Dr. Mridusmita Saikia is an interdisciplinary scientist with expertise in biochemistry, molecular biology, and genomics. Dr. Saikia completed her PhD at the University of Chicago, where she developed quantitative and high throughput biochemical assays to analyze RNA modification levels in biological systems. Her work was supported by a fellowship from the Burroughs-Wellcome Trust. Following her PhD, Dr. Saikia conducted postdoctoral research at Case Western Reserve University and Cornell University, where she studied non-coding RNAs, and their role in gene expression control. In her current research, Dr. Saikia is using single cell RNA sequencing technology to study human immune cell function, as well as human pancreatic beta cell pathology that can lead to diabetes.
Dr. Saikia joined the Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering, Cornell, in July 2020. Dr. Saikia teaches courses in the field of Cellular and Molecular Engineering. Her primary pedagogical objectives are to help students understand the fundamental concepts of biomedical engineering and how they can be applied to improve bodily functions.
BME 2010 Physiology of Human Health and Disease
BME 2210 Biomaterials: Foundations and Application in Medicine
BME 3010 Cellular principles of engineering
BME 5830 Cell-Biomaterials Interactions
For a full list of publications visit, SaikiaM/bibliography/public/.
Holter MM, Saikia M, Cummings BP. (2022) Alpha-cell paracrine signaling in the regulation of beta-cell insulin secretion. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 13: 934775.
Holter MM, Phuong DJ, Lee I, Saikia M, Cummings BP. et al. (2022) 14-3-3-zeta mediates GLP-1 receptor agonist action to alter α cell proglucagon processing. Sci Adv. 8(29):eabn3773.
Saikia M, Holter M, Cummings B, et al (2021) GLP-1 receptor signaling increases PCSK1 and beta-cell features in human alpha-cells. JCI Insight. 6(3):e141851
Saikia M, Burnham P, Keshavjee S, Danko C, DeVlaminck I, et al. (2019) Simultaneous multiplexed amplicon sequencing and transcriptome profiling in single cells. Nat. Methods, 16(1): 59-62
Saikia M, Wang X, Mao Y, Wan J, Pan T and Qian SB (2016). Codon optimality controls differential mRNA translation during amino acid starvation. RNA, 22(11): 1719-27.
Saikia M and Hatzoglou M (2015). The many virtues of tiRNAs: discovering novel mechanisms of stress response and effect on human health. J Biol Chem, 290(50): 29761-68.
Saikia M, Jobava R, Parisien M, Pan T, Hatzoglou M, et al. (2014) Angiogenin-cleaved tRNA halves interact with cytochrome c protecting cells from apoptosis during osmotic stress. Mol Cell Biol. 34(13): 2450-63.
Selected Awards and Honors
Robert ’55 and Vanne ’57 Cowie Excellence in Teaching Award, College of Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, (2022)
James McCormick Family Teaching Excellence Institute (MTEI) Course Redesign Initiative to Support Teaching with Engaged Learning (CRISTEL) Award, Cornell University College of Engineering, (2022-23)
Prodo Laboratories Inc. Best Talk Award, 27th Boston Ithaca Islet Club Meeting (May 2019)
RNA Society Travel Award, RNA Society Meeting (2018)
Founders Affiliate Postdoctoral Fellowship, American Heart Association, (2014-2016)
Translational Control Meeting Travel Award, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (2012)
Burroughs Wellcome Fellowship for Interdisciplinary Training Program in Biophysical Dynamics and Biocomplexity, University of Chicago, (2005-2006)
B.Sc. (Chemistry), St. Stephen’s College, University of Delhi, India, 2002
M.Sc. (Chemistry), Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, India, 2004
M.S. (Chemistry), University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA, 2005
Ph.D. (Chemistry), University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA, 2009