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Dr. Navjot Kaur

Assistant Professor, Plaksha University



Area of Expertise

Point-of-care diagnostics, paper-based diagnostics, AMR surveillance networks


Research Interests

• Point-of-care diagnostics

• Antimicrobial resistance surveillance networks

• STEM education research

• Evidence-based science communication

Education

PhD in Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore


Past Associations

• Research Scientist, Dr. Reddy’s Lab, Hyderabad, India

• Science Conversationalist at The Pseudo Doctor

Dr. Kaur’s doctoral research focussed on developing point-of-care molecular diagnostics to improve access to affordable healthcare. Existing technologies like paper-based biosensing and isothermal nucleic acid amplification were miniaturized, improvised, and integrated to develop a platform technology and validated by testing tuberculosis patient samples. Her research was covered in a Nature’s Technology feature article, diagnosticsworldnews.com, and many national newspapers and blogs. After her PhD, she joined as a research scientist at Dr. Reddy’s lab and worked on generic drug development.

At Plaksha, her research will focus on addressing the grand challenge of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Her group will develop diagnostic solutions to build easy-to-scale frugal engineering solutions to establish inexpensive AMR surveillance networks. She is also passionate about STEM education research to facilitate early exposure to disruptive technologies for high school and undergraduate students. Her zeal for science communication is demonstrated by the YouTube channel she runs independently. It caters current and prospective graduate students to help them steer through their PhDs and professional careers. She is an active member of the Plaksha Center for Communication, working towards communicating the research being conducted at Plaksha to the general masses. 

Dr. Navjot Kaur's research group is focussed on developing Systems Engineering solutions for the Grand Challenges in Global Health. Her work aims to develop sustainable solutions in the domains of:

(i) Sustainable agriculture: By assessing the impact of current agricultutral practices on environment, human and animal health, her research aims to create holistic solutions to curb the excessive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides in India, especially in Punjab.

Funding Agencies: Plaksha University start-up grant and AWaDH, IIT Ropar

(ii) Antimicrobial resistance (AMR): Keeping in line with the One Helath approach, her research group aims to address the impending pandemic of AMR by developing solutions to tackle impact of AMR on human health, animal health and the environment. Given the severe lack of awareness on AMR in Indian ecosystem, her group is working on developing impactful antimicrobial stewardship solutions. She is also working on developing AMR surveillance systems and new-age therapeutics.

Her research group actively interacts with relevant stakeholders via field surveys for all their research projects and strongly aims to impact public awareness and policies.

She is also a pedagogy research enthusiast and is currently developing a pedagogy toolbox to make learning more experiential and interactive for undergraduate students.

Journals

  • Navjot Kaur, Nikhil Thota, Bhushan J. Toley. A stoichiometric and pseudo kinetic model of loop-mediated isothermal amplification, Computational and structural biology, 2020, Volume 18, 2336-2346. (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.csbj.2020.08.020)
  • Navjot Kaur, Joy S. Michael, Bhushan J. Toley. A modular paper-and-plastic device for tuberculosis nucleic acid amplification testing in limited resource settings, Nature Scientific Reports, 2019, Sci Rep 9, 15367. (https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-51873-8)
  • Debayan Das, Andrea Dsouza, Navjot Kaur, Shruti Soni, Bhushan J. Toley. Paper Stacks for Uniform Rehydration of Dried Reagents in Paper Microfluidic Devices, Nature Scientific Reports, 2019, Sci Rep 9, 1575. (https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-52202-9)
  • Navjot Kaur and Bhushan J. Toley. Paper-based nucleic acid amplification tests for point-of- care diagnostics, Analyst, 2018, 143, 2213–2234. (https://doi.org/10.1039/C7AN01943B)
  •  Bhushan J. Toley, Debayan Das, Ketan A. Ganar, Navjot Kaur, Mithlesh Meena, Dharitri Rath, N. Sathishkumar, Shruti Soni. Multidimensional Paper Networks: A New Generation of Low- Cost Pump-Free Microfluidic Devices, Journal of the Indian Institute of Science, 2018, 98:103- 136. (http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s41745-018-0077-1)

Book Chapters

  •  Book chapter titled “Tuberculosis diagnosis using isothermal nucleic acid amplification in a paper-and-plastic device” accepted for book series titled Methods in Molecular Biology in collected works provisionally titled Clinical Applications of Nucleic Acid Amplification by Springer Nature