Priya DasSarma

Research Scientist
Blue Marble Space Institute of Science

University of Massachusetts, Amherst – B.S. and M.S. in Microbiology, and ICC, NASDEC, NCATE approved Certification in Biology Education, Grades 9-12

Priya DasSarma is a Research Scientist at Blue Marble Space Institute of Science. She was educated in medicine and microbiology at the University of Vienna Medical School and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She has considerable professional experience as a research microbiologist, and Laboratory Manager with over 80 published articles, including several encyclopedia chapters. She also has a certification to teach biology and has taught at the high school, college, and university levels. Additionally, she is well-known for designing the Making Microbiology Manageable teaching modules, which are distributed nationally, and mentored a wide range of students and educators.

She has worked in the DasSarma Laboratory led by Professor Shiladitya DasSarma, which sequenced the first Haloarchaeal genome and has been studying the traits that make these polyextremophiles able to tolerate such stressors as desiccation, radiation, and cold temperatures. They have isolated, characterized and sequenced numerous new strains and performed extensive bioinformatic research. Additionally, they work on applications, including the use of Halobacterium sp. NRC-1 gas vesicle nanoparticles for drug delivery and vaccine development.

The DasSarma Laboratory has been a forerunner in the area of open science, open data, having constructed and run HaloWeb, a bioinformatic and genome resource for Haloarchaea since 2000. Recently, they have expanded the offerings, via the Halo-Ed suite.

Get to know Priya DasSarma

What are you most proud of in your work or life?

Being ethical and kind to the planet, while growing and sharing knowledge and learning.

What are your passions and hobbies?

Cooking and gardening

Do you have a personal motto or other words to live by?

Be realistic, demand the impossible.

Favorite snack food?