Amit grew up in a farmer’s family in India and like the other kids “in the hood”, his early career aspirations included joining the army or becoming a cricketer. Amit’s pre-doctoral studies at the Indian Institute of Science‒Bangalore (IISc) involved the total synthesis of natural products and protein folding studies. He was ranked among top 5 students nationwide in the entrance exams of IITs and IISc. In 2006, he moved to Univ. of Wisconsin‒Madison to pursue his graduate studies with Prof. Ron Raines. Amit’s doctoral thesis describes the discovery of a force (termed n→π* interactions) that is akin to the hydrogen bond in its quantum mechanical origin and widespread prevalence in biomolecules.
Amit got interested in infectious disease and diabetes on observing a rampant prevalence of tuberculosis-triggered diabetes in many Indian families, including his own. In 2011, Amit was elected as a Harvard Junior Fellow and hosted by Prof. Stuart Schreiber at the Broad Institute. Here, he decided to shift his research focus from quantum mechanical interactions to infectious disease and diabetes. In 2016, he started as an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and he also holds appointments at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital and the Broad Institute. The efforts of Amit’s group have been recognized by Burroughs Wellcome Fund’s Career Award at the Scientific Interface, NIH Director’s Transformative Research Award, DARPA’s SAFE GENES and HEALR awards, Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise, ICBS Young Chemical Biologist Award, and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Innovation Award. Amit is scientific founder of Photys Therapeutics that leverages group’s findings on bifunctional molecules that induce or remove post-translational modifications.