User:Varun Chokshi

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About Me

I am a first year graduate student for my doctoral degree at Johns Hopkins University.

Contact Info

Varun Chokshi
Varun Chokshi

3100 St. Paul Street,
Apt# 410,
Baltimore
MD 21218, USA
Email id: vchoksh1@jhu.edu

Education

  • Bachelor of technology in Biotechnology
  • CGPA – 8.34/10
  • Board of Intermediate Education
  • Graduated with 89.2%
  • Board of Secondary Education
  • Graduated with 92.0%

Research Projects

  1. Synthetic Biology
    • International Genetically Engineered Machines(iGEM) 20111 (Dec 2010 – Nov 2011)
    • Won a Gold, Best Natural Biobrick and Special Safety Commendations. Presented at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

      1. Designed a technique to screen transformed clones using a positive control
        • Antibiotic resistance replaced by proteorhodopsin which in presence of light and chromophore (retinal) gives proton gradient, thus in low carbon media only the cells with the correct construct would grow with the energy benefit.
      2. Constructed a plasmid to enable higher protein production
        • Proteorhodopsin coupled with pCSTA promoter can produce higher recombinant production in low carbon media.
      3. Designed Proof of Concept experiments to demonstrate Proteorhodopsin can complement for glycolysis in inhibiting conditions.

      Guide: Dr. Nitish R Mahapatra, IIT Madras; Dr. G. K. Suraishkumar, IIT Madras and Dr. Michael M Gromiha, IIT Madras.

    • International Genetically Engineered Machines(iGEM) 20102 (Feb 2010 – Nov 2010)
    • Won a Gold medal. Presented at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

      • Designed a genetic circuitry that
        1. Used lactic acid bacteria (often used in the curdling of milk) to produce a low calorie sweetening protein (Monellin) which can be used in a diabetic’s diet.
        2. Incorporated a pH and nicin based AND gate to discard the circuitry after certain level of expression is reached using CRE-LoxP system; and eliminate genetically modified organism from food.
      • Designed Proof of Concept experiments to demonstrate that p170, a pH inducible promoter can be used as a switch ON between pH 4.5-5.

      Guide: Dr. Guhan Jayaraman, IIT Madras.

  2. Molecular Biology
    • Study of Differential expression of HMG-coA reductase in Rodent models of essential hypertension, Cardiovascular Genetics Lab, IIT Madras, Chennai (B. Tech Project, Oct 2011 – Present) Promoter polymorphism study as a possible cause of differential expression of hmgcr gene in Hypertensive and Normotensive rat models to better understand the cholesterol production.
      Guide: Dr. Nitish R. Mahapatra, IIT Madras
    • Sub-Cloning of S.cerevisiae RTPase homologous sequence from RPV L-region (May 2010 – July 2010)
      Amplified gene sequence of Rinderpest Virus homologous to RTPase gene of S.cerevisiae.
      Guide: Dr. Parag Sadhale, IISC Bangalore and Dr. M. S. Shaila, IISC Bangalore
  3. Proteomics
    • Determined minimum limit of detection (100 cfu/ml) of MRSA for developing a rapid screening technique for MRSA and MSSA in 3 hours.
    • Generated Clostridium difficile MS profile for its rapid identification for diagnosis.
    • Guide:Dr. Shervanthi Homer-Vanniasinkam, NPIMR.

Conference Papers

  1. Determination of the minimum limit of detection of Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus using Matrix Associated Laser Desorption and Ionization-Time of Flight (MALDI-ToF) mass spectrometry (MS). (under review)
    A Yabluchanskiy, V Chokshi, P Somaiya, R Smith, V Edwards-Jones, S Homer-Vanniasinkam.
    Federation of Infection Societies Conference 2011, Manchester Central, 16th -18th November, 2011
  2. Rapid Diagnosis of C difficile: MALDI-ToF MS preliminary data on the reproducibility of isolates. (under review)
    A Yabluchanskiy, V Chokshi, J Patel, P Somaiya, V Hall, V Edwards-Jones, S Homer-Vanniasinkam.
    Federation of Infection Societies Conference 2011, Manchester Central, 16th -18th November, 2011

Useful links

  1. iGEM 2011 Team wiki
  2. iGEM 2010 Team wiki

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