Dr. Laxmi Kirola

Dr. Laxmi Kirola

Assistant Professor-Selection Grade

Profile Summary

Dr. Laxmi Kirola obtained her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Kumaon University, Nainital, and subsequently, Ph.D. from the Department of Genetics, University of Delhi, India. In her postdoctoral research from the USA at Washington University St. Louis, MO, USA, and Greenwood Genetic Center, SC, USA, she has gained extensive training in the area of Human genetics, computational, clinical, and functional genomics. Post-return from the USA, Dr. Laxmi Kirola held a prestigious Malaviya Postdoctoral Fellow position at Banaras Hindu University, where she focused on Drosophila models for human genetic diseases and developing genetic disease models. Her previous roles at numerous institutions showcased her teaching, research, and administration proficiency. Her future goals involve advancing research in neurogenetics, Neurodegenerative, and Neuromuscular disorders. Notably, during her Ph.D., she identified a ground-breaking SYNJ1 gene mutation linked to early Parkinson's disease in India, leading to early DNA diagnostics. Dr. Kirola has showcased her research globally, presenting at esteemed platforms such as the American College of Medical Genetics and the Indian Society of Human Genetics. Her aspirations include international and national collaborations for good research alongside teaching and administrative duties. 

Work Experience

Dr. Kirola, after completing her Ph.D. in 2017, pursued postdoctoral training at Greenwood Genetics Center, SC, USA, focusing on neurodevelopmental diseases in Caucasian families. At Washington University, St. Louis, MO, she delved into Alzheimer's disease using large genomic datasets, publishing in renowned journals. Returning during the lockdown, she served as a senior scientist at Redcliffe Life Sciences, Noida, counseling patients with genetic diseases. As an MPDF fellow at Banaras Hindu University, she specialized in Drosophila disease models. Before joining UPES, Dr. Kirola held an assistant professor role at Amity University, Noida, showcasing a diverse and impactful career.

Research Interests

Dr. Kirola's research focuses on human genetic diseases, particularly in neurological, neurodegenerative, and neuromuscular disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and congenital myopathies. Her work includes genetic analysis in familial and population-based studies, utilizing multi-omics tools like whole genome and exome sequencing. Driven by the need for early detection, her future interests involve DNA testing, family counseling, and exploring Drosophila as a model for genetic and muscle-related disorders. Additionally, she's keen on integrating challenging tools like machine learning and artificial intelligence in genomics to predict novel therapeutics.

Awards and Grants

Dr. Kirola received the prestigious Malaviya Postdoctoral fellowship (2021) and research funding under the Institute of Eminence, Banaras Hindu University, Government of India. Her other research proposal(s)/grant(s) under GoI are already in ongoing process.

Scholarly Activities

As an independent project investigator, Dr. Kirola led the successful execution of the project "Identification and Functional Characterization of novel genetic variant(s) in families with Neuromuscular Disorders from North India Using Next-generation Sequencing Tools" funded by the Institute of Eminence, GoI at Banaras Hindu University. This initiative facilitated international and national collaborations, with ongoing publications and outcomes. Dr. Kirola contributes as a reviewer for various journals, including Scientific Reports, Frontiers in Medicine, Frontiers in Medicine, neurobiology of Disease, Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics, Current Rheumatology Reviews, The Cureus Journal of Medical Science etc. and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of International Genetics and Genomics. Additionally, she holds qualifications such as CSIR-UGC-NET and JRF (2010), GATE (2011), and certifications in HIPAA/EPIC (2018, USA), ISO15189:2012 NABL accreditation (2020, India), and Good Clinical Practices under CDSCO (2021, India). Throughout her career, she has consistently trained Ph.D. students, lab trainees, scholars, and over 50 students from UG and PG programs across various academic levels, demonstrating her commitment to education and mentorship. At UPES, she looks forward to continuing her research and teaching activities.

Teaching Philosophy

Dr. Kirola believes that a multidisciplinary and holistic approach is required for one’s personality and characteristics development (संपूर्ण विकास). A teacher should provide more scientific explanations, with relevant examples to help students, train them to think innovative, and the art of collaborating for research activities nationally and internationally along with interpersonal relationships. At the same time, how to develop their soft skills and communication and leadership activities and to become good citizens of our country and contribute to society for human welfare.

Courses Taught

Dr. Kirola teaches Cell and molecular biology, Human Genetics, medical genomics, Gene therapy, and other life science subjects. She provides a broader picture of the subject with a simplistic understanding of scientific facts, knowledge, and basic concept allocations. In addition, it’s very important to motivate students to perform class activities effectively. Providing class notes, group discussions, and home and class assignments will make them more confident and inspire them for future studies.