Aakanksha majored in Biochemistry for her undergraduate studies at St. Xavier’s College, Gujarat University, India, where she earned the University’s top rank and gold medal. She then joined the National Center for Biological Sciences, India, where her research as an MSc candidate in the lab of Prof. Obaid Siddiqi marked the beginning of her career in molecular neuroscience. Her graduate research with Gian Garriga at the University of California, Berkeley focused on developmental neurobiology, specifically asymmetric cell divisions and cell fate specification in the nervous system. Her postdoctoral research on glia-neuron interactions, with Shai Shaham at The Rockefeller University, was supported by fellowships from the American Cancer Society and the Murray Foundation. She is a recipient of the Simons Foundation for Autism research (SFARI) career transition award.
Aakanksha was born in Rajasthan, India. Outside the lab, she loves dancing (especially Bharatanatyam, an Indian classical dance form), books, and badminton. Her favorite quote for science and life is “We are interested in just about everything. But the brevity of life being what it is compels selectivity” (credit: Alexander J. Varshavsky).