Rishi Kishore Vishwakarma
Assistant Research Professor
Rishi K Vishwakarma is an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at The Pennsylvania State University. He received his PhD in Biotechnology from CSIR- National Chemical Laboratory/University of Pune, India (Supervisor: Dr. Bashir M. Khan). His PhD research was mainly focused on characterization of gene(s)/enzyme(s) involved in terpenoids biosynthesis in medicinal plant Bacopa monniera, and their overexpression in plant to enhance the triterpenoids contents. Just after Ph. D, he has spent some time in the group of Prof. Hsin-Shang Tsay as a postdoctoral researcher at Chaoyang University of Technology, Taiwan, to study genetic and plant tissue culture approaches for enhanced medicinally important metabolites in plants. In 2014, he received postdoctoral fellowship from “Fondation Mediterranee Infection”, France and joined Dr. Konstantin Brodolin group (IRIM-CNRS, Montpellier) to study the transcription regulation in M. tuberculosis (Mtb). He was basically involved in study the role of mycobacterial transcriptional regulatory protein, RNA polymerase binding protein A (RbpA) in transcription activation. Along with molecular biology and biochemical approaches, he implemented single molecule FRET assay (in collaboration with Dr. Emmanuel Margeat, CBS-CNRS, Montpellier) to reveal the molecular basis of RbpA mediated transcription activation in Mtb. Later, he joined Dr. E. Margeat group to study molecular mechanism of transcription termination by the helicase Rho from E. coli and Mtb. He used different biochemical and biophysical techniques to decipher molecular interaction between the helicase Rho and the RNA polymerase. He was also involved in to setup a robust single molecule assay (based on TIRF microscopy) to measure Rho processivity and translocation speed, according to its nucleic acid and energetic context. Presently in the labs of Prof. Katsuhiko Murakami and Prof. Paul Babitzke, he is working on structural determination of bacterial RNA polymerase transcription complexes using cryo-electron microscopy and/or biochemical/molecular biology techniques.