Manasi Gangan

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Meyer Lab

You work in a laboratory.  What are you currently researching?

I am a postdoctoral associate with Dr. Anne Meyer. Our lab uses synthetic biology tools to repurpose bacteria as the source of novel biomaterials with possible applications in industry. As a part of the team, I am genetically modifying Shewanella oneidensis, to make it a more generous electron donor that in combination with nanomaterials, would help release hydrogen gas from water. Since hydrogen is considered as an alternative source of energy, our efforts can be a step towards the development of a sustainable source of energy.

What was it that originally sparked your interest in biology?

I think I was always fascinated by the microbial world. In my opinion, it’s incredible to have just one cell and one DNA and still manage to coordinate all the cellular functions perfectly. Also, knowledge that these cellular pathways can be tweaked to produce various products beneficial to humankind further grabbed my interest in this field.

What do you enjoy most about working here at the U of R?

I mainly appreciate the efforts taken by the university, as well as by the department, towards the inclusion of people from all kinds of backgrounds. As far as career growth is concerned, there are various opportunities provided for personality and career development that would be useful in future job hunting. I also enjoy recreational activities that are occasionally organized on the campus. That helps to reinvigorate the mind.

What advice would you give to prospective students looking to study in our department?

My advice would be not to stress much about the coursework or the research work, but to enjoy everything that comes your way. And importantly stay healthy!!

How do you unwind when you’re not in the lab?

I love quilting. I like to sew different-shaped fabrics together to craft interesting quilt patterns. I love to collect different fabrics and fashion beautiful quilts out of them. It is quite liberating.