Meet Vivak Ambathsa

Vivak Ambathsa
Postdoctoral Fellow
Ph.D. in plant physiology and molecular biology, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India
Member of Research Lab
Vivak Ambathsa
Who are you and what do you do at MIGAL?

I am an Indian postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Plant Biotechnology of the MIGAL Galilee Research Institute. I am working in a group under Dr. Yori Leshem. In this lab, we study plant development and adaptation in the context of abiotic stress using molecular biology, biochemistry, microscopy, and transgenic approach.

I come from the Santhal Pargana division of Jharkhand, India, but have lived in several parts of India during my primary and higher education years.

I completed my Ph.D. in plant physiology and molecular biology from Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India in 2014. During my Ph.D., I investigated the role of chloroplast in the induction of Apoptosis like-cell death in Rice and Arabidopsis (small plants related to the cabbage and mustard family) under salt stress.

What made you choose MIGAL?

I visited Israel for the first time in 2015, for a two-months workshop on biotechnology, conducted by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem under the hospice of MASHAV, Israel's Agency for International Development Cooperation. 

The exposure I got to Israeli science and culture during this workshop very much impressed me and I decided to conduct my postdoctoral research in Israel.

I joined Dr Leshem, my current mentor at MIGAL, as a postdoctoral fellow in July 2015 and have been working at the institute ever since.

Something surprising that people don’t know about MIGAL?

As a postdoctoral fellow, what I appreciate most about MIGAL is it's encouraging, conducive and efficient working environment. The scientific community here is very diverse, which provides the opportunity to discuss and keep up-to-date with ongoing scientific research in spheres other than plant science. But the most important thing about this institute is that it integrates everyone, even the international postdoctoral fellows, in its system and makes them feel an integral part of their team. The individual attention that is given to me here is remarkable. My experience at MIGAL is something that I will never forget.