Sharbat Chatterjee

I am a neuroscientist born in Bengal, India. People call me Sharbat. I received my undergrad training at the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, majoring in computer science with a focus on machine learning, and with minors in linguistics and literature. I then moved to Switzerland for my master's in biology (neuroscience) from École polytechniqye fédérale de Lausanne, with a strong flavour of computation, and eventually to the United Kingdom, where I worked on rodent behaviour and learning at the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre, University College London. I enjoy ruminating about the emergence and computing of behaviour, picking the brains of humans and other animals, learning new languages, following elections of random constituencies, reading poetry and non-fiction, hiking, and exploring cemeteries.

I find that neuroscience research today is a culmination of the scientific desire to understand how behaviour can be explained. To me, a well-rounded neuroscientist should be able to program effectively, build a rig, solder a circuit, operate a microscope, patch a cell, control ion channels with light, inject a virus, train an animal, slice a brain, apply fourier transforms, solve differential equations, quantify behaviour, conduct a psychophysics experiment, pipette a solution, know their signalling pathways and brain areas, write a paper, deliver a talk, and lastly, tweet to explain their research to the public. In other words, a neuroscientist should be multi-disciplinary. I believe the ZENITH PhD program fits perfectly with this scientific philosophy of mine. Besides, the zebrafish animal model, and the training in statistical physics, biology, engineering and computation offered is a great fit given my background and skills, and is vital for my future goals.