Shruthi Magesh, a final year B. Tech. Biotechnology student of the Department of Biotechnology, SRM Institute of Science and Technology is the recipient of Khorana Fellowship 2018 (https://wid.wisc.edu/people/shruthi-magesh/). The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Govt. of India, Indo–US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF), and WIN Step Forward have partnered to support the prestigious Khorana Program for scholars which is awarded to top 1.5% of students in India to foster a scientific exchange between India and USA. She was provided with a stipend of $2500 in addition to covering her travel and accommodation.
Shruthi had her initial training and research experience in the field of microbiology from Biomolecules and Biocatalysis lab under the guidance of Dr. K. Ramani, Associate Professor, Department of Biotechnology, SRMIST. Under Khorana program, she carried out her 10-week internship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison under the guidance of Dr. Jo Handelsman, the pioneer of metagenomics and Director of Wisconsin Institute for Discovery. Shruthi Magesh worked on two projects. They were “Genetic analysis of microbial community assembly and invasion” mentored by Dr. Amanda I Hurley and “Finding antibiotic resistance mutations in metagenomic sequence data” mentored by Dr. Johan Bengtsson-Palme. Her research work involved the application of InSeq technology in a multispecies community grown on the sand and also explored the use of bioinformatics in quantifying point mutations in metagenomics data. Apart from being associated with 2 projects, she was involved with the “Tiny Earth” which is a network of instructors and students focused on crowdsourcing antibiotic discovery from soil to overcome the crisis of developing antibiotic resistance.