Preeta Pratakshya


Ph.D., Chemistry, UCI, 2022 expected
B.S.- M.S., Chemistry, NISER, 2017


Structure and assembly of cephalopod proteins
Development of cephalopod-inspired functional materials


Preeta is a Ph.D. student in Prof. Alon Gorodetsky's laboratory in UCI's Department of Chemistry. Her research focuses on the study of unique proteins called "reflectins" found in squids, octopus and cuttlefish. Reflectins play an important role in these animals' remarkable camouflage abilities. However, not much is known about these proteins. Preeta uses a range of advanced biophysical techniques to understand the structure and assembly of these proteins. Eventually, she aims to use this understanding to design stimuli-responsive materials for various applications. Before joining UCI, she worked on the synthesis and characterization of materials for applications in OLEDs.

Why is science communication important to you?

There is a widely perceived notion that science is difficult and complicated. This causes most people to distance themselves from scientific endeavors. In reality, science is fun and exciting, though the pursuit can be challenging at times. I believe that effective science communication can let everyone appreciate and enjoy the beauty of science, irrespective of their profession. The society also needs to know that science is not limited to black holes or curing cancer. There's a lot more exciting stuff that scientists do. I want to use science communication as a tool to bring the science we do in labs to the common man. In order to tackle the issues that the world is facing, it's important that everyone develops a scientific temperament. This is possible only when science is communicated effectively to people of all ages.

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