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Bhavana Muralidharan

Principal Investigator

DBT/Wellcome Trust India Alliance, Intermediate Fellow


Bhavana did her PhD from NCCS, Pune in RNA biology. She then did her postdoc at TIFR Mumbai in Prof Shubha Tole’s lab, where she studied chromatin/epigenetic mechanisms of cell fate specification in the cerebral cortex. After this, she was a postdoc at the UK- Dementia Research Institute, UCL, London in Prof. Adrian Isaacs lab, probing the disease mechanisms of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) using iPSC derived neurons as a human in vitro disease model system, before starting her lab at inStem.

Click for Bhavana's CV and  IA website profile and her tweets



Kruttika Phalnikar

Postdoctoral fellow


Kruttika did her PhD from NCBS in Dr. Deepa Agashe's lab where she worked on the diversity and fitness impacts of butterfly gut microbes and learned some of the intriguing concepts in ecology and evolution. She has joined Muralidharan lab to follow her long-time fascination for neurobiology. She works on understanding the cellular and molecular basis of neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder using patient-derived iPSCs. She has been recently awarded The DBT/Wellcome Trust India Alliance Early Career fellowship to pursue her postdoctoral research project in the Muralidharan lab

Postdoctoral fellow

Dhanya did her PhD under the guidance of Prof Gaiti Hasan in NCBS. Her doctoral research focuses on deciphering the role of calcium sensor STIM1 in regulating gene expression and synaptic connectivity of mouse Purkinje neurons. In Muralidharan lab, she focuses on investigating the role of chromatin modifiers in neurogenesis and understanding the molecular mechanism underlying the pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental disorders.

Dhanya S K


Graduate student


Leora completed her master's in Life Sciences from St. Xavier's College, Mumbai. She has previously worked as a JRF in Prof Shubha Tole's Lab at TIFR Mumbai, where she studied the role of the transcription factor LHX2 in the developing telencephalon. She is interested in studying the role of chromatin modifiers in cortical development using both mice and human iPSCs/ESCs as model systems.

Leora D'Souza


Graduate student


Asha completed her post-graduation in Biochemistry from the Central University of Hyderabad. She has worked as a project assistant in Dr Yogita’s lab at NBRC, Manesar, where she studied the role of microRNA in human neural stem cell fate regulation. Currently, her work focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of chromatinopathies leading to intellectual disability using mouse models.

Asha S Channakkar

Project Associate


Kishan graduated with a master's degree in Bioinformatics and Biotechnology from IBAB, Bangalore. At IBAB he worked on a variety of Bioinformatics projects including genomic data analysis of the SARS-CoV-2. He has always been fascinated by how different parts of the brain connect with each other and is interested in using computational and molecular biology approaches to understand this. His project involves performing Crispr Cas editing of human stem cells and "Omics” analysis to understand chromatinopathy leading to intellectual disability.

Kishan Kalia

Aparajita Kumar

Project Associate


Aparajita did her master’s degree in Neuroscience at King’s College London, UK, where she studied the efficacy of heat shock proteins in neurological motor disorders (ALS and Parkinson’s disease). Having completed a master’s elective on neural stem cells, she grew interested in how patient-derived iPSCs could be used to model and treat neurological diseases. In Muralidharan lab, she works on understanding the cellular and molecular basis of neuropsychiatric disorders using iPSCs.

Lab alumni


  • Pooja Sharma - Project associate from Feb 2021 - July 2022, presently incoming grad student in the lab of Dr Melanie Samuel, Baylor College of Medicine, USA 

  • Anusha Mysore Keerthi- Research intern in the lab from Feb-June 2021, presently HHMI research technician in Prof Stephen Bell's lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, (MIT), USA