Neurons on the brain: Shreejoy Tripathy joins Real Scientists!

We are delighted to have Shreejoy Tripathy (@neuronjoy) round out Brain Awareness Week here at Real Scientists. Shreejoy is a post-doc in neuroinformatics (an exciting hybrid of neuroscience and bioinformatics) at the University of British Columbia. We asked Shreejoy about his journey so far: image

Why do you do science? 

As a kid I loved trying to figure out how things work by taking them apart and putting them back together (much to the disappointment of my mother!). I do science because it allows me to put this intense desire to figure out how things work into productive use.

Why your research area?

I work in the fields of neuroscience and genetics, where I get to combine my love of biology with math and computer science. It’s exciting getting to work on fundamental problems like: “how does the brain work?” or “why does the brain have so many kinds of cells?”. One day, I hope my work leads to a better understanding of humanity or the development of cures for brain diseases like Alzheimer’s or epilepsy.

How exactly do you ‘science’?

My work tries to understand how the electrical properties of neurons arise from the kinds of genes that are turned on and off in each cell. Part of my work involves piecing together datasets collected by hundreds of scientists into a coherent larger picture, and making this larger database available to other researchers.

Why is it important?

I think the understanding the brain is the final frontier (on Earth, anyway). It’s ridiculous how little is known about the brain despite how central it is to coordinating our lives, actions, and decisions. There’s also clear reasons to study the brain for improving public health, like developing cures for diseases like Alzheimer’s and epilepsy, and to develop biology-based medical interventions for disorders like depression.

What do you do when you’re not in the lab?

Aside from cooking and watching too much Netflix, I’ve been doing crossfit over the past 3 years. Our crossfit workouts are really physically demanding and it’s a great contrast to sitting at a computer and having intellectual arguments with my labmates all day.

Please welcome Shreejoy to RS!

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