Dr Poonam Thakur
Assistant Professor Grade I (Biology)
  +91 (0)471 - 2778254

Though I belong to Himachal Pradesh, my early life was spent in Chandigarh, a beautiful city located in the foothills of Himalayas. After obtaining my Bachelors and Masters degree in Biophysics from Panjab University Chandigarh, I continued to stay there for my PhD. In the lab of Bimla Nehru, I worked on elucidating the molecular mechanism of Parkinson's disease (PD) using a rat model. This is where my love for PD research started that continues till date. After completion of my PhD, I moved to the lab of Anders Bjorklund at Lund University, Sweden for post-doctoral fellowship. During my stint in his lab, I worked on creating a new rodent model of PD based on overexpression of alpha-synuclein protein. At this point my interest grew in understanding the mechanism behind unique vulnerability of dopaminergic neurons in substantia nigra region of the brain to degenerate during PD. Driven by this interest, I joined the lab of Jochen Roeper at Goethe University, Germany for another post-doctorate fellowship. In his lab, I used patch clamp electrophysiology to decipher differential vulnerability of various subpopulations of dopaminergic neurons in the brain. During this time, I won the Early Career Fellowship from Wellcome Trust/DBT India Alliance and I returned to India to start my independent research career. I joined IISER-Thiruvananthapuram as Assistant Professor in March, 2020. My lab will continue to work on various aspects of PD to ultimately find a cure for this disease. 

Professional Experience 

  1. Assistant Professor- School of Biology, IISER-TVM (March, 2020 onwards)
  2. Postdoctoral research fellow- Institute of Neurophysiology, Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany (2016-2019)
  3. Postdoctoral research fellow- Wallenberg Neuroscience Centre, Lund University, Sweden (2014-2016)
  4. PhD in Neuroscience- Department of Biophysics, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India (2010-2014)