Himanshu Saraswat


Making sense of nonsense.

I'm from: India
Current Location: Hobart
Position: PhD Candidate, Menzies institute of Medical Research, UTAS
Field of research/work: Genetics
YTS Years: 2023

Himanshu's Notable career moments

  • I was interested in physics in school, but one great biology teacher got me hooked on genetics.

  • Studied plant genetics at university.

  • I realised that I needed learn the use of computers for research, so I did that for my master’s degree.

  • Worked with viruses that can be used for the treatment of diseases.

  • I came to Australia to continue asking questions.

About Himanshu Saraswat

Asking questions and finding answers made me travel 11,000 kilometres from the Himalayas to Hobart.

Every morning I had the same question: what day is it today? And then was left disappointed for it not being a Sunday.

Despite this, asking questions made me continue to read and enjoy my studies even though I love sleeping more than anything.

Now, I work with computers to know what is going on with our bodies at the smallest level. DNA is the blueprint or the instruction manual of the body. It is a special code that only our bodies can understand. Just as Lego blocks can be arranged in different ways and result in unique structures, DNA also creates different instructions making all of us unique.

I study DNA to know if there is something different in the blueprint of a person that may be causing diseases or protecting them from disease. I use computers to study this DNA because we have billions of molecules making DNA that cannot be read by us manually.

I started by studying plants but later went on to work with bacteria and viruses for a while, and now I work with humans. Working with plants was interesting but many of my friends and I hated working in the sun. We then decided to work with bacteria and viruses which affect plants and animals, and I got to work on a virus that can be used to treat human disease.

I liked the thought of being able to help others who are suffering and made a complete shift to working with humans. Now I’m looking at the DNA of people with multiple sclerosis to better understand the disease and by doing so help people who are suffering or may be at risk.