Zeenat Diwan

I studied Biotechnology in my Bachelor’s and graduated in 2013 from D Y Patil University- School of Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, Mumbai, India. For my thesis project, I worked in the lab of Dr. Rajiv Sarin at ACTREC, Mumbai to identify novel mutations and polymorphisms in the APC gene of colorectal cancer patients. Thereafter, I obtained a Master’s degree in Biological Science with an emphasis on Molecular Biology and Genetics from JNCASR, Bangalore, India in 2017. I performed my Master’s thesis in the lab of Prof. Maneesha Inamdar, wherein I studied the role of Rudhira, a cytoskeletal protein, in regulating endothelial cell migration during mouse embryonic vascular development. 

This work stirred my interest towards the field of cardiovascular biology, and I joined the Siekmann Lab as a PhD student in 2017 to delve deeper into the basis of how the vascular system develops and patterns itself over time, using zebrafish – one of the best model organisms to study vascular development in vivo. My project here seeks to answer a fundamental question in vascular biology: how is the diameter of blood vessels regulated during early stages of zebrafish development? Specifically, I aim to study how the size of endothelial cells is regulated to allow changes in vessel diameters over time, and what signalling pathways are involved in this process. I employ confocal imaging along with various molecular biology approaches to address these questions.