Swinburne student Shyama Sasikumar wins Fulbright-Nehru award

PhD candidate Shyama Sasikumar has received a prestigious Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Fellowship to progress her research in liver modelling.

Ms Sasikumar is studying at Swinburne as part of the university’s partnered PhD program with the Indian Institute of Technology ”“ Hyderabad (IIT-H).

She is developing a model that can mimic the liver microenvironment to study the physiological processes and mechanisms of liver disease and screen potential drug treatments.

Her project titled ”˜3D printing of an in vitro biomimetic liver model’ is being carried out under the supervision of Professor Peter Kingshott and Dr Brett Cromer in the Department of Chemistry and Biotechnology at Swinburne, in collaboration with Dr Falguni Pati in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at IIT-H.

Ms Sasikumar’s project is in the field of tissue engineering, where a major focus is on developing scaffolds that provide a better platform for cell growth, organisation and differentiation.

“Techniques have been developed for creating tissues and organs for implantation but currently the focus is also on creating 3D models that can be used for studying the tissue pathophysiology,” Ms Sasikumar says.

“Such in vitro models have an advantage over animal models as human cells can be used. These tissue mimics can then be used for drug toxicity studies and for understanding the efficiency of potential drugs.”

Ms Sasikumar will take up the Fulbright Nehru Doctoral Fellowship for the year 2019 ”“ 2020.

Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Research Fellowship

The Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Research Fellowships are designed for Indian scholars who are registered for a PhD at an Indian institution. These fellowships are organised by the United States-India Educational Foundation and are given for a period of six to nine months, enabling recipients to study, research and teach in the US at a host institution.


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