Neerja Karnani received her PhD (2002) from School of Life Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University in India, where she worked on multidrug resistance in pathogenic yeast, Candida albicans. During her graduate studies, she was a recipient of the C. R. Krishna Murti Memorial Young Scientist Award. In 2003 she joined Professor Anindya Dutta’s laboratory at University of Virginia for her postdoctoral studies. In his lab she headed the ENCODE (Encyclopedia of DNA Elements) project. This project was initiated by NHGRI (National Human Genome Research Institute) to identify various functional elements in the human genome sequence (Science. 2004, 306: 636- 640). Her work in association with ENCODE identified i) DNA replication elements, ii) chromatin domains (Nature 2007, 447:799-816 and Genome Res, 2007, 17:865-876), and iii) sites of DNA damage induced by replication inhibitors (Genes & Dev., 2011, 25:621-3). She joined SICS in 2013 as Principal Investigator.