Research Fellow: Nanobiochemistry, Hybrid functional biomaterials and Environmental Microbiology
Major research themes
- Microbial enzyme production (both by sub-merged and solid state fermentation), purification, biochemical characterization and application in animal feed, biomass conversion to value added products (biofuels) and pesticides (organophosphates) removal from environment.
- Biophysical and kinetic studies of Biocatalyst-Nanomaterial interface
- Biocatalytic and Bio-macromolecular (Peptide, Protein, Nucleic acids, Lipids, Nano-cellulose) self-assembly and applications in drug delivery, enzyme reusability/stability, biotransformation, gene transfer (transformation and transfection) and toxic gas sensing
- Study the interactions of Biomolecules –nanoparticles/ Carbon Nanotube/ Graphene/ Graphene Quantum Dots/ Gold nanoparticles
- Hybrid biomaterials from agricultural solid waste and application
- PhD, Microbiology (Nanobiochemistry), 2010, NCIM Resource Centre, National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, India. (Best Research Scholar for exploring novel applications of Enzymes in Nanotechnology)
- MSc, Microbiology, 2002, MDS University, Ajmer, India (3rd Rank in University)
- BSc, Biology, Chemistry, 2000, Rajasthan University, Jaipur, India (1st Rank in college)
- Sept. 2014- onwards, Research Fellow, School of Science, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
- Oct. 2015-onwards, Research Fellow, BioMechatronics Devices & Systems lab, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Monash University, Clayton, Australia.
- Sept. 2013-Sept. 2014, CSIRO-RMIT Research Scientist, worked jointly with Centre for Advanced Materials and Industrial Chemistry (CAMIC), RMIT and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Clayton, Melbourne, Australia.
- Feb 2010-Aug 2013, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, School of Applied Sciences, CAMIC, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.
- Aug 2009-Feb 2010, Endeavour Post-Doctoral Fellow, School of Applied Sciences, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.
- July 2004-July 2009, PhD scholar at National Collection of Industrial Microorganisms, National Chemical Laboratory (University of Pune), Pune, India, with Dr J.M. Khire. Title: ‘Phytase from Aspergillus niger NCIM 563: Isolation, purification, characterization and its applications.’
- Dec 2002 -Jan 2004, Junior Research Fellow at Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow, India, on ‘Multi drug resistance of Mycobacterium tuberculosis’ and associated molecular mechanisms..
- Corporate member of Australian Research Management Society (ARMS), Australia, 2014-Onwards.
- Honorary membership of Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI), Australia. 2011-onwards.
- ECR member of Australian Nanotechnology Network (ANN), 2009-onwards.
- Member of Proteomics and Metabolomics Victoria, 2009-onwards.
- Member of Association of Microbiologists of India. 2004-onwards
- Member of Society of Biological Chemists of India. 2005-onwards
Awards, honors and recognition
(A) Research Based
- Early Career Researcher grant of Australian Nanotechnology Network to attending and presenting research work at ‘Nanotechnology Entrepreneurship workshop’, Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus, Australia. 10-11 June, 2015.
- Early Career Researcher grant of Australian Nanotechnology Network to attending and presenting research work at Nanobiotechnology session, ANN-ECR workshop, UTS, Sydney, Australia. 10-11 July, 2014
- Corporate membership of Australian Research Management Society (ARMS), Australia.
- RMIT-CAMIC Achievement Award 2013 for Excellence in international collaborations: forging partnerships with India, RMIT University, Australia. 3rd Dec., 2013.
- Best Presentation Award at Australia-India Joint Symposium on Smart Nano-Materials-2011. Presented by Dr Megan Clark (Chief of CSIRO), Australia and Prof CNR Rao (Chair, Scientific Advisory council of Prime minister of India), JNCASR, India. 2-4 Nov. 2011, RMIT University, Australia.
- Endeavour research award (Australian government’s internationally highly competitive, merit –based scholarship program) 2009 by Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, Australian Government. (Aug. 2009 to Feb. 2010).
- Best research scholar (Kirti Sangoram award) 2008 of National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, India.
- Award of foreign travel grant from “Department of Science and technology”, Government of India for oral presentation at the 110th meeting of The American Ceramics Society, October 5-9, 2008, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
- Graduate Excellence in Material Science (GEMS) award by Basic Science division of The American Ceramics Society at 110th meeting of The American Ceramics Society, October 5-9, 2008, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
- Best Posters Award at MS 2007, Symposium on Recent Developments in Mass Spectrometry Applications, National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, India. May 2007.
