Recognizing Plant Direct authors: Pulkit Kanodia

Pulkit Kanodia, first author of Control of Translation during the Unfolded Protein Response in Maize seedlings: Life without PERKs

Current Position: PhD candidate, Miller Lab, Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, Iowa State University

Education: Bachelor in Engineering with a major in Biotechnology, Birla Institute of Technology, India

Non-scientific Interests: math, playing mandolin, and watching movies and series

Brief bio: I have always aspired to either be a mathematician or a scientist working in life sciences. To do both, I decided to pursue engineering with a major in biotechnology. As an undergrad, I worked with PhD students for computational prediction of miRNAs in wheat, completed a side project in the field of mathematics as a hobby and interned at the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, a CSIR-lab in India where I worked with a novel transposon-based gene trap for insertional mutagenesis in Zebra fish. After earning my bachelor’s degree, I moved to the United States as a graduate student in the Interdepartmental Genetics and Genomics program at Iowa State University. I joined Dr. W. Allen Miller’s lab (Plant pathology and microbiology department) — a Virology lab specializing in plant RNA viruses, non-canonical translation mechanisms and RNA structure and mechanisms. It is here that I found my passion for Virology. My research primarily includes plant virus-host interactions and how virus infection modifies the host’s translational control of gene expression. My interest in translational control and experience with ribosome profiling led to the wonderful collaboration with Dr. Stephen H. Howell with whom we worked on understanding the translational control in maize seedlings during the unfolded protein response. I am grateful for such collaborations and opportunities to learn skills that help me strengthen my passion for life sciences.