Indira Raman, Ph.D.

Landis Award for Outstanding Mentorship
Photo of Dr. Indira Raman
Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

Perhaps most common among Dr. Raman’s trainee letters were reflections of conversations, in the lab, in her office, outside of the lab. Discussions about seeking truth, following the data, understanding limits and limitations – when to push and when to stop. Understanding professional goals, understanding personal interests, and then encouraging pursuit. Dr. Raman also encourages exploration, related to scientific inquiries, job searches, career, and personal goals. Trainees reflected on, and were inspired by, the joy that Dr. Raman has for both the biggest scientific picture and the smallest experimental details. Trainees all expressed admiration for Dr. Raman’s “all-in” style of mentoring – once she was your mentor, she was a mentor for life, and always there for you. As a mentor, her operative mode is that each trainee comes to her with their own unique past and aspirations, and she adjusts her mentoring approach to help them be successful. Stories told by trainees ranged from helping the stars reach new heights to helping those who were less certain of their abilities to achieve professional success through patience, persistence, and positivity. Many trainees commented, one way or another, that her mentorship was “life-changing.” Dr. Raman's research interests are in the areas of ion channel biophysics, synaptic transmission, and cerebellar physiology. Current and recent projects have focused on the ion channel properties responsible for specific patterns of firing, the transmission of synaptic signals from Purkinje to cerebellar nuclear cells, the responses of cerebellar nuclear cells to different patterns of synaptic input, and the activity and changes in cerebellar neuronal spiking during motor behaviors and learning.