B.Tech., Chemical Engineering; M.A., Chemical and Biological Engineering, Princeton University
I am interested in understanding how cells organize at the mesoscale from nanometer-sized proteins. Cellular polymers - microtubules - make one of most important "skeletons in the cell" that divides the genetic material into two daughter cells equally. My research is aimed at understanding how the microtubules are nucleated and organized in the cell to form functional structures, a question that still remains to be answered. I use a combination of experimental biology tools - Xenopus egg extracts and in vitro reconstitution with purified proteins - and biophysics to address these problems.
XMAP215 is a microtubule nucleation factor that functions synergistically with the γ-tubulin ring complex. A Thawani, RS Kadzik, S Petry. Nature Cell Biology 2018.
Structural analysis of the role of TPX2 in branching microtubule nucleation. Alfaro-Aco R, Thawani A, Petry S. Journal of Cell Biology 2017.
Trajectory of a model bacterium. A Thawani, M Tirumkudulu. Journal of Fluid Mechanics 2018.