Diya is a sixth year graduate student in the lab of John Ngai, where she studies regeneration in the olfactory epithelium, the tissue responsible for our sense of smell. She analyzes how olfactory stem cells contribute to both steady-state differentiation and injury-induced regeneration using single-cell RNA sequencing and other genomics techniques. Her first co-authored paper, a collaboration between biologists, computer scientists, and statisticians, demonstrated the paths by which stem cells become either neurons or sustentacular (support) cells, including the identification of precursor cell types in one lineage and their absence in another.
Diya also facilitates opportunities for fellow researchers to develop their data science skills. She is currently Co-Director and Development Lead of Beyond Academia, a grad student and postdoc-run group whose mission is to encourage career exploration and help our peers nurture skills necessary to be competitive in their future careers. She is also an organizer of the 2017 CDIPS Data Science Workshop, which helps grad students and postdocs explore data science careers via mentored team projects, lectures, skills-based workshops, and company visits. When she’s not analyzing her data or curating an event, you might find her teaching informal workshops at The Hacker Within, a weekly meeting for scientific computing hosted at BIDS.