Academic Profile

Academic Profile

Assoc Prof Ajai Vyas


Associate Professor

School of Biological Sciences
College of Science

Email: AVYAS@NTU.EDU.SG
Phone: (+65)65137365
Office: SBS-02n-08

Education
  • PhD National Centre for Biological Sciences 2004
  • MSc Indian Agricultural Research Institute 1999
  • Bachelor (Hons) Rajasthan Agricultural University 1996
Biography
I am currently Associate Professor at School of Biological Sciences in NTU. I received my Master's degree from Indian Agricultural Research Institute for my research on soybean Rhizobium symbiosis. I finished my PhD at National Centre for Biological Sciences working on the neurobiology of stress-induced anxiogenesis. My research interests span behavioral ecology, neurobiology, and parasitology.
Research Interests
This section pertains to current research directions of my team.

We are interested in diverse research questions at the intersection of neuroendocrinology; parasitology and behavioral ecology. We take pride in braiding mechanistic view of biology with its mooring in the evolution and ecological conditions.

We are broadly interested in backwash effects of death on the processes of the life. Finite nature of the life creates a variety of trade-offs in individuals. We are interested in how these trade-offs reflect in brain and hormones. We use perturbation models in our approach. These models include manipulation of host behavior by coevolving parasites; breakdown of learning and memory due to aging; and effects of predator presence on prey physiology. These diverse approaches are united by our vision of placing form and function of neuroendocrine system within a framework of biological evolution.

We have a healthy disrespect for artificial separation between fundamental and clinical biology. Our work relates to both fundamental understanding of biological processes (e.g., trade-off between reproduction and defense in brain or non-consumptive effects of predation) and issues more closer to human condition (e.g., optogenetic modulation of memory in dementia models or sexually transmitted protozoan infections).
Current Projects
  • Biological mechanisms in rat brain mediating attractive and aversive social behaviors
  • Carpe diem impulsivity: Optogenetic manipulation of the impulsive decision making in rodents
  • Defining the brain circuitry defects that cause dementia
  • Discovering hormones and pheromones mediating mate choice
  • Neurobiology of Toxoplasma infection
  • Potential sexual transmission of Toxoplasma gondii in humans
  • Sexually dimoprhic mechanisms underlying behavioral change in rodent hosts after Toxoplasma infection
Selected Publications
  • Lim A, Kumar V, Hari Dass SA, Vyas A. (2013). Toxoplasma gondii infection enhances testicular steroidogenesis in rats. Molecular Ecology, 22(1), 102-110.

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