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Alumni Alumni Spotlight

Dr. Jyoti Chhibber-Goel

Dr Jyoti joined the School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, University College Cork, Ireland as a doctoral fellow and earned her Ph.D. in 2014.

Dr. Jyoti Chhibber-Goel graduated with a PhD in Biochemistry from School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, UCC in 2014. She is currently working as a Scientist supported by Department of Biotechnology in Molecular Medicine group at International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), India.

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What was her favourite memory in UCC?

When asked about her favourite memory at UCC, Dr Jyoti says that it was her first day on campus. Having moved to a new city can be daunting but it’s not applicable when that new city is Cork. On the first day while looking for the student centre to get her i-card, Dr Jyoti says she was lost as the campus is huge. On asking for directions, a wonderful lady stopped, and realising it was Dr Jyoti’s first day in the city, walked with her to the student centre and then rushed back to her office. It was only then Dr Jyoti realised that the student centre was not en-route for the lady, and she walked and spent her fifteen minutes to help. The niceness of people in Cork is evident, as not a single person crosses by without greeting one another. Localites are even more considerate of students. Dr Jyoti says, she remembers a rainy day (which is not unusual) when she was going back from work pretty late at evening. An old couple she met at the signal, stopped to ask if she was doing well and liking her stay in Cork. They walked with her and shared word of wisdom on how important it is to enjoy little things in life and learn to let go what needs to go. Their thoughts have stayed with her to date.

How did her time at UCC help her to get to where she is now?

At UCC Dr Jyoti worked in the field of signal transduction and immunology with her doctoral supervisor Dr Justin V McCarthy. Doing her doctorate at UCC, she learnt to be a self-motivated and a focused scientist. Dr Jyoti says that she learnt time management and multi-tasking from her supervisor Dr Justin. The importance of collaboration and supporting others during their quest for science is what she was taught by her ever so helpful and supportive colleagues. After her Ph.D. Jyoti moved to India and joined ICGEB as a research scientist and initiated several projects in the field of host microbiome and metabolome and their interplay with disease pathologies. During the same time, she focused on antimalarial drug discovery and development with focus on antimalarial drug resistance. Learning from her time at UCC, Dr Jyoti has had much successful prior and current collaboration with several institutes in India (All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, National Institute of Malaria Research, Delhi).

What is her advice to the current UCC students?

Dr Jyoti wants to advice the current UCC students that they should make the most of their time at UCC. UCC provides a unique opportunity to not only learn and educate in your professional field of interest, but offers a whole new perspective on life when one encounters the warm and wonderful people of the little city, Cork!

What is she currently working on?

Currently, as a scientist at ICGEB, Dr Jyoti has more than seven years of experience and expertise in the fields of immunology, structural biology, data visualization and analysis. With basic research focused on infectious diseases (malaria). Over the years, Dr Jyoti has developed interdisciplinary research skills with an expertise in various areas of research (metabolite/microbial interplay with infectious and non-communicable diseases). Dr Jyoti has published several research articles in peer-reviewed journals. During the COVID times, she has worked in collaboration with AIIMS, NIB, ICMR and NIMR to establish epidemiological profiles and associated risk factors of SARS-CoV-2 positive patients in India. In addition to basic research, she has been working towards an app-based surveillance to improve the coverage, case data integration, and intensification of data visualization to build a robust database and healthcare network, while providing a long-term support to the health care system of the country. More recently, Dr Jyoti has recently launched a platform that offers a skill building space with a knowledge base, interdisciplinary courses and gamified science.

By Manasi Nadkarni

Website Manager, UIAC