Title: Purnima Bhanot, Program Director BIO/IOS – SDS Program
Education: B.A.: Mount Holyoke College – Biochemistry, Ph.D.: Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine – Molecular Biology and Genetics
Home Institution: Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
Tell us about your research:
My research focuses on kinase signaling pathways in protozoan parasites, that pose a significant danger to human and veterinary health, for example Plasmodium (the causative agent of malaria) and Babesia (the causative agent of babesiosis). Particularly, I am interested in identifying protein kinases that are required for parasitic development within the mammalian host. My work can lead to the identification of drug targets in these organisms and aid in the development of new therapies.
What made you want to step into your role at NSF?
I was excited by the opportunity to delve into a wide swath of very interesting biology, learn the research funding process from the “other” side and to bring the voice of a mid-career bench scientist to the NSF.
What are you looking forward to during your time at NSF?
I am looking forward to learning the wide variety of scientific programs supported by the NSF. I look forward to meeting colleagues from across the country and from a variety of disciplines. Just in my short few months at the NSF, I have met more folks from different scientific backgrounds than I had in the past several years. I am happily anticipating an intellectually invigorating and collegial atmosphere.
What is something that you would like people to know about you?
I love to travel. NSF, can I get onto a boat to Antarctica? lol