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Anjali Kumari Singh

Academic background

        I completed my Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology (Honours) from Asutosh College, Calcutta University, in 2018. With a background in infection biology, I joined IISER Tirupati in the integrated Ph.D. programme. I completed Master’s programme at IISER Tirupati with courses spanning across diverse theoretical and applicative fields including Infection Biology, Bioinformatics, Big Data in Biology, Structural Biology, Developmental Biology, Cancer Biology, Biophysical Chemistry and Forensic Science. My interdisciplinary training at IISER Tirupati helped me realize my interest in the systems-level understanding of host-pathogen biology and motivated me to pursue it as my research problem for my PhD

Advisor information

Dr. Sreenivas Chavali’s research interest primarily focuses on understanding the impact of variation in proteins on their functionality. To understand this, he uses computational and experimental approaches and investigates both structured and disordered regions of proteins to delineate how variation can influence protein expression and function, in physiology and pathology.

He obtained Ph.D. in Biotechnology from University of Pune in 2009 for work done in CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, Delhi, India. Subsequently, he worked as a Post-Doctoral fellow in the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, till 2010. After that, he moved on to MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK, where he worked in various capacities such as Career Development Fellow, EMBO long term fellow and as an investigator scientist, till 2018. In January 2019, he joined IISER Tirupati as an Assistant Professor in Biology.

His research accomplishments have been recognized through various awards and fellowships such as Indian National Science Academy Young Scientist Medal, EMBO long term fellowship, Research Fellowship at Wolfson College, University of Cambridge, Ramanujan Fellowship and Ramalingaswami Fellowship, and membership of Indian National Young Academy of Sciences (INYAS). He also serves as reviewer on various journals and as an editorial board member on the journals Amino Acids and Journal of Biosciences.

Research interests

Accumulation of genetic variation facilitates rapid adaptation of pathogens to host, leading to evolution of pathogenicity, virulence and drug resistance. Repetitive sequences in the genome serve as hotspots for genetic variation. Trinucleotide repeats in the coding regions of genes result in amino acid homorepeat stretches (HRs) in the proteins. HRs contribute to rapid adaptability in two ways (i) genetically, by accelerating accumulation of standing genetic variation and (ii) biochemically, by facilitating molecular interactions across diverse pathways and rewiring molecular networks. While isolated studies link protein HRs with different biological roles in pathogens, a comprehensive systems-wide understanding of the role of HRs in facilitating pathogenicity is lacking. To address this, I aim to decipher the role of HRs in modulating human infections.

My Ph.D. studies involve and integrate many aspects of Biology to understand host-pathogen interaction. I undertake computational and/or experimental studies spanning Molecular and Evolutionary Systems Biology, Comparative Genomics and Molecular biology.

Courses taken in PhD

None. All 84 credits taken in the first 2 years of integrated PhD programme.

Teaching assistantships

  1. Bioinformatics lab course – Spring 2020
  2. Basic biology refresher course – Monsoon 2020


  1. Chavali S, Singh AK, Balaji S, Babu MM. Amino acid homorepeats in proteins. Nature Reviews Chemistry 2020; 4: 420-434.
    Cover image (Contributed by Chavali S, Babu MM, Singh AK) for Nature Reviews Chemistry, August 2020, vol. 4, no. 8; Highlighted article on the Nature Reviews Chemistry home page as ‘Repeat offenders’.