Assistant Professor of Neuroscience
Dr. Janak Awasthi, Assistant Professor of Neuroscience, joined the faculty of UMHS in 2022. He holds a postdoctoral degree in neuroscience from the National Institute of Health, United States, where he conducted research on the neuroanatomical circuitry of drug addiction. He completed his PhD in Neuroscience from Saitama University, Japan. He won the highly competitive "International Program Associate" fellowship from RIKEN, Japan’s largest government-funded research institute, in order to conduct his PhD research under the supervision of the principal investigator at the RIKEN Center for Brain Sciences. During his PhD, he conducted cutting-edge research in the fields of serotonin neurobiology and autism spectrum disorder and demonstrated a strong commitment to academic excellence. Prior to that, Dr. Awasthi received a Master’s in Human Anatomy from the BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Nepal, and an Undergraduate in Human Biology from Kathmandu University, Nepal, where he gained a solid foundation in the field of basic medical sciences such as neuroanatomy, gross anatomy, embryology, histology, physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, microbiology, and cell and molecular biology.
Dr. Awasthi's research interest focuses on "dual transmitter neurons of the ventral tegmental area" and "transiently serotonin transporter-expressing brain neurons." He has published research and review articles in the field, written book chapters, and presented his work at several national and international conferences. His PhD work has been awarded best research in the category of medical sciences twice from RIKEN, Japan. He is currently actively engaged in collaborative projects to advance his interest in the field.
In addition to research, Dr. Awasthi is deeply committed to teaching and mentoring students. He is a skilled and enthusiastic educator who brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the classroom. He holds the experience of teaching a range of subjects such as neuroscience and neuroanatomy, gross anatomy, histology, embryology, physiology, and pharmacology in different academic capacities, such as teaching assistant at Kathmandu University, Nepal, and the University of Tokyo, Japan; lecturer and assistant professor at the medical schools in Nepal and the Caribbean. He is dedicated to helping students understand complex concepts and develop critical thinking skills. Dr. Awasthi's teaching style is engaging and interactive, and he is passionate about making a difference in students' lives. He has consistently received student feedback as the "best teaching faculty" in the past, which recognizes his outstanding dedication towards the success of students.
When he is not at work, Dr. Awasthi enjoys cycling and lecturing on the "science of yoga and well-being" to yoga enthusiasts around the globe. He is also very keen on mentoring young kids and runs a school back home aimed at upbringing civilized citizens with a mindset of giving back to the community. He also actively mentored science projects of school kids during his stay in Japan. He is always eager to make a positive impact whether it’s in the field of research, teaching, or in the community, and is committed to helping UMHS achieve its mission of fostering academic excellence.