- Best Poster award on National Science Day at National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, India, Feb. 2006.
- Qualified Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE), conducted by Indian Institute of Technology in Feb. 2002.
- Secured Post graduate Research Fellowship (Life sciences) by CSIR, India in Dec. 2001 and June 2002. (India’s highly competitive examination for research fellowship for the period of 5 years, success rate is < 2%).
(B) Technology Entrepreneurship
- Selected in final mentoring round (business idea in top 250 out of 12,000 entries) of The Power of ideas initiative by The Economic times, Times of India Group (Largest publishing houses of India) India, June 2009.
- Winner of Concepto-08 (a technology idea competition conducted by NCL-TEC and Venture centre, NCL.) Proof-of-Concept Grant Recommendation Award. Recommendation to Director, NCL to support a brief, in-house exercise on the proposed technology idea. Feb.2009.
- Dhillon, A.,Soni, S.,Kumar, D. (2017). Enhanced fluoride removal performance by Ce-Zn binary metal oxide: Adsorption characteristics and mechanism In: Journal of Fluorine Chemistry, 199, 67 - 76
- Khurana, P.,Thatai, S.,Prasad, S.,Soni, S.,Kumar, D. (2016). Agcore-Aushell bimetallic nanocomposites: Gold shell thickness dependent study for SERS enhancement In: Microchemical Journal, 124, 819 - 823
- Thatai, S.,Khurana, P.,Prasad, S.,Soni, S.,Kumar, D. (2016). Trace colorimetric detection of Pb2+ using plasmonic gold nanoparticles and silica-gold nanocomposites In: Microchemical Journal, 124, 104 - 110
- Soni, S.,Kabir, K.,Babarao, R.,Coyle, V.,Sarkar, S.,Sabri, Y.,Bhargava, S. (2016). A QCM-based 'on-off'mechanistic study of gas adsorption by plasmid DNA and DNA-[Bmim][PF 6] construct In: RSC Advances, 6, 81318 - 81329
- Dhillon, A.,Sharma, T.,Soni, S.,Kumar, D. (2016). Fluoride adsorption on a cubical ceria nanoadsorbent: Function of surface properties In: RSC Advances, 6, 89198 - 89209
- Reddy, K.,Karthik, K.,Benaka Prasad, S.,Soni, S.,Jeong, H.,Raghu, A. (2016). Enhanced photocatalytic activity of nanostructured titanium dioxide/polyaniline hybrid photocatalysts In: Polyhedron, 120, 169 - 174
- Mishra, N.,Poonia, K.,Soni, S.,Kumar, D. (2016). Synthesis, characterization and antimicrobial activity of Schiff base Ce(III) complexes In: Polyhedron, 120, 60 - 68
- Mishra, N.,Poonia, K.,Sharma, N.,Soni, S.,Kumar, D. (2016). Synthesis and characterization of thorium (IV) complexes of 2-aminothiazole and their evaluation as effective antimicrobial and antioxidant agents In: Polyhedron, 120, 196 - 204
- Joshi, P.,Sarkar, S.,Soni, S.,Kumar, D. (2016). Label-free colorimetric detection of Cr(VI) in aqueous systems based on flower shaped silver nanoparticles In: Polyhedron, 120, 142 - 149
- Boken, J.,Soni, S.,Kumar, D. (2016). Microfluidic synthesis of nanoparticles and their biosensing applications In: Critical Reviews in Analytical Chemistry, 46, 538 - 561
- Inhaled therapeutics for the treatment of childhood Tuberculosis with a next generation nebulisation platform. Funded by: Rebecca Cooper Medical Research Foundation Grant 2017 from (2018 to 2019)
- Nebulised Nano-therapeutics for the treatment of drug resistant Tuberculosis. (Grant number 414953790). Funded by: ATSE Global Connections Fund Bridging Grant 2016 onwards from (2018 to 2018)
- Innovative Biosolid reuse technologies for post mining restoration. Funded by: Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering Primary Grant Stage 2 2018 from (2018 to 2019)
- A nanotechnology based paper strips assay for rapid detection of Childhood TB. Funded by: Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering Primary Grant Stage 2 2018 from (2018 to 2019)
- Evaluating the environmental impact of sun creams in Port Phillip Bay. Funded by: Department of Industry, Innovation and Science - Citizen Science Grants 2017 from (2017 to 2021)
Biomacromolecular and Bio-catalytic self-assembly, Bionanotechnology, Enzymology, Microbial biotechnology
2 PhD Current Supervisions