Nivi Ramkumar

Mechanisms governing gene expression are the key underliers determining the body’s tendencies, ranging from one’s caffeine tolerance to predisposition to disease; or in Nivi’s case, her penchant for stories in any form or shape – books, movies, series, podcasts or just catching up with friends – to her choosing the Verheyen lab for her undergraduate thesis project.

Apart from attempting to confirm her close to spiritual belief that gene expression regulation might well be the theory of everything, Nivi uses the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, as the model organism to uncover novel roles of protein kinases, that when dysregulated would lead to the development of disease.

She graduated with a dual degree in Bioengineering and Medical Nanotechnology from SASTRA Deemed University, India. During her thesis project at SFU, she was overwhelmingly pleased with the learning atmosphere here, that was conducive for constructive performance, and optimal for any potential candidate. The dynamic graduate student community of the department was also supportive and inviting, and these factors collectively urged her to come back for graduate studies at SFU, starting 2019 fall.

Her passion for music only runs a close second behind that for biology and the constant hum of her favourite tunes helps one easily find their way to the lab and the department!  Outside of the lab, she enjoys the damp Vancouver air, especially on temperate rainforest hikes on sunny days, be it with new biped or bug friends!