BSBE Faculty

Nitin Gupta

Associate Professor
SwarnaJayanti Fellow

Contact Information:
Email: guptan[at]
Tel: (91) 512-259-4384

Link to Lab Webpage

Academic Background:

Dr. Nitin Gupta graduated from IIT Kanpur in 2004 with a B.Tech. in computer science and an interest in biology. He then joined the PhD program in bioinformatics and systems biology at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). After completing his PhD in 2009, he spent a few months in a cognitive neuroscience lab at UCSD, and then moved to the National Institutes of Health as a post-doc to learn electrophysiology. He joined the BSBE faculty in July, 2014.


Research Interests:

The remarkable capabilities organized by the brain — from seeing to singing, from remembering to running — originate in the electrical activities of neurons. Neurons interact with each other forming circuits, which process sensory information and drive appropriate behaviors. We are broadly interested in understanding how these circuits encode innate behavioral preferences. We use the insect olfactory system (sense of smell) as a model system as it is amenable to detailed in vivo experiments and at the same complex enough to provide insights into our own brains. Our initial focus is on understanding the brain mechanisms that govern how specific smells become attractive or repulsive to insects. In particular, we are examining the neural responses in the brain of a mosquito when it detects the attractive odor of a human or the repulsive odor of a repellent cream. We use a variety of techniques, including in vivo electrophysiology, histology, behavioral observations, genetic manipulations, and computational modeling. We are also studying how neural circuits control similarities and differences across individuals of the same species.

In a different and applied project, we are working on automated digital interventions for mental health. We have developed a cognitive behavioral therapy tool called TreadWill for depression.