Prof. Ankona Datta

Prof. Ankona Datta grew up on IIT Kharagpur's university campus. In 2000, she received both her Bachelor's as well as her Master's degrees...

Seeing the Chemistry of Life

Communication - it's the key to working together. And it's a fact that holds true even at the level of something as tiny as the molecules within our body - every time we say or do or think something, our molecules are communicating with each other to enable that activity.

How do molecules 'talk' to each other to ensure our bodies and minds function properly? What happens when this functioning goes wrong? How do 'conversations' between molecules control everything that we do or think? What happens when there is a 'miscommunication'? An important key lies in understanding the role of 'mediator' molecules that help transfer signals within living systems.

We are delighted to invite Ankona Datta - scientist and molecular architect - to Mumbai Local. The tiny molecules that define our lives are a source of endless fascination for Prof. Datta. "Life," she says, "is all about how molecules are talking to each other." And to understand this better, she and her team design molecules that enter the living entities like cells and act as harmless lightbulbs to show us what happens in that minute world.

This type of research is already important in disease and cancer detection, as well as in developing therapeutics. Prof. Datta and her team are interested in throwing more and more light on how biology works. Her dream is to see signal-mediator molecules inside a living biological system, and understand how they behave. A dream driven as much by the desire to combat disease, as with a fascination with the intricate dance of molecules within our bodies.

Join us as we look inside ourselves, literally, to understand how we work!

@ MCubed Library, Bandra (W) - 1st Sat, 5 pm
@ Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Byculla (E) - 2nd Sun, 5 pm
@ Kitab Khana, Fort - 3rd Fri, 5:30 pm

Prof. Ankona Datta grew up on IIT Kharagpur's university campus. In 2000, she received both her Bachelor's as well as her Master's degrees in Chemistry from the same esteemed institution. Motivated by her experimental stints in several research groups at IIT Kharagpur during summer vacations, and encouraged by her father, Prof. Datta decided to continue in academics and joined Princeton University for Graduate studies. At Princeton, she worked on developing water-soluble catalysts with Prof. John T. Groves. She then moved to the University of California, Berkeley, where she joined as a postdoctoral scholar in the laboratory of Prof. Kenneth N. Raymond and got a flavour of coordination chemistry at its best. Here she worked on developing MRI contrast agents. During this time, she attended the World Molecular Imaging Congress and was fascinated by how chemistry can be directly applied to visualize biology.

Prof Datta started her career as an independent researcher at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, India in 2010. She and her team of vibrant students are excited by the plethora of possibilities that synthetic chemistry offers in developing molecules that can help us visualize the molecular basis of life.

Venues Dates Time
12-100 yrs
1 hr , 30 min
Entry free, on a first-come-first basis. Pre-register now to save your seat.