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Prof. Shubha Tole obtained her BSc in Life Sciences and Biochemistry from St. Xavier's College, Mumbai (1987). Her MSc and PhD are from Caltech, USA. She worked at the University of Chicago as a post-doctoral fellow, and then joined the Tata Institute in Mumbai, India as a faculty member in 1999. Her research interests focus on the mechanisms that shape the development of the brain.
Tole’s lab discovered an “organizer” in the developing brain, a signalling center that induces the formation of the hippocampus. They created embryos with multiple signalling centers and discovered that each induces a hippocampus in adjacent tissue. Tole has received national and international recognition for her work: the Infosys prize for Life Sciences (2014); the SS Bhatnagar Award (2010); the Research Award for Innovation in Neurosciences (2008) from the Society for Neuroscience; the Wellcome Trust Senior International Fellowship (1999).
She is a fellow of the Indian National Science Academy, the Indian Academy of Sciences, and the National Academy of Sciences. She has offered workshops on "Ethics in Science" at national and international fora. She teaches science communication, actively engages in public outreach via workshops in schools and colleges, and encourages her students to do the same. Tole also writes blogs to provide guidance and mentorship to younger colleagues.