesh Ramachandran at Case Western Reserve University, USA. His current research project is to characterize ligand-gated ion channels using cryo-EM.

Manikkoth Balakrishna Asha, Ph.D.

Research Fellow (2021-present)


She has done her Postgraduate in LifeSciences from University of Calicut, Kerala, India. She received her Ph.D. from National University of Singapore under the guidance of Assoc/Prof. Kunchithapadam Swaminathan. She worked on structural characterization of Type IV B pilin from Salmonella typhi. Currently, she is working on understanding the molecular mechanism of odorant receptors in mosquitoes. Outside of lab when she is not doing experiments in lab, she likes doing experimentation with food, trying out new recipes, spending time with family, nature walks. Other interests are painting, reading, and listening to music.

Zhuowen Li, B.S.

Graduate student (2021-present)


Zhuowen Li secured his bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Chinese Academy of Science. His current research topic is the structure and mechanism of the proton-gated ion channel GLIC. Before his present zealotry in ion channels, he was trained mostly in bioinformatics. With this additional interest, Zhuowen is also trying to apply bioinformatic and computational approaches in structural biology.

Harsh Dutta, B.Tech.

Graduate student (2022-present)


Harsh Dutta did his B. Tech. in Biotechnology and Biochemical Engineering at IIT Delhi, India. He was trained mostly in molecular biology and biochemistry. His current research topic is the investigation of insect olfactory receptor structure, function and modulation.

Ketul Saharan, M.Sc.

EMBO SEG Fellow (Sept. 2022-present)


Ketul Saharan has done his masters in botany from Kurukshetra university Kurukshetra, India. He is pursuing Ph.D. under the guidance of Dr. Dileep Vasudevan at Institute of life sciences, Bhubaneswar India. His research interest lies in understanding the structural and functional aspects of chromatin associated proteins. Ketul joined us as an EMBO Scientific exchange grant fellow in September 2022 to perform the cryo-EM structural studies on nucleoplasmin - histone oligomer complexes.