Akanksha Singh is an Assistant Professor in the Center for Life Sciences at the Mahindra University. She earned her PhD degree in the Department of Zoology, Banaras Hindu University. She investigated the evolutionary conservation of sexual behavioral traits, in a closely related Drosophila species using behavioral and genetic tools. Later, she moved to Cornell University and in collaboration with Syracuse University she identified the interaction between male and female reproductive proteins and their possible roles in reproduction using transgenic and omics technologies. The findings provide a deeper understanding on genetic and molecular basis of infertilities in a population and several pitfalls involved in the assisted reproductive technologies like In vitro fertilization. Then she moved to the Laboratory of Systems Genetics, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, Bethesda where she worked to understand the genetic basis of difference in sleep duration using Polycistronic CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technologies combined with transgenic approaches. She also undertook GWAS (Genome wide association studies) approach to identify sleep conservation in closely related Drosophila species.
2011 - 2015
- PhD. Zoology (2011-2015), Department of Zoology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India
2008 - 2010
- M. Sc. Zoology (2008-2010), specialization in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Department of Zoology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India
2006 - 2008
- B.Sc. Zoology (2006-2008), Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India
2021 - 2022
- Research Fellow (2021- August 2022) Laboratory of Systems Genetics, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, Bethesda, Maryland
2019 - 2021
- Postdoctoral Visiting Fellow (2019-2021) Laboratory of Systems Genetics, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, Bethesda, Maryland
2015 - 2018
- Postdoctoral Associate (2015-2018) Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
- Misra S, Buehner NA, Singh A, Wolfner MF 2022. Female factors are important for the seminal Sex Peptide’s association with sperm, in mated D. melanogaster. BioRxiv,
Under revision in BMC Biology.
- McCullough EL*, Whittington E*, Singh A*, Pitnick S, Wolfner MF, Dorus S 2022. The life history of Drosophila sperm involves molecular continuity between male and female reproductive tracts. PNAS, 119 (11): e2119899119. (*Co-first author) (Cover Page Image of the Issue)
Cornell Chronicle: https://news.cornell.edu/stories/2022/03/after-mating-fruit-fly-sperm-are-no-longer-fully-male
Syracuse Univ News: https://thecollege.syr.edu/news-all/news-from-2022/as-biologists-observe-a-molecular-hand-off-that-plays-a-key-role-in-reproduction/
Verve Times-News: https://vervetimes.com/biologists-observe-a-molecular-hand-off-that-plays-a-key-role-in-reproduction-sciencedaily/
Phys.org News: https://phys.org/news/2022-03-biologists-molecular-hand-off-key-rol...
News Medical Life sciences: https://www.news-medical.net/news/20220308/Research-sheds-light-on-important-events-that-may-play-a-role-in-infertility.aspx
- Singh A*, Buehner NA, Lin He, Baranowski KJ, Findlay GD, Wolfner MF 2018. Long-term interaction between Drosophila sperm and sex peptide is mediated by other seminal proteins that bind only transiently to sperm. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 102: 43-51.
- Singh BN and Singh A 2016. The Genetics of sexual behavior of Drosophila. Advances in genomics and genetics, 6: 1-9
- Singh A* and Singh BN 2015. Sperm displacement in the Drosophila bipectinata species complex: Evidence for interspecific variations. Behavioural Processes, 113:105-109.
- Singh A* and Singh BN 2014. Studies on remating behavior in the Drosophila bipectinata species complex. Evidence for sperm displacement in D. bipectinata. Current Science, 107: 511-515.
- Singh A* and Singh BN 2014. Role of sexual selection in speciation in Drosophila. Genetica, 142: 23-41.
- Singh A* and Singh BN 2013. Mating latency, duration of copulation, and fertility in four species of D. bipectinata complex. Indian Journal of Experimental Biology, 52:175-80.
- Singh A* and Singh BN 2013. Studies on remating behavior in the Drosophila bipectinata species complex: Intra- and interspecific variations. Behavioral Processes, 96: 79-87
- Singh BN and Singh A 2014. A new mutation in Drosophila parabipectinata. Drosophila Information Services, 97:175-17
- Singh BN and Singh A 2013. A new mutation in Drosophila malerkotliana. Drosophila Information Services, 96: 221-222
Our research will focus to understand the genetic basis of certain common disease affecting human population. Using genome wide association studies (GWAS) and other omics (genomics and transcriptomics) as well as genome editing technologies we would be identifying specific risk alleles present in coding or non-coding regions (regulatory regions). The impact of this study will thereby provide pipelines for functionally identifying causal regulatory SNPs (and regulatory elements) of complex diseases. This will be of enormous benefit for a confident diagnosis, establishing personalized treatment options, and also surveillance for the high-risk patients and their relatives.
In an other study I will be working to understand the systems genetics of sleep using Drosophila melanogaster as a model system where I would like to develop the relationship between gut microbiome and immune response with sleep in Drosophila.
- 2021, Fellows Award for Research Excellence (FARE 2022), National Institute of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
- 2017, Postdoctoral Travel award (Award of $500) from Cornell University attend Sperm Biology Meeting held at Sheffield, UK
- 2014-2015, Senior Research Fellowship from University Grants Commission Research Fellowship in Science for Meritorious Students
- 2012-2014, Junior Research Fellowship from University Grants Commission Research Fellowship in Science for Meritorious Students
- 2011, Qualified GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering)
- 2011-2012, Graduate Research Fellowship, Banaras Hindu University, India
- 2010, Honorable Mention in Brain Awareness Week, Banaras Hindu University, India
Society Service and Memberships:
Indian Society of Cell Biology, Genetics Society of America, Society for the Study of Evolution, Society of Molecular Biology and Evolution, Animal Behavior Society
Editorial and Peer Review Services:
Review Editor in Frontiers in Insects Science, Frontiers in Endocrinology, Frontiers in Physiology (special section on Reproduction)
Reviewer in journals such as Veterinary Sciences, Advances in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, STAR Protocols, Journal of Clinical Medicine, Animals, Genes, Biology, Cells, Insects, Life, Scientific Reports, Medicina, Journal of Personalized Medicine, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Medical Research Archives, Journal of Scientific Research Reports, Asian Journal of Research in Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology, Plant Cell Biotechnology and Molecular Biology