Rachana Deven Somaiya
PhD Candidate – TBMH Program
I was born and raised in India and did my undergraduate studies in Pharmacy from NMIMS University, Mumbai. My first exposure to neuroscience was during my Master’s at Northeastern University in Dr. Greg Miller’s lab where I worked on a receptor that is expressed in the immune cells and also in the astrocytes. Now in my PhD, my goals are to establish a strong foundational background in neuroscience, learn and employ broad array of techniques for my thesis project, and network and collaborate with fellow scientists outside of my laboratory. My long term goal is to become a well-rounded researcher and make substantial contributions not only to my scientific community, but also to broader society.
Currently, one of my research interests is to understand how different cell types in the brain interact with each other during early development. In Dr. Fox’s lab, my thesis project is focused on an axo-glial-neuronal signaling mechanism that plays a crucial role in the development of visual system, specifically focusing on postnatal interneuron recruitment in the mammalian visual thalamus. Outside of the lab, I am passionate about science communication to non-scientists and organize many outreach activities in my local community. I also enjoy dancing, and hiking in the beautiful nature of Roanoke.