Ambika Pachaury

picture of ambika


Ph.D. Candidate


Biomedical Engineering





Coronaviruses, especially SARS CoV-2 has caused over 2.5 million deaths in the world in 2020-2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic uptill now. With several new mutants of this virus emerging, there is a need for a better understanding of the biology of viral fusion and entry into the host cells. Therefore, my project will be focussed on understanding the coronavirus spike protein, which mediates viral entry into cells. I will be investigating changes in fusion as well as infectivity caused by mutations in a specific region of this spike protein known as the fusion peptide. We hope to leverage biophysics techniques and provide insight into molecular level fusion interactions that will ultimately inform the creation of better therapeutics and antiviral drugs that target fusion. 


Professional Development

As a part of my professional development, I am involved in the Biomedical Engineering Women’s Society (BMEW) and the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES). I am a mentor for high school seniors navigating college applications through the New Visions Engineering Program. I am also involved in creating and teaching science lessons to middle school students as part of the Graduate Student Outreach Program (GRASSHOPR) at Cornell. Additionally, I was an activity leader for the Girl Scouts Engineering Day that informs elementary and middle school girls about different engineering disciplines through fun activities and games.

Fun Fact

When I am not in lab, I love reading murder mysteries and writing poetry. I also love bubble tea, watching animated movies and making all kinds of Indian food 🙂