Mr. Aswin Kuttykattil
Aswin completed his 5-year integrated Master's Degree in Biotechnology from Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore, India (2019). During his Master’s, he was selected as a 1-year exchange student in the Student Abroad program (SAP-2018), VIT, India; which enabled him to do his Master’s dissertation at The University of Newcastle, Australia. There he investigated the estimation, extraction and identification of microplastics (MPs) from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), seafood, salts, ocean sediments and indoor dust . Later, he worked on an Industrial Collaborative Consultancy project between 4 organisations (VIT Vellore, India; The University of Newcastle, Australia; University of Kerala, India; Practical Environment Technologies Pvt Ltd., India). During this period, he was selected as a Project Scientist to assess marine MPs contamination in a National research sea expenditure (35 days) organised by the National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR), Government of India. In 2020, he returned to VIT university as a Teaching cum Research Assistant (TRA) and studied the molecular-level binding and dynamic simulations of MPs/nanoplastics (NPs) with inflammatory receptors in human lungs using Autodock vina and GROMACS software. In early 2022, he joined a bioplastics project at PSG Institute of Advanced Studies, India. There he isolated biopolymers (polyhydroxyalkanoates) from halophiles for biomedical applications.
In October 2022, Aswin joined the Nanomedicine lab as a PhD student in the Nanoinflammation team to investigate and understand the toxicity posed by ingested MPs or NPs vs bioplastics in gastrointestinal tracts using in vivo and in vitro models. His 3.5-year PhD is fully funded via a Doctoral Academy Scholarship from the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health at The University of Manchester.