Rahul Munshi – [Resume]

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Ph.D. Student (2012 - ),
Pralle Biophysics Lab
The State University of New York at Buffalo.

M. Sc. and B. Sc. (Hons.) in Physics (2005 - 2010),
Indian Institute of Technology,
Kharagpur, W.B. India.

About me

I am a PhD. student with Dr. Arnd Pralle’s experimental biophysics group in the Department of Physics at the University at Buffalo. My concentration is on developing and employing high specificity neuronal modulation techniques using local magnetothermal actuation. This incorporates local heating of neuronal cell membranes by superparamagnetic nanoparticles, and subsequent modulation of cell signalling. Our work on remote control of motor behaviors in mice using magnetothermal activation appeared in eLife.

I am currently working on magnetothermal silencing of dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Using endogenous (and over) expression of leak channels, we have showed that aversion can be generated in conditional place preference (CPP) assays. We are studying selective memory formation using thermal suppression in this assay, coupled with real time photometric intracellular calcium sensor (GCaMP6f) readout.

The broader scope of my reasearch goal is to apply the core principles and approaches of physics to a diverse set of problems, irrespective of the traditionally assigned disciplines. I am especially interested in taking up a role in investigating the biophysics of neurophysiology, exploring how evolution has devised complex signaling pathways to produce deterministic outcomes from perfectly stochastic systems.