In AMSI scholarship recipient
AMSI grant recipient profile: Namrata Bhattacharya

Namrata Bhattacharya

Queensland University of Technology

Can you give me a quick overview of the type of mathematics you are studying and its potential applications or outcomes?

My current research focuses on understanding the tumor microenvironment. My lab is focused on single-cell RNAseq and metastatic prostate cancer. I am leveraging the power of artificial intelligence to gain a deeper insight into cancer metabolism. I have developed a tool that can perform the identification of novel subclones in cancer and stratify the clones based on their contribution toward patients’ survivability. This has helped in exploring the linear plasticity of advanced metastatic prostate cancer in-depth.

How did you get into the mathematical sciences/bioinformatics?

My greatest inspiration was my high school mathematics teacher. She discovered that I had a genuine interest in the field and helped me pursue the interest further by taking up more activities and lessons to further improve my knowledge and help me gain further inroads in the field.

What advice would you give to your younger self or others wanting to studying the mathematical sciences?

Advice to my younger self would be to spend a bit more time learning about the current advancements in the field in more detail and also to research more on the personnel who are established in the field for better networking. Advice that I would give to others interested to study mathematical sciences would be to put in the extra yards very early on in their career as this will be highly beneficial in leapfrogging others in the future.

What was your motivation for attending AMSI BioInfoSummer?

It was a truly wonderful experience. It was always my dream to represent my research, and I managed to present it in the form of a poster at this year’s event. There were numerous experts in the field, and I was lucky enough to interact with some of them. Attending events such as these was one of the reasons why I decided to come to Australia. I came to know about this event through my supervisors, who encouraged me to attend. For someone who asks me how the event is, I would say it is a very interactive multi-day event that will enlighten, educate and help you build connections in the field of mathematical sciences.

You received an AMSI BioInfoSummer travel grant to attend AMSI BioInfoSummer. How important was this in terms of your ability to attend and fully participate in the sessions throughout the week?

It was highly important as the grant ensured that I could attend the event stress-free and not worry about arrangements, be it for travel or accommodation. The grant helps you to fully focus on the purpose of the event and help you eliminate the financial burden that comes with traveling interstate normally.

What was your main take away from AMSI BioInfoSummer?

This was my first event of such stature. My biggest takeaway was that is highly beneficial to attend these events to get different perspectives and practices of how research is being conducted in other parts of the country. It is also beneficial to get to know more researchers who can help branch out the connections, which can lead to potential research ideas in the future through regular catch-ups. The ideas shared by some of them were truly inspiring. The way of conducting research was also very unique among some, and it is something that I would like to try blending into my research in the future.

Where do you want the mathematical sciences to take you? Where do you see yourself in five or ten years’ time?

I would love to learn more in the field of mathematical sciences. I see myself in the next five or ten years helping future researchers in setting up their research ideas and helping them build on the research conducted prior to them. After chatting with other BioInfoSummer attendees, I discovered a few good career opportunities which I would love to pursue in the future.